Follow Us

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 

Jim Bailey: Dear City Council

Jim Bailey, the scion of the publishing family which has operated the Daily Record for over a hundred years has been an impassioned community advocate, leader and candidate for Mayor. He calls for City Council to step up to the bar and stop the embarrassment to the City generated by the Parvez Ahmed appointment fiasco: Join us after the jump for details:

Published February 25, 2013 in News      12 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

feature

When you open your meeting Tuesday night, it would be fitting if you shared a prayer once offered by William Penn: "O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand."
With all of the important City business on your plate, there is no question that much of Jacksonville — and a lot of America — will be most interested in seeing what you say, how you act and the way you vote on legislation to reappoint Parvez Ahmed to the Human Rights Commission.

We are braced for Tuesday's vote for a couple of reasons.

Last week in this column I implored the members of the Rules Committee to put behind us the 2-year-old saga of accusation and innuendo toward Ahmed's service on the commission.

For reasons mostly dealing with his Muslim religion, Ahmed has been singled out by screeching, demagogic opposition that would be better reserved for murderers and child predators.

He has been quoted as saying, "This is a caricature of my life's work. The rhetoric does not match the reality."

There is no conversation that he has not served as a solid member of the commission for the past two years, after being appointed by Mayor John Peyton.

If the past is prologue, Ahmed will be re-confirmed by the Council.

After the prolonged, ugly rhetoric two years ago, Council finally approved Ahmed on a 12-6 vote.

Council members who cast three of the six no votes against Ahmed are gone, leaving only Clay Yarborough, Don Redman and Ray Holt as the original cornerstones of opposition.

Of the 12 who voted to approve Ahmed, eight are still members of the Council, including Stephen Joost, who was pointed in his criticism of the treatment aimed at Ahmed.

"This is not the Muslim commission. This is not the Jewish commission or the Christian commission. This is the Human Rights Commission. I'm offended by this line of questioning," Joost said two years ago.

But, this is not about Ahmed.

Instead, it's an appeal that Council members will use the opportunity of Ahmed's reappointment Tuesday night as a re-affirmation for decency and tolerance in Jacksonville.

It's important enough because Jacksonville is being watched across America — even around the world — by those waiting on your actions, expecting us to continue as the poster child for prejudice.

Please disappoint them.

We'd rather be able to boast to ourselves and others that you did the right thing by staring down prejudice and, instead, you stood up for tolerance.

Instead of sitting silent in the face of unfairness and bigotry, we want to brag that you shouted loudly that in Jacksonville, we value inclusiveness, diversity and the dignity of every person.

It matters. It really matters.

Jim Bailey







Share this article   digg   delicious   reddit   myspace   technorati   google   newsvine  

12 Comments

Tacachale

February 25, 2013, 03:48:00 PM
Very nice piece, Jim, and very important. Thank you.

Doctor_K

February 25, 2013, 04:04:41 PM
Agree whole-heartedly.  Very well stated!

fieldafm

February 25, 2013, 10:00:03 PM
In regards to Hemming Plaza, it's time for the powers that be who have 'led' Hemming to step aside and let the people who actually use this once proud public space the opportunity to shape it's future. 

Cheshire Cat

February 25, 2013, 10:21:10 PM
In regards to Hemming Plaza, it's time for the powers that be who have 'led' Hemming to step aside and let the people who actually use this once proud public space the opportunity to shape it's future. 



Who are the people who use it and how can they shape it's future.   Just wondering who you see those folks to be.

Cheshire Cat

February 25, 2013, 10:24:35 PM
In regards to Hemming Plaza, it's time for the powers that be who have 'led' Hemming to step aside and let the people who actually use this once proud public space the opportunity to shape it's future. 



Who are the people who use it and how can they shape it's future.   Just wondering who you see those folks to be.


To the site moderators.   Is there a reason for two threads on the Jim Bailey letter?  Maybe a merge of the threads is worth thinking about so that commentary stays on one thread and can be fully followed.  :)

stephendare

February 25, 2013, 11:00:14 PM
Cheshire Cat:  There are two Jim Bailey Editorials.

Cheshire Cat

February 25, 2013, 11:16:50 PM
I hadn't realized that Stephen and must have been having a senior moment.  Thanks for the heads up.  I am glad Jim is speaking up about these issues.  His publication is read by all the people who need to receive his words.  I do think he may get the attention of many who would otherwise stay mired in bigoted ways and being a respected conservative member of our community makes it that much nicer. 

Cheshire Cat

February 25, 2013, 11:59:52 PM
One last comment on this post.  We often discuss the problem voters face in Jacksonville when trying to decide who would be someone of character and intellect who understands our city and worth voting into public office.  At a time when no one is currently running for political office, we are lucky enough to see the actions and thoughts of a Jacksonville business leader and citizen that truly understand and cares about how our city is viewed and represented.  I would submit at this point should Mr. Bailey every chose to run for public office in Jacksonville, I will be one of the first in line to support him.  He has shown us the strength of his character when he could have remained silent.  That speaks volumes about him in my view and about his leadership standards.  Good stuff.

thelakelander

February 26, 2013, 06:15:06 AM
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville doesn't agree with Mr. Bailey:

Quote
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville said in an emailed release that its members distrusted Ahmed, a University of North Florida finance professor and former national chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We do not support anyone using public positions to undermine our Constitution and our American values,” club President John Taylor said in the release. “The citizens of the Westside are tired of a politically correct party that will not stand up and fight for our values by opposing this kind of public policy so we felt it necessary to publicly oppose this reappointment."

full article: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/403455/steve-patterson/2013-02-25/republican-club-opposes-parvez-ahmeds-reappointment

stephendare

February 26, 2013, 06:22:56 AM
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville doesn't agree with Mr. Bailey:

Quote
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville said in an emailed release that its members distrusted Ahmed, a University of North Florida finance professor and former national chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We do not support anyone using public positions to undermine our Constitution and our American values,” club President John Taylor said in the release. “The citizens of the Westside are tired of a politically correct party that will not stand up and fight for our values by opposing this kind of public policy so we felt it necessary to publicly oppose this reappointment."

full article: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/403455/steve-patterson/2013-02-25/republican-club-opposes-parvez-ahmeds-reappointment

I think a couple of those guys are still trying to find the communists funding for Martin Luther King, though.  "Westside Republican Club" is kind of like "Prison Recreation Committee".  The second two words are not as important as the first. ;)

BridgeTroll

February 26, 2013, 10:13:44 AM
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville doesn't agree with Mr. Bailey:

Quote
The Republican Club of West Jacksonville said in an emailed release that its members distrusted Ahmed, a University of North Florida finance professor and former national chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We do not support anyone using public positions to undermine our Constitution and our American values,” club President John Taylor said in the release. “The citizens of the Westside are tired of a politically correct party that will not stand up and fight for our values by opposing this kind of public policy so we felt it necessary to publicly oppose this reappointment."

full article: http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/403455/steve-patterson/2013-02-25/republican-club-opposes-parvez-ahmeds-reappointment

As a Westside republican... I heartily disagree with the Republican Club of West Jacksonville.

Cheshire Cat

February 26, 2013, 12:14:24 PM
The attitude of this group is exactly what continues to damage the "Republican" brand. 
View forum thread
Welcome Guest. You must be logged in to comment on this story.

What are the benefits of having a MetroJacksonville.com account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on stories that interest you.
  • Stay up to date on all of the latest issues affecting your neighborhood.
  • Create a network of friends working towards a better Jacksonville.
Register now
Already have an account? Login now to comment.