This Tuesday: A Masquerade for Things that Matter
Since I have been Chairman, one of my top goals has been to make politics more relevant. Yet, while sharing our principles is important (especially with problematic legislation such as HB 224 emerging in our state’s legislature, but that’s another discussion), we must also remember the old saying that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In order to establish relevancy, we must speak to issues which are both relevant and personal. Here in Savannah, crime is such an issue. Some of us have known the pain of losing a loved one to violence. Others know what it feels like to not feel safe in our home after hearing about a neighbor’s home invasion. Many of us feel powerless as we read about a murder investigation that went “cold” after every lead the police had evaporated. Regardless of who you are or where you live, crime has touched you.
Many of us ask ourselves the question, what can I do? Well, one of the most effective ways we can help is by supporting a program called Crime Stoppers. Formally known as Silent Witness, this program offers cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to arrests in unsolved crimes. In order for police to be effective, they must be armed with information. Many times, the information they use have starts with a lead or an anonymous tip from a knowledgeable citizen. Often times, though, cases grow “cold” because people cease to talk to law enforcement. This can happen due to intimidation from the criminal element, a mistrust of the police, or because the citizen may actually be a friend of the criminal(s) themselves. With Crime Stoppers, persons with knowledge of a crime are provided with both a financial incentive and a guarantee of anonymity. With these two “carrots,” people become more comfortable with providing tips. Many times, these tips will result in the closing of unsolved cases!
On Tuesday, we’re hosting our Fat Tuesday Masquerade. Like all things associated with Mardi Gras, this event will be fun and exciting. However, as SAYR Chairman, I wanted to see this event also have a focus on things that matter. Consequently, our executive board decided that all the money we bring in will be donated to the Savannah-Chatham Crime Stoppers. Why did we chose Crime Stoppers ?
1) While not all of us have been directly affected, we do understand that crime is a problem which hurts our community as a whole.
2) We understand that fighting crime requires a partnership between law enforcement and citizens. Just as we expect our police to confront the most unsavory members of the criminal element; we also believe that citizens have a responsibility to aid our police with helpful information.
3) Not all of us have been directly victimized, nor do all of us have information about open cases. Yet, each of us does have at least a few dollars. As Crime Stoppers’ cash rewards come solely from private donations, this gives each of us an opportunity to do something about Savannah’s crime problem.
This is why the Savannah Area Young Republicans selected Crime Stoppers to be the first organization we will donate to in 2015. On Tuesday, everybody who joins us at Billy’s Place will drop at least $20 when they walk through the front door. Multiply that by the number of attendees and that’s how much we will contribute to Crime Stoppers. On Tuesday, I hope you will join us for a fun time with great people. More importantly, though, I hope you’ll join us so that you can say you’ve done something to help bring Savannah’s criminal element to justice.
See you on Fat Tuesday!
Savannah Area Young Republicans, Chairman