The Edwards Factor
Unlike how the Open Records Request as a "Sunshine Law" in Georgia has been weaponized in the worst ways to create divides in government agencies and departments. When the Open Records Request law is used in earnest, it can truly improve the transparency and work of government.
When the late Rev. Dr. Lonzy Edwards, former Bibb County Commissioner, became deeply concerned about the equity and practices of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority as it related to how taxpayer dollars were being spent, he began to earnestly make Open Records Request in his quest for transparent spending of taxpayers' dollars. In his original request, he asked for records regarding taxpayer dollars being used to support private companies, organizations, i.e., The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and the now defunct Macon Economic Development Commission. No other economic development authority, funded with taxpayers dollars, experienced the same funding model.
Additionally, he expressed concerns about the MBCIA's use of minority contractors which included but was not limited to: African-American, Women, Veteran, Hispanic/Latino, and Disadvantaged Businesses. His request became the motivation and the mandate to reimagine and recreate an economic development model that truly and equitably served the citizens of Macon-Bibb County. This was the beginning of "The Change Landscape".
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