New Mayor - New Direction | Community Spirit

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New Mayor - New Direction
New Mayor - New Direction

As an African-American male, this election has shown that Jacksonville has matured;
there is a change of mindset, a change toward psychological acceptance for a new vision.
A desire and need to seek another direction for the unification of a divided community.
Jacksonville has continued to grow into a community that is embracing its diversity and
understands that in order to grow into a progressive 21st century metropolis it is time
for a new course of thinking, a new path for leadership and providing an opportunity
for someone (Alvin Brown) with a new vision to lead our community.

I hope Mr. Brown can create a political persona that will match the spirit and essence
of Jacksonville, Florida. We are not Atlanta, we are not Orlando, we are not Miami;
we are a proud, distinctive, and spiritual community that has lacked leadership to unite us and
excite us about our potential in Florida. The “old ways” of gender and race selectivity
for business, the good ole boy network has grown old and outdated.

Our nation speaks of unity and inclusiveness, the world watches our actions and reactions
to this new leadership. Jacksonville must work tirelessly and honorably to provide a seat at
the political table for the diverse leaderships that provides our city an underlying strength
and uniqueness. Welcoming our religious leaders themselves have individually and
collectively worked to unite Jacksonville, Florida and spiritually guide and educate its
citizens (ICARE, ONEJAX, HandsOn Jacksonville) and others. This can be a blending
in  historic accounts again.

Citizens and families with a business and entrepreneurial mindset now have more opportunities
to be involved in the business decisions and direction of our community. Mr. Brown has
commented several times that small business provides more jobs than many big businesses,
small business has a great impact on the economic viability of a city. Dialogue, planning,
organization and collaboration are now benefits not liabilities. Community partnerships with
non profits like E3 Business Group (Anthony Butler, Sr), JCCI/JCCI Forward,
Boys and Girls Clubs, Jacksonville Children's Commission, MaliVai Washington Kids
Foundation, Boselli Foundation, Police Athletic League-Jacksonville, and Empowerment
Resources Journey Into Womanhood (Elexia Coleman-Moss, Founder and Executive Director)
just to name a few. New opportunities, new partnerships to make an even bigger impact for
children and families, to provide unique services that are distinctive to the needs of our citizens
who only ask for a “Hand Up” not a “Hand Out”. 

I and all of Jacksonville have high expectations for Mr. Brown and his staff to lead us to
unity, solidarity and keeping with his pledges to unite Jacksonville. To bring jobs, to bring investments,
to bring a spirit that has not graced Jacksonville in many years. Abel Harding (Florida Times Union)
has commented on First Coast News that, “We have come a long way” with the election of a
African American Mayor, this is a true testament for the growth and progressive nature of Jacksonville.
With this growth and new hope for government our Ethics Committees and Human Rights Commission
have a new hope for the future. We have not arrived to total racial and cultural harmony, but we
are building, renewing and establishing a better direction. 

As an educator, I see a wonderful opportunity to show our young men that education
has great value and great rewards if students embrace education, hard work, honesty, ethics
and conduct themselves honorably in their communities, schools and churches. There  are rewards,
if young men apply themselves in positive directions, pull up those pants, speak intelligently,
respect their teachers, respect their parents, respect themselves, honor their churches and
communities. As an educator, I would like Mr. Brown and his staff to set aside time in their
schedule to visit schools and talk to students to inspire and encourage them to be successful.
No longer does the Mayor need to be in a glass house, our Mayor should be visiting, inspiring,
promoting, modeling and uniting educational vision for all our students. A book club is a good
direction, promoting reading, literacy and comprehension, but what about a math club,
a science club and a technology club sponsored by the Mayor and his staff.
Our new Mayor has an invitation to visit Andrew Robinson Elementary (shameless plug).

Young women have a role model from the First Lady to look up to, respect and
model behaviors representing dignity, pride, respect for self, love of family, good parenting
for children, respect of husband, service to community and dedication to church. It would be
nice for our First Lady to be more involved in the community and set a new standard to
“teach” young ladies and "model" for them to be proud of themselves, value their education,
to be dedicated mothers, watch the language and tone they use in public,
be come more involved in  their churches and fiscally responsible for their families and themselves.

There are no longer excuses for why our young men and young women cannot
be successful. Here is an example of an African-American man that wants to look beyond
color, cultural and ethnic lines, he has a desire to unite us. Mr. Brown is a man involved
in his community, a man who loves his family, a man who respects his church, a man who
understands the power and empowerment of education.

A man who supports small business, a man who understands that a community is only
as strong as the unification of its people no matter what color. A man who respects the
elders and seniors of this community and will listen to them and help them. A man who
will work to lower the incarceration rate of our young people with intervention, not just
with handcuffs and jail cells. Even if mistakes are made and there is bad judgment
Mr. Brown has committed to working with ICARE and other organizations like
Ready4Work to help those who have criminal backgrounds and want to better themselves. 

Mr. Alvin Brown, his family and his staff and their families are directly in the faces
of our youth, so there should be no more excuses, no more deception, no more blame,
no more giving up, no more dropping out. Now our young people have role models
from all that participated to make this a historic event. If our young men and women
don’t have a role model at home they now have one in our Mayor and First Lady.

Read more at Jacksonville.com:
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/letters-readers/2011-05-23/story/mayoral-election-teacher-sees-role-model-youth

 

 

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