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Sept. 17, 2019

CANDIDATE FORUM SEPT. 23

       
                                  

Sharon Blue Lee will moderate forum
with all six candidates for Brunswick election

      Here's your chance to see and hear the Brunswick City Commission candidates.

      GlynnDems is sponsoring a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23, to hear candidates for the Nov. 5 non-partisan Brunswick City Commission election. There is one seat open in both the North and the South Ward.

     North Ward candidates are John Cason (incumbent), Gary Bernard Cook, Zack Lyde and John D. Perry. South Ward candidates are Julie T. Martin (incumbent) and Al Verheyn.

 
     Sharon Blue Lee, a member of the GlynnDems committee, will moderate the discussion. Candidates have been asked to speak about housing, transportation, and economic development. Members of the audience will also be allowed to submit questions. 

     The forum will be held in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church, 1400 Norwich St., Brunswick. Note: Enter from Norwich Street. The meeting is not in the Miller Building, our regular location.
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Brief bios of each candidate:
Note: Candidates submitted their own bios. These are not endorsements, rather the candidates' writing in their own words. We have edited them for consistency and clarity.

CANDIDATES FOR SOUTH WARD

 
Julie T. Martin
Incumbent
      Julie Martin grew up in Atlanta and moved to Glynn County in 1995.  Her family has enjoyed living in the south end of Brunswick for the past 19 years. She is married with a blended family of four grown children and three granddaughters.
 
     Julie has been a Realtor in the Golden Isles for the past 13 years and enjoys introducing people to our coastal area. She holds several real estate designations and is respected for her knowledge and expertise in local real estate.
 
     She has served as a Commissioner for the City of Brunswick since 2012. While serving as a city commissioner, Julie has achieved over 140 hours of training and education through the Georgia Municipal Association. Utilizing both her real estate background, extensive municipal training and dedicated energy, she has proven herself a successful and effective leader.
 
     In addition, Julie is co-founder and executive director of Signature Squares of Brunswick, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to celebrating the history of Brunswick by restoring and preserving its 14 original public squares for all to enjoy. She receives no compensation in this position. Her revitalization efforts have shaped the city significantly into a more sustainable, vibrant and exceptional place to live, work and visit.
 
     Julie’s current or past appointments and activities include: Brunswick City Commission, 2012 to present and board member of Coastal Regional Commission, Downtown Development Authority, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and Hospice of the Golden Isles. She is a 2012 graduate of Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Other memberships include Glynn County Mainland Planning Commission, Brunswick-Glynn Land Bank Agency, Signature Squares of Brunswick Inc., National Assoc. of Realtors and Golden Isles Assoc. of Realtors.
 
Al Verheyn
      Al retired from the U.S.Army in 2012 after 27 years of service. His duty stations included Fort Gordon (Augusta), Fort Stewart (Hinesville), Fort McPherson (Atlanta/East Point), Fort Belvoir (N. Virginia), and Warner Kaserne (Bamberg, Germany). Deployments included Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia and Iraq), Operation Joint Endeavor and Joint Forge (NATO Peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina), and the Global War on Terror (Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan).

      He also was a supervisor for Sprint Broadband Operations and Internet Backbone Operations in Atlanta from 1999-2002 and 2012-2015.
 
     Al currently is a supervisor at the ATF National Academy at FLETC, and he says, “I absolutely love my
work! For more than three years, I have had the privilege of working with true professionals of all skill sets
and backgrounds, as we train future ATF agents.”
 
     Some of his volunteer activities include: President and Life Member of the 24th Infantry Division Association; Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Golden Isles Chapter 36; and Vice Chairman of the City of Brunswick Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA).
 
    Al says,  “I am married to a truly amazing woman (Elizabeth) and we have five adult kids scattered about Georgia, Maryland, and Missouri.”
 
     His hobbies are working on his house in the Old Town neighborhood (a never-ending project!), ‘60s muscle cars, and playing the drums (hopefully not irritating the neighbors too much!).

CANDIDATES FOR NORTH WARD
 
John Cason
Incumbent
     John Cason is a lifelong resident of Brunswick. Howard Coffin Park and Urbana Park were his childhood playgrounds. John attended downtown schools, graduated from Glynn Academy and attended Brewton-Parker College.


