Macon-Bibb is at a crossroads, and it resembles what we will see in regard to our choice for President on November 3.
It is a strong likelihood that Joe Biden will be Macon-Bibb’s choice over Donald Trump, but as a voter locally which mayoral candidate’s political philosophy is more closely aligned to Biden–President Barack Obama’s former Vice President.
And the clear answer for Macon-Bibb mayor is Cliffard Whitby over former District 4 school board member Lester Miller.
Nearly one in three (29.8%) of Macon-Bibb’s residents live in poverty, more than twice the U.S. percentage (13.5%) and almost twice the percentage in Georgia (15%), according to the most recent U.S. census data. In addition, 40.5% of Macon’s children live in poverty, nearly twice the Georgia percentage of 22.7%. The current nation’s unemployment rate is 11 percent, but for African-AMericans it is 15 percent.
Which candidate has the best plan to address poverty here in Macon-Bibb? And the clear answer is Cliffard Whitby and not Lester Miller.
Miller’s answer to the poverty issue is to ignore it and continue to build onto North Bibb while other parts of majority-black Macon are neglected.
For Macon-Bibb, August 11 is just as important as November 3. However, voters can apply for absentee ballots and early voting begins on July 20.
The core of Macon-Bibb’s African-American community has an opportunity to take the bold first step of taking all elections seriously and it begins on August 11. The following precincts have the largest number of black voters: GODFREY 1 Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex at Ballard Hudson, HAZZARD 3 (Middle GA State University), GODFREY 5 (Harvest Cathedral), E. MACON 2 (St. Paul A.M.E. Church),VINEVILLE 4 (Greater Bellevue Baptist Church),HAZZARD 1 (Covenant Life Cathedral), GODFREY 3 (Beulahland Bible Church), VINEVILLE 3 (Brookdale Elementary School),EAST MACON 3 Northeast Magnet High School),EAST MACON 4 (New Griswoldville Baptist Church)
Miller is a Republican, and has been on previous ballots for public office as a Republican since 2012. This is an undeniable fact, but what does this mean for Macon-Bibb? Even though Miller isn’t as bombastic and openly arrogant as Donald Trump, the candidate as “Hey, Lester” mostly supports Trump’s conservative positions ranging from views on opposing Obamacare to supporting Supreme Court justices. Whitby has said Black Lives Matter and done that publicly, but Miller has not because the majority of his supporters are more in align with Donald Trump, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and their conservative positions.
One of Miller’s platform messages is “Justice Works” and increasing the budget of our local police force along with the number of officers at a time in which nationwide protests are promoting that funding should be distributed to other areas such as mental health and other social services along with improving impoverished neighborhoods.
Whitby, the former chairman of the Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority, has expressed that he wants all of Macon-Bibb to grow and with his resume he is in a much more qualified and better position to help our city grow,
Whitby said the following:
“The future of Macon-Bibb depends on us using our individual and collective experiences and skills to help one another. In order to be a place of opportunity for our children and a safe community for our seniors and grandchildren, we must rise together. Moving forward must include reaching back to uplift all of our neighbors. Better jobs, neighborhoods, schools and community relationships benefit us all. It’s time to realize this great potential.”