Nice Is Not Enough
The District 3 Commission race should not be a popularity contest. We’re fortunate to have four attractive candidates (too bad, District 7), but the vote should not be based on whether one of them, Melissa Link, is a nice enough person. Sure, “nice” goes a long way, but it’s not enough. We need commissioners who will stand up for progressive ideas against a mayor who is smothering our Athens with a grandmotherly smile and a wink at her developer friends. We are highly likely to get four more years of developer-run government with the re-election of Mayor Denson pretty much assured, and we will desperately need a counterbalance in the form of commissioners who won’t roll over and play nice for the mayor and her cronies.
That’s what the District 3 election should be about, and that’s the biggest criterion to consider. It’s not about nice. It’s about the ability to dig up facts and the willingness to raise hell when necessary. That’s what we should be considering. The commission already has enough members who play well with mayors.
Speaking of which, if by some political long-shot Tim Denson should get himself elected mayor, this whole situation would be turned on its head. Instead of a mayor who blocks all progressive initiatives, we would have a mayor who would be so progressive that the commission would have to wake up and start actually functioning and dealing with all the items suddenly on the agenda. Think of it: A mayor who represents the people; the commission could do that, too. Then we’d have, like, representative government right here in River City.
Now, More Than Ever
Didn’t you think the Human Rights Festival would go out of style as a kind of throwback to the bad old times of racial prejudice, voting-rights suppression, gay-bashing, discrimination against women, warmongering, etc.? Not in the least. Unfortunately, the issues addressed by the Human Rights Festival are just as prevalent and just as crucial as ever, after 36 years and counting.
The Human Rights Festival will gather on College Square again this Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4 and will as always feature speakers interspersed with musicians. Through the years this formula has brought us prominent activists from across the country and around town with a who’s who of local musicians donating their time and talents. This year will bring more of the same to this DIY, non-corporate event, where the organizers always clean up after it’s over and leave a small footprint but a big impression.
Harold Williams, the world’s most popular saxophone-playing CPA, is back home after a return to Shepherd Center in Atlanta. I haven’t heard from him since he’s been back but hope to see him this week and will report if I do. Meanwhile, his friends are holding the Harold Williams Benefit Golf Tournament to raise money for a van to help Harold get around while he’s paralyzed from that fall in his office. They’ll be out at the UGA course Monday, May 5. It’s too late to sign up, but for information on the tournament or to contribute, call tournament organizer Charlie Maddox at 706-340-4321. He might even be able to squeeze you in. There are the usual rumors of a surprise guest.
Premiere at Ciné
Colby Bachiller informs us that as a senior mass media arts student at UGA she is the producer of the short film, The Sophomore, which premieres at Ciné Thursday evening, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. The Sophomore is about “a college student who tries to find purpose in life amidst an underwhelming avalanche of mediocrity.” The film is directed by Evan Simmons, who wrote the story, and it involves 24 crew members—apparently a record for a Grady College film production.