          His varied business experiences have all been within the city of Brunswick. Working primarily in purchasing trained him to value cost control and efficiency in the workplace. He worked at Babcock & Wilcox until its close in 1981 and was purchasing director for ABC
   
Home Health Services during its national rise. Until retirement in 2008, he worked 12 years for the city in Purchasing and Facilities.

     John and his wife, Diana, also a Brunswick native who retired after teaching 30 years at Glynn Academy, have a son, daughter-in-law and two beautiful and beloved grandchildren ages 7 and 5. They also live in Glynn County.

     Because Johnny is deeply and proudly rooted in Brunswick, he values the growth that is coming for our city. His goals as we grow include a clean, safe Brunswick that provides increased job opportunities.

     John values integrity as a necessary complement to his knowledge-base and experience. It has been said that Integrity involves consistency in actions and in values — that it is “doing the right thing for the right reasons even when staying the truest course isn’t easy.” John says Brunswick can count on his knowledge, specific experience and personal integrity during another term as North Ward commissioner.
 
Gary Bernard Cook
     Gary Cook was born and raised in Brunswick, and graduated from Brunswick High School. He studied Theology at Brewton-Parker College and substance Abuse Counseling at Clayton State College, and he worked with the Glynn County Commission on Children and Youth Alcohol and Drug Counseling.  He has also worked in retail for two decades.

     Gary's goal for the City of Brunswick is to see it eventually realize its potential, recognizing that there are a lot of challenges to overcome. His vision is to train and hire local citizens, so the city can, and will, prosper.
 

Zack L. Lyde 
     Zack was born June 24, 1939, in Brunswick and attended Risley schools in the segregated South. The best education, he says, a black male could receive. His wife, Gladys, is the only black female to serve on the Glynn County Board of Commissioners, ever. Zack served in the U.S. Army for 12 years and is a Vietnam Vet. He earned a degree in Organization Management Leadership when he was 80 years old.

      Zack is an environmental justice activist, and he signed on to the lawsuit with ACLU to prevent hatred from being enshrined in the Georgia Constitution against LGBTQ human beings.

     Zack says, “I HATE HATRED against anyone.”

     He organized against the federal government’s attempt to deny First Amendment rights during the G8 Summit held on Sea Island. He attended the U.N.’s World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001 and has worked with and for the NAACP since 1943. He has wept because of lynchings in Glynn County.

     Zack believes mass incarceration is anti-Christian and un-GODLY. His platform is to attack POVERTY with a vengeance and correct the death sentence imposed on all children. Eliminate Propaganda.


 
John D. Parry II
     John Davis Perry, II is campaigning as a visionary, results-driven thought leader who will be committed to fight for the health of our communities and the overall progress of our city. Perry holds a Doctorate in Christian Education coupled with over 20 years of community engagements, experience supervising staff and transforming organizational and educational environments. Perry also has experience in implementing effective social initiatives. 
 
     Perry believes that the government is called to work with its citizens to establish laws, policies and strategies that ensure safety and opportunities that are necessary to living healthy and holistic lives. 
 
     Once elected, Perry is committed to working with fellow commissioners to shape a united vision that speaks to the needs of our citizens and will work to drive a results-driven atmosphere. 
 
     Perry is the pastor of Mt. Sinai Church of Southeast Ga. He also serves as the president of the Brunswick Branch of the NAACP and is a member of the Environmental Justice Advisory Board. He has received countless awards such as the Winn-Dixie Good Citizen Award, Links Man of Distinction Award and has been selected as the Omega Psi Phi 2019 Political Individual of the Year. 
 
     Perry is committed to community and dedicated to positive change.
ENERGIZE FOR 2020: Annual banquet a roaring success
     Thanks to all of our volunteers, organizers and contributors, the 2019 annual banquet was a great success. There's nothing like getting together with almost 300 GlynnDems to give us hope for the future.

     Michael Dillon, first vice chairman, headed up the banquet committee with lots of help from Chairwoman Julie Jordan, First Vice-chairwoman Zena Martin and many more.

