What is your current involvement with Gamaliel?
I’m working with the Safe Neighborhoods taskforce of ABLE (Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment).
How did you get involved originally?
I connected with ABLE through my church, First Afrikan Presbyterian, in 1998. My initial concern and interest was the poor physical maintenance of schools in DeKalb County.
The executive director of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board, ACRB, recently thanked ABLE for its work to pass the legislation enabling the Board. What was your role in making that happen?
My role in the ACRB legislation was to coordinate with Executive Director Samuel Lee Reid to improve citizen turnout at Atlanta City Council meetings as the legislation was presented and reviewed. Director Reid did a great job of communicating and informing us of dates and times he needed support from citizens.
What are you hoping will result from this change?
The amended legislation gives the Review Board more teeth to hold law enforcement accountable. Prior to this amendment, the Atlanta Police Chief had to approve any findings by the Board, which allowed the police department to self-select how they policed themselves.
What are you working on now?
We plan to apply the lessons learned from the Atlanta Citizen Review Board to development of a Citizens Review Board in DeKalb County. We need to agree on the approach, identify allies in this effort, and develop an agreed-upon timeline.
I plan to assist ABLE in growing to critical mass and develop leaders to assist in the work we are doing. We are missing a great opportunity to develop our young people who are passionate about change in politics.
How do you want people to view you as a leader?
I've been in a leadership role since starting as a varsity quarterback as a sophomore at age 15. In 1974 I enrolled at Georgia Tech on a football scholarship. I played corner and safety (in back-up roles) through 1978.There were some 65 Afrikan-American students of the then-9,000 students on campus in 1974. My black (Afrikan American) Ga. Tech classmates and myself experienced direct and systemic racism from day-one.
I began working for a technology firm from 1990 as an Operations Manager and transitioned into Project Management as the Internet age began, and ultimately became a vice president in Information Technology for a financial services company.