Let's hear it for Helen

Blocker-Adams should be Augusta's next mayor
Helen Blocker-Adams, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, is the mayor Augusta needs. She sees Augusta's potential, and has a great deal of potential herself.

Because she’s so upbeat and personable, Helen Blocker-Adams may have fooled some folks into thinking she’s not tough enough to be mayor.

How could such a nice lady ever hope to go up against all those bickering, limit-testing men on the Augusta Commission, some wonder.

Well, this editorial staff has seen firsthand what this woman is made of: When she fell short of the runoff election in 2005, there was a ton of pressure on her, as a black woman, not to endorse the white Deke Copenhaver over the black Willie Mays.

After much soul-searching, she stood up to the pressure – and helped propel Copenhaver to a series of terms that became a stabilizing influence in Augusta political history, calming the turbulent political waters here.

That took principle and courage on her part. And this woman’s got both.

Moreover, she’s got the vitality this town is in so desperate need of, and there’s little doubt she’ll shake things up – in a good way.

We encourage you to vote for Helen Blocker-Adams for mayor. We ask you to go out of your way to do so; come out and vote for her, even if you weren’t planning to vote.

She’s worth it. She’s the candidate of progress and positivity. And she has the potential to put her mark on Augusta history like few leaders we’ve ever seen.

An entrepreneur, motivational speaker and former economic development ombudsman, Blocker-Adams is action-oriented and an engine of ideas; she’s even keeping a list of the best ideas she hears on the campaign trail.

She’s already got plans to stretch the city’s beautification budget with some private-sector volunteers. She’s already been meeting with city department heads. She plans an advisory council on transparency – another thing this city desperately needs. She is fervent in wanting to expand and strengthen the area’s manufacturing community. She wants to make Augusta more child and youth friendly. And she won’t shy away from fighting to put the name “Augusta” back on the city’s leading university.

That’s no small matter. We need a mayor who is willing to stand up for Augusta.

Before questioning her toughness, consider: Blocker-Adams’ chief competition for mayor, state Sen. Hardie Davis, told us that, while he objects to the Georgia Regents University name, he won’t fight it unless told to by the public.

We also were alarmed at a Georgia Senate report – signed onto by Davis – that called for arrest reports and mug shots to be kept secret. That’s a frightening erosion of the public’s right to know.

Helen Blocker-Adams is in favor of more transparency, not less, and she’s plenty tough. Most important, her enthusiasm leaves you believing that Augusta’s best days are ahead of it.

They just may be.

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