     We also had the opportunity to honor our super volunteers for their continued service to GlynnDems: Gladys Lyde, Betty McKenzie and Robert Morrissey.

     From staying late the night before the event to iron tablecloths to staying late after the event to clean up, the volunteers were the worker bees behind the scenes.
    

     With your help we have taken another step toward turning Glynn blue -- from the school board to the county commission to the tax commissioner's office. GlynnDems are committed to quality education, preserving the rights of all citizens and demanding openness in government and a clean environment.

     Thank you for your support! (See photos at bottom of this newsletter.)
Join us Oct. 28 for a special monthly meeting

     GlynnDems are committed to listening to the people of the county and working for their goals and aspirations. On Monday, Oct. 28, our general meeting will be an opportunity to voice your concerns and your priorities as we get ready to prepare for the 2020 elections.

     Join us as we conduct an open forum to find out about your burning issues.
  •      What: General monthly meeting
  •      When: 6:30 p.m., Monday Oct. 28
  •      Where: First United Methodist Church, 1400 Norwich St., Brunswick. Meet in the Miller building behind the main sanctuary. Enter from Wolfe Street.

Public meetings: Get involved

     Julian “Puddy” Smith is likely the best-informed Democrat in the county on the workings of the Glynn County Board of Commissioners. He attends nearly every meeting and open work session -- often without any Democratic companionship. Won't you please join Puddy as he keeps an eye on our elected officials?

     The Glynn County Board of Commissioners cancelled its September 5th regular meeting because of the approach of Hurricane Dorian and held a special-called meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at which it allowed no public comments. Instead, it spent nearly half an hour hearing a rambling report from a Coast Guard officer about the capsized car-carrier and asking soft questions. The commissioners then spent less than a minute approving 38 items by unanimous consent without any discussion.

     The BOC will hold its next meeting on Sept. 19, but no agenda has been posted. Chair Browning informed me that the agenda will be posted on Monday, Sept. 16.  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.


     Commissioner Peter Murphy’s Sept. 4 “town hall” meeting was also cancelled and has been rescheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at St. William Catholic Church, 2300 Frederica Rd., Saint Simons Island.


     The BOC will hold a work session on Sept. 17 at 2:00 PM in the Pate Building. The last item on that agenda is a “discussion regarding SPLOST 2020 projects.” No list of proposed projects is available.

     The IPC will meet at 6:00 PM on Sept. 17 in room 108 of the Casino on St. Simons Island to consider site plan approval of a beachfront “two-family dwelling unit” with a legal total of four “sleeping rooms”—but no floor plans have been supplied to the IPC, which means we have no way of knowing how many beds can be crowded into this duplex.   
Photos from ENERGIZE 2020

State party releases delegate selection process for 2020

   The Democratic Party of Georgia on Sept. 13, 2019, announced its selection plan for choosing delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

     ATLANTA – Today the Democratic Party of Georgia officially begins implementation of Georgia’s delegate selection plan for the Democratic National Convention. 
     “For the first time in decades, Georgia is a true battleground state as our delegation heads to the national convention,” said Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Our state’s voters represent the future of the nation and the Democratic Party, and I look forward to bringing a diverse and inclusive delegation to Milwaukee to nominate and elect our next President.”
     “As our delegate selection process begins, we are committed to ensuring that Georgia’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention truly represents our state’s diversity,”  said Dominick Perkins, Affirmative Action Committee Chair. “I am proud of our team’s work to ensure that our delegate selection process is open to everyone, and know our delegation will represent the best of Georgia.” 

  •  The general components of the plan are as follows: 

  • Georgia is allocated 129 delegates, nine of whom will be alternates.

  • 68 district level delegates will be elected within the delegates’ congressional district on March 29, 2020. There are no district level alternates.

  • 14 Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEOs) will be elected by the 68 district level delegates on April 18, 2020 at a central location in the state.

  • On May 16, 2020, 23 at-large delegates and nine alternates will be elected by a quorum of the State Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

     The Democratic Party of Georgia will implement a robust effort to make sure that all communities are represented in Georgia’s delegation, and will hold delegate selection trainings throughout fall 2020 in each of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts. 

     Additional information, including the full plan, is available here

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