Local NAACP to hold issues meeting

By Valerie Baldowski


The Henry County branch of the NAACP has scheduled a town hall meeting -- with the theme, "Prescription for Community Wellness" -- to discuss problems, concerns, needs and the overall well-being of the community.

The health of the county's African-American residents is one of many issues the group plans to discuss on May 15, from 10 a.m., until noon, at the Fairview branch library, at 28 Austin Road, in Stockbridge.

According to LaSonji Rivers, NAACP chairman for press and publicity, other topics up for discussion will include: jobs and legislation; the future of Henry County and its educational system, as well as, past and future, legislation affecting the county.

Government officials expected to attend the session include Henry County Commission Chairman Elizabeth "B.J." Mathis, Stockbridge Mayor Lee Stuart, State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), Henry County School Superintendent Michael Surma, District IV County Commissioner Reid Bowman, District V County Commissioner Johnny Basler, and officers from the Henry County police and sheriff's departments, said Rivers.

"This will give citizens a chance to meet and greet their local government officials, and to ask questions and get answers," said Eugene Edwards, president of the Henry County branch of the NAACP.

Edwards said he hopes the meeting will have a unifying effect. "We're here to support our local government, to make Henry County, one county," he said.

"If people don't know what's going on around them," added NAACP member Thomas Hester, "they don't know what's going to impact them. They can't make informed decisions, if they don't know what's coming."

Those attending will get a law-enforcement update on a proposed new recreation center for the Fairview area, said Rivers, and Edwards said that various educational issues will get significant attention.