SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 38th Annual MLK Business and Community Unity Brunch. This year's keynote speaker was Dr. Cheryl Dozier, the President of Savannah State University.
If you've ever heard Dr. Dozier speak, you know how inspiring she can be, but on Saturday she out did herself. She delivered a message of hope and empowerment, saying we all have the ability, and more importantly, the responsibility to effect change to make our lives and our community better for those who will follow us.
Dr. Dozier's address followed a call to action that came earlier in the program. The call came from Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach. The mayor's newest battle on the fight against escalating crime in our communities is trying to alleviate blight: abandoned, rundown homes that are no longer maintained or under anyone's care.
Thousands of these homes exist in perfectly fine neighborhoods. But these blighted homes quickly become hotbeds of criminal activities and drug users. You'd think solving the problem of blighted homes would be an easy solution, but it's not due to Georgia's eminent domain law.
Under the current law, a home needs to be abandoned for 20 years before the city can take action to either fix the home or destroy it.
That's why the Mayor and a delegation from the city went to Atlanta last week to petition the state legislature to change that law.
Consider this: The mayor needs help from all us to lobby our state representatives to change this law. Now. It's an easy fix to a complicated problem that affects all of us. As Dr. Dozier told us on Saturday change comes from those who believe they can make a difference.
Now is your time to do just that.