Meet our DMO of the Month, Edna Jackson Leads by Example!
At Democratic Municipal Officials, we know that issues in the national spotlight often get their start at the local level. With the renewed attacks on voting rights throughout the United States, municipal Democrats stand as citizens' front line of defense. This month we look to Edna Jackson as an example of a municipal official who has committed her life to equality, enfranchisement, and public service. She reminds us that national change begins in our towns and cities.
Mayor Jackson got her start during the Civil Rights movement. A life-long NAACP member, she participated in sit-ins and similar occupations of Savannah’s beaches and churches. At the age of 18 she joined the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. During this time she traveled throughout Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia conducting voter registration drives and demonstrations with the NAACP National Youth Task Force. Given her dedication to activism, it is no surprise that Edna Jackson is the first African-American woman to be elected Mayor of Savannah.
Edna Jackson earned both her bachelors and masters degrees from Savannah State University, staying on at the school as an administrator for 30 years. Her career in government kicked off with three terms as Alderman at Large Post 1 on the Savannah City Council, including two terms as Mayor Pro Tem.
Committed to helping cities succeed, Mayor Jackson serves on the board of directors of both the National League of Cities and the Georgia Municipal Association. She is also the former president of the National League of Cities' Women in Municipal Government. She serves as a member of the NLC Leadership Training Council, and served two years as Chairman of the Chatham County Municipal Association.
Her dedication to improving community services shines through in her locally focused political goals. During her tenure Mayor Jackson has tackled poverty, developing Savannah’s economy through the promotion of local businesses and expansion of education and career opportunities. Jackson believes in a green future, striving to ensure buildings and projects in Savannah are LEED certified. She also helped found the Mandingo Socio-Civic Club, which facilitates service projects and mentors young women.
Mayor Jackson has been recognized for her work over the years. She won the Tom Joyner Hardest Working Community Advocate Award in 2004, the NAACP Freedom Award in 2008, and the Savannah Civil Rights Museum Unsung Heroes Award in 2010. This August, she is our DMO of the Month. Her legacy is a lesson of where we come from, and a reminder that the struggle for equality and voting rights continues to this day.
Learn more about what Democrats can do to support voting rights at http://www.democrats.org/about/voting_rights_institute