Why am I running?
Aaron Whitely is a community activist, entrepreneur and a strong educational advocate. He is a husband, father of 3 who understands the importance of family values. He co-founded Madigan LLC, a business development firm that helps startups grow & existing businesses expand operations. He is an army combat veteran (OEF 11-12), a Savannah State Alumnus, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In November Aaron will obtain his Masters of Public Administration from Savannah State University. Through his work in the community, Aaron has had the opportunity to mentor young men through the 100 Black Men Association as well as the PittBulls Athletic Organization in which he is the general manager. He has coached young men in basketball and baseball and young ladies in track & field. His strong support of education has allowed him to
launch reading and tutoring programs with the young men that he has mentored. He continues to lead in the community as a member of the Chatham County Recreation Authority and an active member of Coastal Cathedral Church of God Vice Chairman of the Chatham County Democratic Committee & a former board member of the Savannah Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club.
I believe the future of Chatham County is bright and I want to do everything I can to ensure that future is accessible to ALL of its citizens regardless of racial, cultural or economic background. My experiences have afforded me the opportunity to work with many people in a variety of arenas. I believe I can use my background to engage a diverse body of people for the progress of our county. The Democratic party espouses the ideals of equity, social justice and individual's personal rights. Those ideals amongst others are ideals that I hold dear in my heart and in my leadership style.
If elected, what would be your top priorities? Why? How would you approach finding a solution?
- Youth Engagement: Tomorrow's leaders, policy makers, employers and workforce are represented in our youth. Our district has minimal access to activities and locations where our youth can be engaged and enriched outside of school. I will advocate for a sports complex in or near our district as an avenue to engage our youth. Our government has to be intentional in ensuring that ALL of our youth are being poured into, I want to spearhead that drive to include searching for grants and funding for youth events. I believe that engaging our youth will help lower crime while uncovering other challenges that may need to be addressed in our community’s households.
- Business Development: Our district is home to a slew of closed businesses and slow economic development. The vacant commercial spaces provide evidence of this fact. When there are businesses in our district there are employment opportunities for the residents in our district. When there are businesses in our district there is less travel time needed to patronize businesses of choice. I want to make sure our district has no shortage of options for consumers as well as employers for our district. I believe Chatham County can make some additional investments into our citizens by hosting soft skill training and working with available resources such as Savannah Tech to help train citizens to qualify for fair paying professional jobs, not just low paying hospitality jobs. We can make our community better by investing in the businesses in our district and helping to create new businesses. I want to work with the SBA and our city & our state delegation to capitalize on the existing opportunity zone in our area to help rebuild the south side's business footprint. I will create a “county job registry” that allows companies to work with the county to fill vacancies with local citizens and not commuters.
- Transparency/Government Engagement- Our district has had low turnout in elections and in public forums, this is an indicator that there is a disconnect between the citizens and the government. Oftentimes there is a misunderstanding of what portion of government is responsible for certain services (county/city). I want to help bridge that communication gap by encouraging more outreach from the county government to;
- Keep a pulse on what the community needs, wants and is expecting from their government.
- Get the public's opinion on potential changes, implementations and initiatives the County is looking to implement.
I think we can do that by creating a polling database that can only be accessed by residents of districts based on voter registration and DDS data for addresses. Allow citizens the opportunity to voice what they feel is necessary for the community rather than dictating it to them.
Why Vote for Me:
Having once been a recipient of government aid to now being a middle class homeowner and business owner, I have actually experienced what it takes to go from nothing to something. I understand how people who align with my school of thought think and I also understand how those from opposing schools of thought think. I am unafraid of conflict or strife and am willing to endure it for the betterment of our community. As a coach/mentor and insurance agent I work with children and business owners and adults on a daily basis so I have the ability to see things from a variety of lenses. My military experience has afforded me the opportunity to engage and lead a diverse block people. Elect me, Aaron “Adot” Whitely as your next County Commissioner, for District 6 because I am ready and trained to fight for what's right!