I DO Believe

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I just got home from the Women for DuPree rally.

This is my second time meeting the Mayor.

The first time was as a favor to a friend. The campaign was having a meet-and-greet at the COFO building on the campus of JSU.  It was a small gathering.  Friendly and comfortable.  Since my friend was  a supporter I thought I’d be nice and toss the Mayor a couple of softball questions.

But then something unexpected happened. He didn’t bunt.  He hit a home run.  And we began to have an actual conversation.  About real issues. Education and the difference between how you teach a child who has every advantage versus a child who come to school as much for a meal as to learn.  These kids have different platforms that they build on and you have to bear that in mind.   Which he had.  He spoke of mentoring and follow-up and how to keep them here once they graduate.  He talked about Delta and how we have to work with and for all of Mississippi where they are and with what tools they have in place.   He spoke eloquently and passionately about Mississippi, her past and her future.

Mayor (Dr.) Johnny DuPree is quite possibly one of the most intelligent men I have ever met.  There was not one question that threw the man.  Not from me, nor from anyone else in the room.  He was prepared, knowledgable, sincere and honest.

I was hooked.  I signed up there and then to be a volunteer.  I go in on Saturdays and make phone calls or spend a Sunday putting up signs.  I am involved and invested in a place that, until recently, I could not think of much good to say about.

Let me back up a little.  I am not a native Mississippian.  In fact, I will admit to having been embarrassed to tell people this is where I live.  We have a horrible reputation with the rest of the country.  People on the outside think we are all bigoted, ignorant and inbred.  One of the things that first struck me about Mayor DuPree is that you do not say those sort of things about Mississippi around him.  He loves his state.  He is not a head-in-the-sand kind of guy.  He knows her faults but he will tell you straight up this is home and he will not tolerate anyone speaking ill of it.  I had become so used to politicians (and really everyone) apologizing for Mississippi, that it had not occurred to me that there were people who genuinely love this place.

Johnny DuPree loves Mississippi.  It shows in the way he speaks and the way he gives and the way he serves.

And with that love, Mayor DuPree brings hope.  For a better future, a brighter future and a Mississippi that does not have to stay on the bottom.  His message is so positive, so hopeful, so POSSIBLE that you can’t help but get caught up with him. He believes in a better Mississippi.  Mayor DuPree knows our faults and loves us anyway.  He also knows the way out.  I truly believe if we follow his leadership Mississippi will one day cease to be the bottom rung on every ladder.  In fact, we may just make it all the way to the top.




Author’s note.  I am a volunteer for Mayor DuPree because I believe in him and his message. I am not paid in any way nor do I represent the campaign.  My opinions are strictly that, mine.  Thank you.

~ by D.L. Graves on July 5, 2011.

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