Residents rally at Macon City Hall demanding public forum

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Macon-Bibb residents gathered outside City Hall for the Macon Deserves Better Rally on Tuesday.

Organizers of the Macon Deserves Better rally say they feel as if their voices are not being heard. Bibb County commissioners have been hosting virtual meetings over Zoom and broadcasting them on Facebook Live.

Lead organizer of the rally, Jonathan Fisher, says he made plans to address the commissioners after he believes his voice was silenced.

Fisher said, “I want to hold these commissioners accountable. I got mad and upset because they are not letting people exercise their amendment right to free speech and speaking about what they want.”

Jess Dominy, the assistant organizer, says that the Macon Deserves Better group is focused on inviting the commissioners into critical conversations with the community.

“We’d like to be able to see them be more proactive in trying to engage the community before they cast their vote,” Dominy stated.

Constituents have been asked to email their public comments or constructive criticisms to the Board of Commissioners, since July 1. These comments are now being summarized by the county lawyer towards the end of the meetings.

District 3 Commissioner Elaine Lucas says she understands the community’s frustrations.

“I think there are some ways of working through this,” Lucas said, “I just don’t want anybody to think that we’re trying to keep people from voicing their opinions. We will certainly discuss and work on a way that people’s voices can be heard.”

The commissioners will decide on a solution for a virtual public forum at the meeting on Tuesday.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.