Thursday, January 29, 2015

"One Augusta" Getting Some Heat

AUGUSTA, GA (Anibal Ibarra) - Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. announced the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in Augusta and a summit took place today at the Richmond County Career Technical Magnet School. The White House initiative is intended to support children among minority communities to excel in life. The Hispanic community apparently was not well represented at the meeting but Davis responded that everybody was invited to participate.

Posted today at the city's website

On social media

Pardon Our Accent

It will take more than asking to be invited to participate in initiatives or to the local government, with a strong Spanish accent or perfect English. 

There are 31 authorities, boards and commissions. These entities are governing several aspects of local government and their members are appointed by the Augusta Richmond County Commission and the Augusta legislative delegation.

Looking the composition of just one entity that govern the aviation in Richmond County is easy to infer that city government is being ruled by a few powerful people well connected. The Aviation Commission is a good example because it reflects how the representation of Augusta as a whole isn’t represented.

The county is composed half of its population by women, yet the representation of women in local government is minimal. If the Hispanic community really is inclined to be part of the government or taken in consideration for initiatives must put people in those bodies or agencies and start lobbying hard and supporting candidates for offices. 

It is not enough throwing numbers to the local authorities; they already know the economic impact of the Hispanic consumers in billions of dollars, the hard working ethic of the people, and that census numbers might not be accurate. What in Augusta will convince to take seriously to the Hispanic community would be when more people are identified themselves as power brokers. 

The people in charge in Augusta won’t be sending invitations to the Hispanic community to join the government. The Hispanic people have being working at all level in Augusta for decades. Maybe now is time to put Hispanic faces in those government entities, not just as taxpayers, but as authorities, also.

The way how Dr. Ricardo Azziz has being treated by the powers-that-be in Augusta, though, is a clear message that it won’t be easy to be appointed or elected in office in this town. The "most influential Hispanic in Georgia," according to a statewide publication, was hired by powerful people from the Republican Party, yet members from the same party and some from the Democratic Party, joined together to make his job a living hell. 

He is no longer the President of Georgia Regents University and was forced to resign, apparently, after 4 challenging years, to say the least, even though the institution still is in need of his expertise. 

If is difficult to be liberal in a liberal county such as Richmond, to be Hispanic in a conservative state as Georgia -with a supermajority self declared Christian Republicans in control of power- is certainly harder. 

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