Two of the highest ranking African-American officials in the country, who also are on opposite political ends, joined together Saturday in offering insights on the role churches should play in contemporary issues.
If you’re not at the table, “you’re on the menu,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told a crowd of about 300 at his home church, Friendship Missionary Baptist on Beatties Ford Road.
“So it’s important to have your voice in the dialogue, but you can only do that if you have a clear set of ideas,” he said.
Foxx, a Democrat and former Charlotte mayor, appeared on stage for an hour with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for a discussion the church organized on “political empowerment and the black church.”
Lawyer and former Charlotte Chamber chair Frank Emory Jr. moderated the event.
“The church does have a role in the issues of the day,” Foxx said, although he said that shouldn’t be telling people what to think but “giving them access” to empowering ideas and actions.
The church, he said, “is still the power station for the community.”
Foxx received a celebrity welcome, posing for pictures, signing autographs and hugging church members.
Scott said people don’t realize the political power they have, even as one voter.
“Never let anyone tell you you’re not the most powerful person (here),” he said. If legislators aren’t listening to your concerns, he said, “you need to remind us” at the ballot box.
Several local elected officials were in the audience, including Democratic Charlotte City Council at-large members Vi Lyles and David Howard, and former council member and mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock III, a Republican.
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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer