03/18/17 — Town hall meeting Tuesday night

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Town hall meeting Tuesday night

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on March 18, 2017 11:47 PM

Concerns about substandard education, widespread crime and division in the community will come to the forefront during a second town hall style meeting Tuesday night.

Jermaine and Nicolette Dawson, organizers behind the grassroots movement, will host the meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Resurrection of Goldsboro, 2419 E. Ash St., located behind the Golden Dragon restaurant.

Dawson has invited the Goldsboro City Council and officers from the Goldsboro Police Department and has confirmed all members of the council, except Councilman Mark Stevens, will be in attendance.

Goldsboro Police Chief Mike West will be working and plans to send officers to represent the department.

The meeting will allow residents time to share their concerns and offer solutions, and some time will be set aside for feedback from elected officials, Dawson said.

"One of the biggest goals of this town hall meeting is to help the citizens identify who their elected officials are," Dawson said.

"The second goal is to allow the citizens to voice their concerns and solutions. A lot of things can be solved by being unified. The third goal is to unify the community."

Dawson said the meetings are the start of an effort to bring change.

"There's a lot of division, and I don't know where it's coming from," he said. "With everything going on with the unsolved murders, I think it's time to hold our elected officials accountable and work with them to find solutions."

Dawson, a Goldsboro native, is a 1998 Goldsboro High School graduate who served more than six years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He recently moved back to Goldsboro after living in High Point.

The Goldsboro of today is in stark contrast with the city he remembers during his younger years. Goldsboro has changed -- "tremendously," he said.

"You see more robberies, more drug use," he said. "I've seen the concerns of the citizens and just being here five years and so many unsolved murders. Something needs to be fixed."

The Dawsons started organizing the meetings based on a similar effort he saw in High Point, after the city also suffered from some of the same problems, he said.

The Dawsons are seeking partners willing to allow the use of area facilities, including churches, for future meetings in different areas of the city.

The first town hall forum was held Feb. 28 and drew anywhere from 30 to 50 people. Dawson expects a higher attendance Tuesday.