Cynthia Bailey says everyone should be given an opportunity to prove themselves when it comes to employment. She believes in second chances and strongly advocates for second chance programs that allow for people within the community to better provide for themselves and their families. These programs, said Bailey, will lead to positive change in District B.
“People need a second chance,” she said. “It’s hard getting a job because you have something on your record, and people just need to work.”
Born and raised in District B, Bailey is very much aware of the challenges her community faces. “I looked at the landscape of our district,” she said. “It hadn’t improved in some time, so I decided I wanted to make a difference – doing what’s best for our community.”
Bailey said the coronavirus pandemic has hit District B especially hard. “Financially, it has devastated us. People can’t go to work. Things have shut down. Businesses have shut down. There are no jobs. Everybody’s trying to get unemployment. It’s just sad. This pandemic has put a strain on everybody citywide – and a lot on District B.
“Evictions are especially high because people are out of work. The illegal dumping is worse than it’s ever been because landlords are locking people out of their homes and then dumping their things out on the streets – sofas, clothes, mattresses are all over the place.”
Bailey has operated nonprofits for neighborhood kids and led a “hot team” that cleaned up illegal dumping sites in the area.
“Illegal dumping – there’s a lot of it out here. I want to be the one to help control it,” said Bailey. “We only have one (hot team) in District B. We need to work on getting more given the size of our district.”
Bailey’s work has been praised by community leaders, including incumbent Councilman Jerry Davis, State Rep. Jarvis Johnson and several other area leaders and activists. She is known by many as “the mayor of Settegast.”
“I’ve spent my whole life in this district doing work to help my neighbors,” Bailey said. “I would like to see more collaboration with church leaders and other community leaders. We all need to work together to change our situation.”
The District B City Council runoff will be held Saturday, Dec. 12, almost a year after it was first scheduled. Following a series of legal challenges filed by the third-place finisher, a state District judge in October ordered the runoff between the first- and second-place finishers to move forward. In the runoff, Bailey, a neighborhood advocate, will face Tarsha Jackson, a criminal justice organizer.
Although she has been waiting almost a year for the runoff election, Bailey said it is all happening in God’s time.
“I stay calm and just let go and let go,” said Bailey, adding that she is ready to represent her district on City Council and continue the work she is doing every day.
Voters eligible to cast their ballots in the District B runoff election can learn more about early voting and polling locations at harrisvotes.com.