This article appeared in the January 2019 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
ust in time for the Legislative Session, Georgia’s Cities sat with Stockbridge Councilmember and member of the GMA Legislative Policy Council (LPC) Neat Robinson to learn more about her motivation for public service and how she prepares for legislative session.
GC: What drove you to serve your city and run for a seat on council?
NR: I wanted to expand my leadership role as an avid community servant. I felt I could assist the citizens of the city of Stockbridge by bringing positivity and a professional manner to the council post. I have mentored lots of young people in my professional career, and I always tell them that if they see and feel that something should be done, no matter how small or large the task may seem, then it is up to them to take the initiative and get it done. I saw and felt a need, and I decided to put my words to action.
GC: Tell us about your role in the city of Stockbridge and how long you’ve served on the city council?
NR: I’ve served as a councilmember for three years. I’m the city council liaison for the Stockbridge Youth Council, which allows me the opportunity to mentor high school students in the area of leadership in government. I love helping the students learn the innerworkings of city’s day-to-day operations as they will one day be our successors. Civic education has always been a challenge, and much of what young people need to understand about government functions they need to see first-hand. By providing these opportunities and awareness, I hope the inner-workings of the community can become more real to them. I would love to inspire them to push the limits of what they think is possible and urge them to take nothing for granted.
GC: You’ve recently agreed to serve on GMA’s Legislative Policy Council. How have you enjoyed it so far and are you ready for the legislative session?
NR: I’m honored to serve in this leadership role because of the recent, and extremely unprecedented, de-annexation legislation, which would have devastated our community, certainly its budget, and ultimately its whole identity. As different groups began to weigh the apparent impacts, I feel it became obvious just how bad it would have been for everyone involved. The experience energized the entire community, and I hope to use my share of that energy when discussing legislation that may have consequences for the cities of Georgia. I am excited to take part in the LPC and look forward to our legislative discussions.
GC: During the legislative session, how do you stay in touch with your legislators and what advice would you give other city officials to do the same?
NR: I recently held a Hometown Connection event that received participation from our legislative delegation, city managers from our sister cities in Henry County, the chair of our county commission and staff from both ACCG and GMA. I would advise all cities to build relationships with their delegation members, county officials and the cities nearby, as well as, key persons within their greater communities to promote positive dialogue, because after all, each of us serve the same constituents. #BetterTogether