Entries by Saba Long

Every election matters: Go vote

A favorite event of voters is to ignore a special election. So it’s no surprise the recent election for state House District 58 barely registered in the hearts and minds of the electorate.

A January three-way race generated a measly 2.78 percent turnout. In a district of 30,162 voters, only 838 took a few minutes out of their day to cast a ballot, excluding provisional ballots – if any.

Weight of inequality prevents the poor from getting ahead

The inequality drumbeat is getting louder and louder across the metro region. Even the Washington Post recently sent a reporter here to feature the day-to-day struggles of a young, recently homeless single mother in Clayton County.

The author wrote, “For the poor in the Deep South’s cities, simply applying for a job exposes the barriers of a particularly pervasive and isolating form of poverty.”

DeKalb panel: Women executives insist on working smarter

Whether it’s “leaning in” or “protecting one’s magic,” there’s plenty of leadership advice aimed at women in the workplace.

Women Executive Leaders of DeKalb (WELD), a program of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a panel discussion, which I had the honor to moderate, on female leadership in today’s diverse workforce.

DeKalb may have some bad apples; but county not rotten to its core

If you’ve picked up a newspaper or turned on the TV lately, you would think DeKalb County is on the verge of bankruptcy and receivership.

But parks abound, the fire trucks arrive when a call is received and trash is picked up on a weekly basis.

DeKalb, like many of Georgia’s 159 counties, employs bad apples. But should the wool of corruption cover the county entirely? Hardly.

Black Lives Matter movement underscores real tragedy: All lives do not matter

Music has long been the outlet for a generation’s frustrations with the status quo. Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone all wrote and performed songs that spoke to and for the voiceless.

My generation has its own voices, including Janelle Monae, the oft black- and white-attired singer and woman behind Wondaland Records.

SweetWater Brewing raises funds for the Chattahoochee River

For one local brewery, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword.

This past weekend, Atlanta’s own SweetWater Brewing Co. raised funds for its “Save Our Water” campaign to support the Chattachoochee Riverkeeper and the Waterkeeper Alliance.

People from cities all over the Southeast boarded kayaks, canoes and more for “The Big Float” to raise awareness for clean water. The annual fundraiser lasts through Labor Day with events in markets where SweetWater is served.

Ted Turner’s family and friends gather in Atlanta to fight malaria

The annual World Mosquito Day, a global recognition of the fight to end malaria, was marked with a special event on Aug. 20. Faith leaders, elected officials, businessmen and a NBA All-Star athlete recently gathered in Atlanta to raise awareness of the fight to end malaria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than three billion – three times the population of China – people are at risk of being bitten by a malaria-carrying parasite.

Atlanta leaders looking forward to building closer ties with Cuba

Normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba is in the works as the White House seeks a new approach to engagement after 54 years.

Congress will further decide the breadth of such relations with votes on three bills to end the trade embargo and travel ban.

A delegation of Atlanta residents from the city’s World Affairs Council recently visited the Caribbean island nation and brought back with them much enthusiasm and hope for the future.

Reflections from Stone Mountain: keep the Confederacy in the past

I spent a portion of my weekend at Stone Mountain Park. Yes, I went to see white Southerners rally to legitimize their legacy and the Confederate flag.

Before reaching the rally, I observed dozens of individuals – many of them African-Americans – observing a Saturday morning tradition of convening at the park.

Four family reunions were scheduled that day. Yes, they were all black families. DeKalb County and the area surrounding the park is a mecca for those who benefited the most from the fall of the South. How appropriate.

Mandela Washington Fellows visiting Atlanta represent Africa’s future

Under the Obama administration, White House officials have promoted U.S. trade and investments in Africa to supplement existing and ongoing development aid.

One critical step to securing Africa’s future is investing in its human capital.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a flagship program of the State Department’s Young African Leaders Initiative and brings 500 African leaders from across the continent to America for an immersion in Western practices of business and entrepreneurship, civic engagement and public administration.