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[Spotlight] đź”—Community Leaders Pay the Tax for GA Youth’s Back 2 School Preparation

Tax Free Weekend has proven to be one of America’s most anticipated commercial holidays. The state controlled ordinance allows parents and students to purchase clothing, electronics, toiletries and school supplies without paying local and state sales taxes. Georgia’s 7% sale tax can be the difference between affording and not affording for many households in its metro and rural areas. Corporations and small business owners experience an increase in sales during this time of the year. Consumers capitalizing from tax breaks and in-store discounts often stimulate retail markets who traditionally observe low sales performance until annual Thanksgiving and Christmas surges.

Not Interested

This year GA lawmakers failed to authorize a 2017 tax free weekend despite the economic and household benefits for mostly poor and marginalized persons. The community importance of the tax free holiday was revealed this year in its absence. The essence of seemingly ceremonial and arbitrary policy emerged by the efforts of non elect community leaders. Instead of a 7% -8% tax break, community leaders organized throughout Georgia to offer free assistance to the youth in many low income communities. If you are expecting a boule of elected officials, appointed industry leaders, doctors, lawyers, bankers, and pastors pooling resources to make a charitable contribution eligible for tax deduction to a qualified 501C3 institution, you may be surprised. Throughout Georgia enthusiasm to provide for our community’s youth was high amongst societies outcast. Young black men, ex convicts without college education utilized their networks to provide for multiple thousands of youth throughout Georgia. These men without seeking ROI or tax benefits supported local businesses and their community’s youth. Many of these supporters had to pave their own lanes to success with very little household or community support.

Not to fear, the Young OG’s are here !

We had the opportunity to cover multiple back to school drives, but one in particular really stood out. Over 300 students were supported in East Atlanta’s Coan Park in a very organized and powerful breathe. Young OG Incorporations aka Yogi6 amongst family and affiliate organization Duct Tape Entertainment, a Infinity conglomerate, showed that their is no limit to their groups ability to maintain a positive and legitimate stance within their community. We had the opportunity to talk with the CEO of Young OG Incorporations in search of understanding why he and his colleagues felt committed to reinvest into their communities. The answers was nothing short of real, and also revealed the true kind, selfless, reflective and redemptive nature of those sharing Yogi’s experience.

The Q&A

What HS did you go to and where are you from ?

I’m born & raised in Atlanta, Ga (Edgewood Zone 6- Mayson Ave) attended Southside High School..

Did you graduate, and what kind of grades did you make ?

I was an B Average Student when I did go.. had to drop out due to The problems Life threw at me..

Did you go to college or trade school ?

I end up Catching a Federal Case at 18 but & I Got my GED While under federal custody Did you face any major obstacles in school ? Money, transportation, behaviour, concentration, encouragement By time High School came i Already was on my 2nd Car. I was selling a lil Mid in school but that’s what I had to do to survive cuz I was on my own. I was driving a 1989 Box Chevy Candy Green on 24’s w/ 4 12inch speakers in my Trunk. I wasn’t a Bad/ Disrespectful student, my only problem was skipping certain classes to make money. My deceased Father was my concentration. Before he died he told me all he wanted from me was to graduate. Big Dreams was my encouragement.

Do you think your house hold played a factor in how you viewed school ?

Yes my household played a BIG FACTOR. (Aforementioned)

Why do you give back ?

I’ve always gave back to my community but I chose to take it Larger scale because now I have a 1year old son who starts school this year. How could I think of 1 kid without thinking bout the others in the Hood who ain’t able to get supplies/ shoes/ clothes & etc so it all started as a plan from the heart & was a Major success..

What’s your message to kids that may be like you ?

Next year will be BIGGER !

Conclusion

I will be frank. It is utterly disgusting to know that our elected officials did not consider the impact of such a small courses of action. I am inspired and angered that our community scapegoats found their way back from the rougher sides of the balance only to yield a cheerfully given heart. The fact is many of these young people are results of a articulated environment ushering them into damning circumstances that they embrace as the chances of life. Despite Yogi’s losses, he continues to pay the price to be a great father, neighbour, and citizen. It saddens me to know that his value will not be recognised by these elected leaders despite the content of this article because his record according to society. In my eyes and according to my count, people in the likes of Yogi represent the true interest of the American spirit : Big Dreams, Social Responsibility, and the Resilience to overcome.

Reflection Question 

Why do we invest in the campaigns of “representatives” managing and operating a failing and unproductive government that continues to prove uninterested in the needs of the people ? Yet we turn away from aiding young men on the same course as Yogi.