Meet Mayor of Savannah
Edna B. Jackson
Edna Branch Jackson is the 65th Mayor of Savannah, Georgia, and the first African-American woman to hold this position. Prior to her election in 2011, she served three terms as Alderman at Large on Savannah City Council, including serving two terms as Mayor Pro Tem. Mayor Jackson served on the Board of Directors of both the National League of Cities and the Georgia Municipal Association, and is former President of the National League of Cities: Women in Municipal Government. She served as the second vice president of the Georgia Municipal Association.
Mayor Jackson was fully engaged in the Civil Rights Movement, first joining the NAACP Youth Council in Savannah at age nine. A protégé of both the late W.W. Law and Eugene Gadsden, she participated in sit-ins at downtown Savannah businesses, wade-ins at Tybee Beach, and kneel-ins at various local churches. She helped conduct voter registration drives, and participated in demonstrations throughout the South, including the 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery. During this period, she was employed with the NAACP National Youth Task Force, and spent time in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, demonstrating and carrying out voter registration drives.
She is the past Southern regional vice president and national vice president of the Savannah State University National Alumni Association. She served as vice chairman and member of the Chatham County Democratic executive committee; former chairperson of the Chatham County Hospital Authority; former board member of Economic Opportunity Authority; and former board member of the US Selected Service board. She was appointed by Congressman John Barrow to serve as a member of the Military Academy selection committee and the regional committee of the US Civil Rights Commission. She is a member of the Savannah Regional Second Harvest Food Bank board of directors; Step Up Savannah board, and others. She is a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a member of the NAACP, and the founder and member of the Mandingo Socio Civic Club.
Mayor Jackson has traveled throughout the United States, China, Ghana, Nigeria, Israel, and Turkey, among other countries. She presented a paper on tourism, economic development, and preservation in Shanghai, China, in October 2014. Mayor Jackson is also known for her public speaking.
She earned her bachelor and masters degrees from Savannah State College (now university), where she worked as an administrator for thirty years. During her tenure, she served her alma mater in the areas of counseling, admissions and recruiting, financial aid, and as director of Alumni Affairs and Elderhostel Coordinator. Mayor Jackson has one son, Kevan LaMar Jackson.
Mayor Jackson’s honors include:
GeorgiaTrends magazine “Most Influential Georgian” in 1212, 2013, and 2014; Savannah State University’s 2014 Award of Excellence for Leadership; Savannah Technical College Tribute to Community STARs Award 2013; Emancipation Day Leadership Award 2012; Savannah State University’s “Richard R. Wright Award” 2012; Bennett University “Outstanding Woman in Civil Rights;” Savannah Civil Rights Museum’s “Unsung Heroes” award; and the Tom Joyner “Hardest Working Community Advocate” award. Delta Sigma Theta named a scholarship in her honor at SSU. She also received the NAACP Freedom Award, the Delta Sigma Theta “Alfreta Adams Community Service” award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha “Mozella Collier Volunteer Service” award, and the Omega Psi Phi “Citizen of the Year” award, among others.
PROVEN LEADERSHIP TO BUILD A STRONGER SAVANNAH
Georgia is said to be the number one place to do business. I will work to grow that reputation, especially for the 165th by addressing the many current concerns of businesses, grow high-quality employment opportunities, and continue to support strong labor and union rights.
I will support infrastructure and legislative decisions that build the resiliency of our coastline, protect against rising seas, and offer increased emergency preparedness in the increasing threat of hurricanes. Our economic development and environmental health will be prioritized and championed through my commitment to the protection of our water, air, coasts, and communities.
I am committed to working collaboratively with law
enforcement, community partners, the legislature, and every level of our criminal justice system to protect our communities, build trust, and improve public safety for District 165. I will work to further support bi-partisan reforms that have decreased costs associated with the criminal justice system, slowed incarceration rates, and have made communities safer.
Every Georgia child has a constitutional right to a quality education in Georgia’s public schools. I will work to ensure the full funding of K-12 schools, prioritize safe schools, wraparound support, and child mental-health services. We also know strong, quality education leads to a strong, quality workforce and I will support that by working for expanded HOPE, strengthen post-secondary opportunities, and support additional opportunities.
I will stand up against laws that do not allow for the full inclusion of everyone and attack established civil rights. A stronger, better Georgia only works if it treats every person with basic human dignity and respect. I will work to protect, preserve, and celebrate Black and brown cultures that have contributed so much to the history of Georgia and Savannah.
I support Medicaid expansion. Thousands of Georgians remain uncovered, rural hospitals have closed, and COVID-19 continues to hurt our communities and our economy. Our state has left billions of federal dollars on the table that would support District 165 and I am committed to ensuring those dollars make their way into our community.
Affordable housing and housing access have reached a tipping point for our community. 30% of Georgia households rent their homes, of which half are “cost burdened” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), meaning that more than 30% of their household income goes to pay rent and utilities. I will continue to work to ensure that state lawmakers understand the need for safe, thriving neighborhoods for both homeowners and renters.
As a young activist who worked to end unlawful segregation and advance voting rights, I will continue to work to ensure ALL people have the ability to access a system of integrity and to register and vote in an honest election. I will also work to see that district reapportionment lines are redrawn to be fair and equal for all citizens represented in the 165th district.
I will work to support infrastructure and education systems to create jobs, improve transit, support business, bridge the skills gap, and grow our workforce. I will also keep more money in the pockets of working families through the Georgia Earned Income Tax Credit and foster prosperity for every family in Georgia.
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