Newly-Elected Athens Leaders Attend Post-Election Celebration and Panel Discussion

May 31, 2018

Several newly-elected candidates turning out for a post-election party at Hendershots hosted by the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement. President and Co-founder Mokah Jasmine Johnson says she’s encouraged by Clarke County now having three African-Americans on the commission.

Newly elected Athens leaders, Left to right, organizer, Mokah Jasmine Johnson, Mayor-elect Kelly Girtz, District 7 Commissioner-elect Russell Edwards, District 3 Commissioner Melissa link, District 2 Commissioner-elect Mariah Parker.
Credit John Slights

“It’s historical, we’re excited,” Johnson said. “I mean as far as our organization, we want to see more diversity. “That’s what we’re pushing for, more diversity and inclusion and we’re encouraging more African-Americans to get up, get out and vote.”

Mayor-elect Kelly Girtz is already working with commissioners.

“So I’ve begun having conversations with the incoming commissioners as well as the returning commissioners,” Girtz said. “I want to make sure that we’re all discussing the coming years with each other… so that we really hit the ground running in January.”

New Commissioners Mariah Parker and Russell Edwards also took part in the panel discussion and question and answer session.

"That's what we're pushing for, more diversity and inclusion and we're encouraging more African-Americans to get up, get out and vote."

“I’m actually sworn in next Tuesday,” Parker said. “Mostly, I’ve been meeting with community leaders, folks who haven’t really been looped in fully to the political process previously but have a lot of political insight and connection.”

Edwards has similar plans.

“I hope, in the next few months, to gain more understanding of my constituency in district 7, and build more relationships.”

Returning Commissioner Melissa Link also took part in the event.

Democratic candidate for the 10th Congressional district, Tabitha Johnson-Green was not able to attend the session.