From Sherri Jackson of The Cenla Light, we learn:
Mayor Jacques Roy participated in the (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) parade but didn’t attend the program. Sykes said an apparent mix-up resulted in Roy’s name not being on the program. Several people, including the Rev. Joe S. Green, tried to get Roy to come in to the program, but he didn’t come.
I didn’t attend the parade or the prayer breakfast, but my sources say that Ms. Jackson’s reporting is, well, a little light, if you will. The Mayor didn’t attend the program, because he wasn’t on the program. Simple as that. It would have been inappropriate to wedge himself into a program, and even though many people were offended by the exclusion, including at least one person on the program who threatened to leave, the event was about honoring the life’s work of Martin Luther King, Jr., not about politics.
At least it should have been.
We’ve both said the same thing. The Mayor didn’t attend the program because his name was not on the printed program.
I appreciate your comment, Sherri, and, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of what you are doing on CenlaLight and EverythingCenla. We need more independent, local journalists, like yourself.
So, let me be clear about the problem I have, and I say this with a deep respect for your profession and your paper:
Reverend Joe Green is listed as a charter member of Revitalizing Our Community (or R.O.C.), a political action committee that (I’ve heard from more than one former member) was created, in large part, to oppose Mayor Roy. In fact, one former member distributed a letter to various members of the local media that spelled out both the key players and the true mission of R.O.C. None of the members listed in this letter have ever publicly denied or repudiated it.
Sibal Holt, who advertises in your paper and on your website, was the keynote speaker at this event. In her speech, she spoke about hearing a Reverend from another City talk about how Alexandrians were being deceived by their political leadership. She said people didn’t have access to basic information about bids and other services and that neighborhoods didn’t have control over decisions about development.
That is ridiculous.
I don’t claim to be a journalist. I don’t own a newspaper. But if I were and if I did, I would immediately look into whether or not Ms. Holt has ever conducted business with the City. I would request any and all communication between Ms. Holt and the City. And if, in fact, she did have contracts to perform work for the City, then I’d request information about how much she was paid and, if possible, I’d also want to know how many small, emerging, minority-owned, or women-owned businesses with which she subcontracted.
I’m just saying: That would be my line of questioning.
While I was at it, I would also look at the development of the Alsace-Lorraine subdivision, because in the documentary “Black in Alexandria,” Ms. Holt definitely makes it look like she was responsible for it– or, at the least, she implies she was partially responsible.
And then after researching all of this, I’d probably be compelled to ask the Mayor for a response to the claims made by Reverend Green, when he suggested that the Mayor refused his own personal invitation to join the event.
I’d ask him specifically about what Reverend Green said.
Granted, it would be difficult for me if Ms. Holt and Reverend Green were close friends, advertisers, and colleagues of mine.
With all of that said, despite what someone said on Mr. Aymond’s blog, I don’t believe it is “unprofessional” for me to express my own opinions on local politics. I love the City of Alexandria. I believe in its future, and I believe in our Mayor. I know where his heart is; I know what his priorities are; I know what he is doing, every single day, to improve his hometown. I wasn’t hired to be neutral about the City. I was hired to work for the City as an unclassified employee, to be passionate about the future of our City. When people lie about the Mayor’s intent and if no one else stands up, then I will stand up to liars and deceivers.
There is no doubt that Sibal Holt of S Holt Construction is an advertiser, and the Rev. Joe Green is my pastor. There are no secrets there.
I was simply informing the public that the mayor did not attend the event, which was a bit strange, especially since he marched in the parade. Whether or not his name was on the program because of a mistake, we will never know because we can’t read the minds of those who put the program together.
All I know is that the mayor did not attend the program.
Regarding talking to the mayor, I have requested through him and Ken Juneau for a one-on-one sit down with the mayor. At the last city council meeting, I reminded Ken of my request. The mayor told me he would get with Ken to discuss. The ball is now in their court. I will not beg them for an interview.
Thanks for the comment, Sherri.
I didn’t realize Rev. Green was also your pastor.