I wanted to share this note that I received from someone involved with the Mayor’s Youth Program:
As do others, I have questions about Shirley Franklin’s letter, but you’re more than right about her helping Atlanta high school seniors. The only thing that needs correction is that she helped thousands, not just hundreds, go on to college through the Mayor’s Youth Program, and raised millions of dollars of private money to do so. She also met with each one of these students personally to give them guidance and encouragement. For whatever reason, the media gave very little coverage to these truly amazing efforts, and the Mayor was never one to blow her own horn. Mayor Reed has decline to be involved in the program, which is a tragedy, but I can’t think of any other public official who would exhibit the kind of commitment to this program that she did. Thanks for weighing in on this on the blogs.
I wanted to share this because I think anyone who did what Mayor Franklin did deserves standing ovations instead of cheap shots. I find the anonymity of blogs allows people to fling dirt and trample other people’s good names and heckle their good works. I refuse to let that go unchallenged.
I doubt few of her critics, if any, could match what Franklin did for kids as an unpaid volunteer. Nobody pays a mayor to meet with kids and encourage them on to college. That was her own doing and her own time. Shirley Franklin may have made more lasting change in those meetings with students than with all her meetings with the City Council or members of C0ngress.