Wow...Thank You Delegates

 

 What is delegation day? It’s an opportunity for citizens to speak with Chatham County Delegates and express concerns, hopefully bringing these issues to the Georgia General Assembly. Unfortunately, it’s closed to the press and public. We only had 15 minutes.

After a Span the Gap volunteer spoke about this year’s efforts representing Savannah’s outcry about the bridge name, our representatives gave confusing advice or said nothing at all.

The representatives: Bill Hitchens, Carl Gilliard, Ron Stephens, Jesse Petrea, Ben Watson.

Craig Gordon and Lester Jackson both walked in late missing our speech. Mickey Stephens was not there.

Petrea, responded: ”What you ladies don’t seem to understand, it’s a slippery slope. If we change the bridge name, where do you draw the line?”

Mr. Petrea, are you telling all the multiple organizations and individuals from the last 25 years who wanted the racist name off the bridge, that it’s slippery?

This year’s efforts by Team Span the Gap include:

  • An online survey regarding the bridge name; sponsored by local businesses.1200 people voted. The survey was nonpartisan, leaving it up to the community to keep the name or choose another. Then, the team formed a petition to change the name from Eugene Talmadge to the voter’s choice: The Tomochichi Bridge, receiving close to 1000 signatures in the last few weeks.

  • Also sponsored by local businesses, an art exhibit including 25 local Savannah artists. The show brought in hundreds of people to celebrate the bridge’s 25th anniversary.

  • The group received a great deal of coverage including Connect Savannah, Do Savannah, The Examiner and ABC - WJCL.

  • Team Span the Gap spoke with local politicians, ministers, teachers, businesses, students, etc. - keeping the community informed in person or on the Facebook page. The founder was a panelist at a Monday Means Community meeting hosted by Emergent Savannah.

There are 16 roads, buildings, statues and a lake named after Talmadge.

Do we really need another, especially our modern bridge?

Petrea, in your piece, Make Georgia’s parole process more open, you wrote something really ironic after your comments to us. “Almost always government decisions should be open to the public. This process needs sunlight. Furthermore, this bill shifts more influence to local communities and their elected DA’s and judges. Their voices should be heard.”

Thousands of people want the bridge renamed. Hear them!

Ben Watson’s only question was, “Did anyone talk with Lynda Talmadge?”

We took this question to mean that we sit down with Herman Talmadge’s third wife and widow to discuss renaming the bridge. A woman that lives 223 miles away from Savannah. The woman who married a man that said, “God advocates segregation.”

Puzzling. Does the Talmadge family have more influence on you than the city of Savannah?

We read about the Talmadge grandsons pistol whipping a pizza delivery man, shoving politicians against the wall in Atlanta, threatening them after the Chatham County delegation brought up renaming the bridge a few years ago.

A visit to the Talmadge homestead? Hmmm? We’re not in the mood to get pistol whipped.

Thank you to those representative who sat there and said nothing....very helpful.

And Mr. Petrea, while in the waiting room, your words to me, “Sweetie, get me a glass of water.”

Not only is this insulting, it reveals your tone deafness to your constituent’s issues and your blatant sexism.

 

1200 people took the survey! Close to a thousand have signed the petition.

Thank you delegates, you just ignored A LOT of people.

Ladies & Gentlemen, these are your elected representatives. Thank them.

 

Lisa D. Watson  

Founder - Span the Gap

  

My Top 3 List of Simple Ways to Be Green by LDW

I’m going to start by saying I cannot believe that in 2015, I have to make this list. 

I get it, you forgot your reusable bags at home. 

NO!  I DON’T GET IT!  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I’ve been doing all this stuff for 35 years; it’s totally second nature to me. I seriously cannot take it anymore and I’m about to explode with frustration! 

Please recycle my irritated parts...

 

# fricken 1: RECYCLE. 

 

Oh yes California, people don’t recycle and they're not teaching their children about sustainability.  Yay! 

Like my friend Linda, I’ll carry a plastic bottle with me on 2 flights, 2 airports and a taxi ride, till I see the illustrious recycling symbol. Every little item counts.

*Paper (junk mail, office, receipts)

*Cardboard (boxes, dry and frozen food boxes, beverage holders)

*Aluminum and tin cans

*Glass Bottles

*Plastic (beverage bottles, plastic bags [at grocery stores], plastic etc.

*Donate your stuff (furniture, clothing, paint, books, etc)

...the list goes on, but this enough to get you started.

Please don’t whimper, “But I don’t have curbside recycling.”

Collect the above items, drive to your recycling facility and shut up. I did it for years.

 

#2: KEEP YOUR REUSABLE BAGS IN THE CAR OR CARRY THEM WITH YOU.

 

Do you really want a drawer full of plastic bags? I see 20-somethings put one item in a plastic bag at the checkout register; breaks my heart. “Help me Obi-Wan Millennials, you’re my only hope.” My 85 year old mother brings her cloth bags to the store. You’re 25!

Each year the US uses approximately 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring approximately 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil. 

Ugh! 

“Only if someone would invent a reusable cloth bag.”

They did! Hundreds of years ago! 

 

#3: SAVE WATER!

 

It’s only a matter of time we’ll be strapping a guitarist to our war machines and fighting for a glass of liquid life; Mad Max plug...the new movie is awesome BTW.

*Don’t leave water running while brushing teeth, washing dishes or your car.

*Don’t get a glass of water at the restaurant if you’re not going to drink it. Not only did you waste 16 oz. of water and ice, they have to wash it.

*Xeriscape your garden. Last year, I watered my front yard one time.

*And, let the yellow mellow. Just do it.

 

I haven’t given up hope yet. I know many people who are doing all of the above. 

It’s you I’m reprimanding; YOU, squirming in your lack of consciousness while leaving a smelly footprint on this planet. 

Be green, it’s empowering and I will stop giving you the stink eye. 

 

More green ideas next month!