Perkins encourages African American participation
Citing former Mayor Yvonne Johnson as his wise, long time mentor, Greensboro City Council member-at large Robbie Perkins elaborated on his consistent championing of the African American community, which will serve him in good stead when he likely will decide next year to run for Mayor himself.
“It’s the next logical step,” [Perkins]…stated after he detailed specific community contributions he’s initiated over the years.
…Perkins, along with Council member T. Dianne Bellamy Small, was the driving force behind the Council’s decision to keep funding the Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE)…“I think that people are missing the point,” Perkins pointed out…and clarified what some nay-sayers on the Council considered unnecessary.
...Mentioning support from fellow Council members T. Dianne Bellamy-Small and Jim Kee, a disparity study conducted by an independent agency will serve as an MWBE report card…on achieving its objectives and seeing “that we’re doing the job.”
“Innovative, fair minded and with a high degree of integrity,” were accolades ascribed to City Manager Rashad Young, which Perkins has “full confidence,” as should the African American community. Describing Young as an “outstanding strategic thinker,” Perkins praised Young’s plan “to change the culture within the organization of the city to serve our customers at a high level.”
…[Perkins] was one of the most ardent supporters of the Gateway Center for Engineering and Nano Technology.
…He’s excited about their already-completed $22 million building which houses joint scientific projects between A&T and UNCG…
In order to protect its interests, the African American community can gain from following these civic matters and “be aware of what goes on in City Hall.” in Perkins words. “Essentially the same” is what he sees moreover as the interests of this community and those of the overall community, “with priorities of job creation...as Number one, and Number one A is public safety.”
The first thing Perkins wants to impress on the African American community is that he’s someone who listens to them, takes time to understand their issues and works “to ensure they’re treated fairly.” The second thing is that he wants to create jobs. “Jobs, jobs, jobs!
I’m talking about job creation all over Greensboro.” The third thing is that he “wants to make sure Greensboro is a progressive city for all and that everyone has a seat at the table.”
…Perkins believes that the African American community needs to stay involved in the issues. “We have a city that needs to be brought together, not divided apart...we have to embrace diversity and understand other peoples and other cultures in order to thrive. We cannot do that if we have our heads in the sand.”
Carolina Peacemaker, 6/30/2010