The Griffin branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will be having a political forum at 6 p.m. tonight at the Eighth Street Baptist Church.
“I was inspired by the fact that as I talked to people, I found that a large number had voted already or were anticipating voting soon and had not given adequate consideration to local candidates and to the local and state issues that were on the ballot,” said Jewell Walker-Harps, president of the Griffin NAACP. “We’re real concerned that they cast an educated ballot.”
She said with such large numbers of people registered to vote, the Griffin NAACP feels it can push through real change and improve conditions for both African-Americans and the community in general.
Walker-Harps said she is proud of the political awakening within the African-American community.
“For the first time, people are aware of the fact that they have power in the ballot,” she said.
She said she wants to capture the energy and hopes this is the beginning of more political involvement in the African-American community.
“The American dream can only be realized if citizens are well-informed and active participants in the government,” she said.
She said questions for the event can be submitted in advance or to the questions committee, in writing, at the event itself. There will be no questions from the floor.
“The reasoning behind it is to maintain some structure and order within the audience,” she said.
Both Spalding County Sheriff Dee Stewart, the Republican incumbent, and Democratic challenger Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Wendell Beam will attend the event. Dave Lamb, who serves as vice chairman for the committee promoting the 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), will also be there.
“I look forward to discussing the SPLOST and the advantages to the community with every (group) I go and talk to,” Lamb said.
He said everyone in the Griffin-Spalding County area would benefit from the passage of the SPLOST, specifically the new jobs the proposed mixed-use development of the Big Shanty property could bring and the improvements in education the new building at Griffin Technical College could bring.
The church is at 408 Palace St. Those interested in finding out more information or submitting questions should contact Walker-Harps at 770-228-3990.