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Editorial: Who will be able to run the relay race?

Editorial: Who will be able to run the relay race?
February 09
04:40 2017

Walter Marshall is not running for re-election in 2018. He has served nearly 20 years so far on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. He is 73 and feels it’s time to retire when his current term ends.

Marshall is a testament to the political process, how it should work. He caught the attention of trailblazers in the black community “because of his studious nature in learning about government and his willingness to speak out for what he believed,” so they asked him to run for office, The Chronicle’s Todd Luck reported last week.

Marshall was not out in the street as a hoodlum making trouble, but he spoke out when he believed he needed to, as he does now. He was noticed for the right reasons.

Trailblazers such as civil rights attorney Julius Chambers and County Commissioner Mazie Woodruff helped Marshall. Woodruff – the first African American elected as a Forsyth commission-er – wanted Marshall to succeed her. The local Democratic party then picked him to take her seat, Luck reported.

Leaders should identify up-and-coming leaders and encourage them to become part of the political process so that voters can have good choices for office holders among those who run for office. Failing to do so could result in something similar to our present-day dilemma: a President Donald Trump.

Now, as Marshall continues to govern on the County Board of Commissioners, it’s time to start preparing someone to take his place. In these days, candidates are encouraged to start working at least a year before they actually file to run for office. Look at Barack Obama and other office holders. 2018 is not that far away.

In fact, look at City Council Member Denise “D.D.” Adams of the North Ward. She has announced that in 2018, she will be running for the 5th Congressional District seat now held by Virginia Foxx. The Fifth District covers parts of 11 northwestern North Carolina counties, including all of Forsyth, and runs to Watauga County on the Tennessee border.

Forsyth County, a strong Democratic county, was not all in the 5th District until this year after court-ordered redistricting of congressional districts. Forsyth County was in the 12th District, where Alma Adams is the representative. Alma Adams spoiled us with her strong constituent services. She apparently knows her district and works to help the people there and fights for the people when she sees it is needed. That’s governing at its best.

Denise “D.D.” Adams is now serving her third term on the Winston-Salem City Council. She will remain on the council during her campaign because her council seat will not be on the 2018 ballot, she says.

Adams was reared in Winston-Salem and graduated from East Forsyth High School. She was able to find work in the area and retired from Johnson Controls in 2013.

Well, that’s what the American Dream used to be. Go to college, get a good job in your hometown and retire in the same area. At least Adams was able to live what is called the American Dream, and now she wants to give back at a higher level. Thank God there are still people who want to serve in government.

When the word about an elementary school in Winston-Salem that had such poor reading scores that its name was changed came out, it was a very sad day for the black community in Winston-Salem. But not just for the black community; it was a sad day for America. It made one think of slavery, when the Master didn’t want us to read because he knew how powerful that would make black people. Now that we have the freedom to read, our children are not doing it at the proper level.

If the children can’t read, who will be our leaders of tomorrow? Who will be able to run to take the place of Walter Marshall? Who will be able to take the place of Denise “D.D.” Adams when she moves out of her North Ward seat? Who will be able to run the relay race?

This is Black History Month, a great time to think about the answers to those questions and act.

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