In world where, with the tap of your finger, you can order anything you desire to arrive at your doorstep in a matter of minutes, it might surprise you to learn that a community in South Georgia continues to live without paved roads.
In Terrell County, there are 20 dirt roads which lie in predominantly black neighborhoods. These roads are dangerous to drive on. On several occasions, ambulances and buses have gotten stuck in the mud, making them unable to access the surrounding communities. The conditions have grown astronomically worse since Hurricane Michael. School buses are dropping children off miles away from home. The United States Postal Service is unable to deliver mail – and public benefit checks – to low-income and elderly residents. Ambulances cannot answer emergency calls.
Our community development specialist attorney, Homero Leon, has worked with the Terrell County Concerned Citizens Committee (TCCCC), a group of black community leaders, for over two years to pressure the county government into action.
Leon has reason to believe that the county’s resistance to allocating funds towards road pavements is founded in racial discrimination. Over the last 25 years, the county has funded the paving of 20 roads; all but two of those roads located in majority white communities. The county argues that it does not have the money to pave the remaining roads. They, however, refuse to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which would provide the necessary funding. A Regional Development Center has even offered to write the grant free of charge.
Thanks to Homero, community members have an advocate who will continue fighting for safe road conditions.