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GOV_jabari-simama

Jabari Simama

Contributor

Jabari Simama is an education and government consultant and a senior fellow with the Center for Digital Government. He served two terms on the Atlanta City Council, from 1987 to 1994; as deputy chief operating officer and chief of staff for DeKalb County, Ga., from 2009 to 2012; and as president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College from 2012 to 2018.

Simama received his bachelor's degree from the University of Bridgeport, his master's degree from Atlanta University and his Ph.D. from Emory University. He is the author of Civil Rights to Cyber Rights: Broadband & Digital Equality in the Age of Obama, published in 2009, and has been a columnist for Creative Loafing and Southwest Atlanta magazine and a feature writer for Atlanta magazine. He blogs at Jabari Simama Speaks.

Things will not get better if those of us who see what is going down give in to fear. There are things elected officials and the public in general can do to safeguard our bedrock principles.
The standoff between Chicago’s mayor and teachers’ union is raising issues ranging from the effective use of federal funding to how much we really care about our front-line workers.
It’s important to provide efficient services and develop sustainable-wage economies, but it’s crucial to bring residents together in a common bond.
As the giving holidays remind us, too many Americans must work for paltry wages and face high costs of housing or homelessness. Elected officials need to pay attention to the real needs of the people who can’t shower them with campaign contributions.
Too many lives that could be turned around are being wasted. We should be reforming and rehabilitating the people we lock away, giving them the opportunity to become productive citizens.
Moderate and centrist Democrats who triumphed in the recent mayoral elections have been too quick to adopt Republican attack points, particularly when it comes to calls for reforming policing.
When it comes to pro sports, public officials are constantly dealing with issues from social equity to neighborhood development to taxpayer subsidies. Nothing illustrates these issues better than Atlanta’s long relationship with the Braves.
Facebook and its ilk bombard us with vitriolic content, and their algorithms help to divide Americans. Local-government leaders need to keep this in mind when they offer up incentives to attract their operations.
Insults, rejections and other lived experiences can fuel a desire for social change. So can meeting and befriending committed individuals.
Local candidate debates and town halls have devolved into substance-free, celebrity-focused dog-and-pony shows, at a time when we need serious examination of issues. Can’t we do better?