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for business, the good ole boy network has grown old and outdated.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 Committtees 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.
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