"Black U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell Accepts 'Black Lives Matter' Request During Atlanta's Juneteenth At Burned Wendy's"
S.E. Region News article published 6/20/20
Amidst the grief and civil unquiet, a moment of positive resolve was captured at yesterday's Juneteenth happenings at the burned Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks' life ended.
That moment emerged from the efforts of a group of committed clergy at-large and other civic leaders under the banner of F.R.E.D. (Faith-Based Response to Emergency Disaster) and the "Save Our City" Coalition to hold a news conference led by Rev. Darryl Winston at the site. U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell -- a guest speaker at the news conference -- supported the Coalition's engagement with the Black Lives Matter members onsite, who earlier had rejected members of the press being present.
In the verbal interactions that ensued between the Black Lives Matter members onsite at the burned Wendy's and the F.R.E.D. "Save Our City" Coalition, Bartell got introduced as a U.S. Senate Candidate to the group, as Black Lives Matter group leaders articulated the barriers to change they saw in the governmental process. Opposed to the news conference taking place initially, the Black Lives Matter supporters onsite gradually aligned with the "Save Our City" Coalition doing a shortened press-like event, with the condition that the Coalition ensure their concerns were expressed on-camera.
Remaining with the Black Lives Matter stakeholders, Bartell continued to listen and answer their questions, as impromptu preparations began swiftly by Rev. Winston and Coalition members with an independent media team onsite.
The ensuing adapted, improvised news conference blended in with those gathering at the burned Wendy's on Juneteenth amongst an ongoing, steady flow of cars, motorcades, and visitors on-foot. Within a few feet of the clergy and civic Coalition, a yellow chalk rectangle was drawn on the parking lot concrete.
Inside the chalk rectangle were written the words, "Rayshard, We Got It From Here".
After the short yet impassioned news conference remarks, evoked through reporter-style Q&A by black news reporter pioneer/Emmy award winner Maynard Eaton, Bartell walked back over to speak one-on-one with Black Lives Matter stakeholders at length. The conversations returned with laser-like focus to the issue of reparations. By the time the conversations had concluded, U.S. Senate Candidate Al Bartell accepted the request of the Black Lives Matter group to, if elected, introduce reparations legislation.
A moment of positive resolve.
"There is a lot of statistical research that has to be done," acknowledges Bartell. "But we now have the quantitative technology in the 21st century to bring that research forward.
"We can quantify 400 years of black contribution to the American economy. The professional and academic statistical community has several models that can be made available to
perform this kind of far-reaching scope of research.
"We have the technology. We have the strategy. What's been missing, is the type of leadership that can make the kind of difference that's so urgently needed.
"If I get elected, as a United States Senator, I can ensure these kinds of issues, and the data from the research we know can be compiled, get included inside the decision-making process of government, specifically, inside the Committees of the United States Senate,
and the Departments of our Federal Government.
"The governmental control of cities -- our urban centers -- across our country -- has been the accountability of black leaders for some time. The issue is not about white folks. It is about leadership. We must have a change in leadership. We must have a different style of leadership. People respond differently -- to a different style of leadership.
"Regardless of partisan conflict, I have the credibility over the past thirty years, as a public policy leader, with a balanced approach to events, situations, and issues.
"I am interested in providing that style of leadership in the dawn of the 21st century. I accept the challenge of bipartisanship brought forward by our recently retired Sen. Johnny Isakson.
"I am running as a Candidate in the 2020 U.S. Senate Special Election to serve the people of Georgia, if they elect me, to fill out the remainder of Sen. Isakson's term, come November 3, 2020 -- and ensure that neighborhood leaders, community leaders, faith leaders, and small business leaders are included in the decision-making process of government
to the same degree as lobbyists, special interest groups, and corporations."