On Thursday, May 17, just one week before local qualifying of political offices in Macon and Bibb County, Danny Glover abruptly stepped down as chairman of the Bibb County Democratic Party after holding that position for less than four months.
Glover, 24, says that he faced resistance from some Democrats that could be considered the ‘old guard’–the majority of the executive committee– who Glover believed did not want to give younger Democrats with a different perspective on certain issues a seat at the table.
After Glover’s resignation, Sarah Mincey Hunt was named as interim chairperson of the Bibb County Democratic Party.
Glover maintained that he had a vision for the local organization after replacing Daryl Morton, the former chairman who stayed for a year.
“When I became chairman, I wanted to mix the two ideologies of having the wisdom of the past with the energy of the youth of today,” Glover said. “Without that, the party is going to stay stagnant.”
Glover is right to say that young people bring energy to the party and furthermore, the strength of the youth vote helped to propel President Barack Obama to the White House in 2008.
However, the perceived ‘old guard’ in the Democratic Party here in Bibb County isn’t the reason why the HOPE scholarship and public education funding were cut or the unemployment rate has hovered around 10 percent in Bibb for a few years or why there are lingering issues about government employee pensions here in Bibb being under-funded.
Republicans such as Allen Peake and some in the local media have used the ‘old guard’ narrative in an effort to perpetuate cynicism among the general public, but has targeted younger African-Americans who may be frustrated about the political process and/or have political ambitions.
‘Old school’ or ‘old guard’ Democrats in Bibb County have a willingness to work with younger Democrats. However, agreeing with Republicans on issues such as consolidation that will have a negative impact on the local community will draw constructive criticism from progressive Democrats who have witnessed conservative obstructionism over the years.
Right now, Republicans control the General Assembly and are very close to having a ‘super-majority’ and now more than ever, Bibb County needs progressive leadership front and center.
“I felt like my leadership is not what they were looking for,” says Glover.
Glover, a strong Obama supporter wanted a ‘big tent’ party which was more inclusive.
“I wanted to mirror the national party, to make the party more diverse and get more people. But I’m not going to continue to fight to get people to do the right thing if they’re not going to do the right thing.”
Glover is capable of providing leadership, but accentuating the generational gap as the prevailing reason why he is stepping down along with touting the perceived dissing of younger Democrats in general is a little disingenuous.
There is a level of cynicism out there which is misplaced. One must consider what has happened on the state level over the past decade since former Governor Sonny Perdue–a Republican– came into power in 2003 along with Nathan Deal in 2010.
Georgia Republicans’ policies have had more of a negative impact on local government moreso than the perceived generational divide among Bibb Democrats.
What are Mr. Glover’s thoughts about the HOPE scholarship being cut by Allen Peake, Bubber Epps and other Republicans? Or what are Mr. Glover’s thoughts about Governor Deal’s efforts to privatize the criminal justice system and how does affect young black kids in particular?
I would like to hear more of an in-depth explanation from Mr. Glover about why he believes the “Stand Your Ground law” should be struck down.
Locally, there were lines of people around various Macon black churches back in December 2011 in regard to energy assistance. Fortunately, this past winter was much milder and at times spring-like.
However, the Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council had temporarily suspended the commencement of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program due to lack of funds. Fortunately, after about two weeks, the program was re-started in January.
Jimmie Samuel, the agency’s executive director had explained this was a phenomenon happening across the state because Congress had yet to pass a budget allocating the funds at the state level.
This is not the time for acrimony in the Bibb County Democratic Party, but coming together for a common purpose.
The former Southwest High School and Tennessee State graduate was seen by some as an emerging leader who wanted to bring new ideas to the table. However, Glover’s viewpoints on Macon-Bibb consolidation apparently became a sticking point.
During a MLK/Robert Brown Symposium in mid-March forum at the Douglass Theatre , Glover attempted to cite Jacksonville, Florida as an example of why HB-1171 can be a good model of consolidation for Macon and Bibb County to follow.
Consolidation has its critics and it is seen as ‘political power grab’ by local Republicans –led by Rep. Allen Peake– in order to dilute the electoral impact of African-Americans in Bibb County.
According to the Macon Telegraph, ….“Glover pointed to Jacksonville, Fla., a consolidated government that he said lowered taxes by 23 percent within the five years of Jacksonville and Duval County unifying. Glover said that with blacks making up more than half the local population, dilution of black influence shouldn’t be an issue. He noted that blacks have influence in consolidated cities such as Nashville, Tenn., which has a lower black percentage than Macon….”
Glover expressed that the “dilution of black influence shouldn’t be an issue”. However, the issue is not about influence, but proportional representation and the continuing efforts by conservatives to undermine the Voting Rights Act along with dismantling the legal gains from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s.
Jacksonville and Duval County consolidated in 1968– a few short years after the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
This Florida consolidation effort wasn’t about government efficiency or austerity, but more of a pre-emptive effort to restrict the electoral impact of African-Americans in local government and for local Dixiecrats to maintain control despite Jacksonville having a majority-minority population at the time.
It is worth noting that the city of Jacksonville didn’t elect the first African-American mayor until 2011.
Glover tells the Macon Telegraph: “I’ve had the same opinion about (Macon-Bibb) consolidation that I’ve had since last June,” Glover said. “Of course, I support it.”
I don’t doubt that Glover supports President Obama, but how can a Democrat publicly support this particular consolidation legislation which is mostly the brainchild of Republican Allen Peake, who attempted to keep Obama off Georgia’s 2012 presidential ballot in an effort to question his citizenship status?
Former state Rep. David Lucas filed an objection with U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, May 15, to the nine proposed city commission districts which is part of the Macon-Bibb County consolidation legislation, HB-1171.