Brookhaven resident urges City Board to ‘plant a seed’ of hope for children

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Brookhaven resident Roy L. Smith addressed the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen Tuesday, speaking on “infrastructure — both physical and human.”

He briefly expressed concerns over the deteriorating state of streets in the southeastern portion of the city, then shifted to a greater concern.

“We need to build an overpass or underpass in downtown Brookhaven to allow ambulances to cross the railroad in case of an emergency,” Smith said. “If something goes down right now in here and a train is coming through, we’re all (out of luck). Consider that.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For 15-20 years he’s talked about the issue, Smith said, and infrastructure funds are finally available.

“We are the only city on the I-55 corridor to not have a bridge over the railroad tracks,” Smith said. “Ask yourselves — if not you, who? If not now, when?”

Smith said his next concern was over strengthening human infrastructure.

“We need to also allocated funds to build a community education empowerment resource center on this side of town, incorporating a Black History library, for both black and white kids to understand our history.”

“I grew up in Brookhaven, and witnessed and lived the struggles,” Smith said. “Nothing will grow unless you plant a seed. Plant seeds while these children are young. They’ll be better students, who become better responsible adults. Responsible adults become better parents, who become better citizens, who become a better community and a better society.

“It’s time to break the cycle of poverty and social degradation. We have a moral, civic and spiritual obligation to ourselves, our families and to one another,” Smith said. “It’s time to big-minded and big-hearted for our struggling community.”