The future is now

Published 8:33 am Saturday, May 10, 2014


This article was retrieved in part from a previous Tidewater News archive, written by Merle Monahan on May 4, 2013.

I chose the title as such because for some time now I have watched political arenas unfold with some surprising results. Both local and national trends have had choices made that were indeed surprising, disappointing and intriguing to say the least

For example our mayor, Mrs. Raystine Johnson-Ashburn. Born and raised here in Franklin, attending Franklin City schools and graduating from Hampton University. Courses included business management and an internship in her father’s business, which led to a directorship of that self-same business. While we may illustrate the foundations of her business acumen, that’s not what this is about.

At the quiet urgings of concerned citizens who early on recognized the portfolio of talent and skills that Mrs. Johnson-Ashburn had at her disposal, planted the seed of perhaps running for public office with the city. Mrs. Johnson-Ashburn made a reassessment of what kind of impact she might have and decided that she would utilize her talents on the council. She transitioned into a vacancy due to a member passing in 1999. She faithfully served in this capacity until she was prompted to run for mayor in 2012.

Her first term as mayor has been an ongoing progressive transformation of several agendas, which has expanded community and economical development of the city of Franklin.

During her tenure, Franklin has continued to openly expand financial revenues and new businesses on the horizon. As an example, the ongoing expansion of businesses along Route 58, and a tentative partnership with a neighboring city to enhance each city’s utility infrastructures extending open invitations to even more businesses and homeowners.

But, with all that I’ve mentioned up until now as added benefits of having a talented public official in our midst, there is perhaps an overlooked feature that increases her viable worth, not only to our city, state and region, but to our children, especially young girls. And it’s right in keeping with Franklin’s illustrious history.

“How and why” you might ask? Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn is Franklin’s first elected, female, African-American mayor. She shares this unique ethnic political position with President [Barack] Obama. As such, she can be an inspiration to adults, young adults, girls and boys alike. Mrs. Raystine Johnson-Ashburn will undoubtedly take her place in Franklin’s historical archives for future generations to review.

David D. Crear