We Are Way Past Due to Elect Candidates Representing Our Interests

They Still Run Atlanta - The Westside GazetteBy Lucius Gantt

     The 2024 United States election campaigns for federal, state, and local races have already begun. There will be Black candidates running for office but most Black Americans will continue to run for their political lives!

      Originally, I had planned to put columns like today’s column in my upcoming book but the interest of Black media owners to work with independent Black writers and broadcasters has dwindled.

        God needs to send us more fearless writers like Frances Cress Welsing, Ida B. Wells, Imamu Baraka, Countee Cullen, Alice Walker, and Carter G. Woodson.

       I feel this particular column is important because the elections of public officials in this day and time are really important and our people need to know the truth.

        If you look and listen very closely, Black and white candidates both talk loud and say little or nothing, to paraphrase The Godfather James Brown.

        Their literature is the same, the print and the broadcast ads are basically similar. If you took the photos off their political literature you couldn’t tell whose ads belonged to Black candidates because they all present the political messages they are told, or ordered, to present to voters.

        Anyway, no matter what you hear about economic development, affordable housing, criminal justice, health care, HBCUs, voting rights, and other political proposals you desire, one elected official can’t get much of anything done without vote support from others in governmental bodies.

        So, what can Black elected officials do?

        Well, the first thing Black elected officials can do is hire people that look like their constituents.

        You tell me, if a Black candidate is running in a Black district composed of 70, 80, or 90% Black registered voters, why would that candidate hire consultants from the trailer park to tell Black candidates how to influence and turn out Black voters in the ‘hood?

       Secondly, Black elected officials should demand that Black businesses be allowed to participate in more government purchasing transactions. I’m not suggesting that governments take contracts from whites and give them to Blacks. I think the jobs that Blacks do most and do best should be done by Black contractors and Black workers.

      Can I give you an example? Yes, I can!

      My good friend Elgin Jones told me Blacks are better at washing and detailing cars.

       Every government, federal, state, and local, has a fleet of vehicles including police cars, garbage trucks, and other vehicles. Big cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta have thousands of vehicles that are regularly cleaned; if a Black man or woman had contracts to clean the government’s vehicles, they could have million-dollar government contracts.

       If you don’t know, the Number One travel advisor in the world is a Black woman. Why can’t the top travel advisor get government travel contracts? If a Black travel agency just did travel for HBCUs like FAMU, Albany State, and other state government schools, it would benefit Black travel agencies. Just getting buses for athletic teams that have Black players for a year would be a big boost for a Black travel business.

       Every government has cafeterias and snack bars where employees can eat and drink. Why can’t there be Black-run food places in government buildings that can hire Black food service workers?

        I can go on and on, but I try to make TGR brief and to the point.

       It’s no secret, the best politicians are not the ones that change a lot of streets and building names or give proclamations to rappers, the best-elected officials are the ones that get government dollars spent in their districts and their communities!

       Most Black elected officials are happy. They are happy to be called Mayor, Legislator, or Congressman.

        The happiest Black elected officials are the ones who demanded things like Black participation in billion-dollar government projects like airports. You’ve heard of elected officials like Maynard Jackson, Harold Washington, or Marion Barry.

       If they could get Black businessmen and women huge government contracts, why can’t your elected officials get you contracts too?

       There are some Black men and women who know how to move legislation that will truly benefit Black communities. I pray for the day in America when we realize we all have a role in Black progress and we all should work together to accomplish our business, personal, and political goals.

        The only task government officials are required to do is to appropriate and allocate government dollars.

        We need government, and campaign, dollars allocated to Black businesses and individuals now!

    Contact Lucious Gannt at lgantt45@gmail.com

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