Leon County Commission Retreat Includes Apology for Acts of Slavery

Leon County Commission Retreat Includes Apology for Acts of Slavery

On January 22, the Leon County Commission held their annual retreat and celebrated Tallahassee’s Bicentennial year.

The retreat covered the Bicentennial Celebration and the Strategic Plan update for FY 2024. Staff showcased the Bicentennial goals and accomplishments to the Board, including the new Bicentennial website that provides educational content and features a calendar to keep up with the upcoming Bicentennial celebrations.

Additionally, staff noted there will be a new app displaying a Tallahassee history map that takes citizens from location to location based on historical relevance. For more information on Bicentennial events and Tallahassee history, you can visit tallahasseeleoncounty200.com.

During discussion, Commissioner Bill Proctor proposed the idea for the County government issue an apology for acts of slavery. He stated, “I’m just not feeling good about going forward with all of these wonderful activities and as a government that we did not officially apologize for that part.”

Proctor gave several examples of other governments apologizing on the matter and even noted First Presbyterian Church had a plaque apologizing for the church’s history of racism. The other Commissioners expressed their support for Proctor’s idea, and the recommendation passed unanimously.

Additionally, the Board unanimously approved the status report on the Tallahassee Bicentennial Celebration and approved conducting a grant application cycle specifically for Bicentennial-themed community events, in the amount of $69,000.

During Board discussion, Proctor proposed a millage rate reduction in light of economic conditions stating, “I just feel that we should show empathy to real life challenges in the community.”  He also asked to explore a 90-10 split in the employer contributions for the County’s healthcare plan.

The Board unanimously approved all three initiatives Commissioner Christian Caban proposed, including a proposal in collaboration with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office to identify and implement solutions to immediately combat crime and nuisance activity on Pensacola Street. The second motion he made was to work with the City of Tallahassee, Big Bend Continuum of Care, and the street outreach team to develop corridor plans for North Monroe, Downtown, Pensacola Street/Highway 20 for outreach to homeless individuals and to engage residents and business owners. Lastly, he made a motion to enhance citizen safety and accessibility by reviewing and amending County policy around the use of private road repair and maintenance.

The Board unanimously approved Commissioner Rick Minor’s proposal to expand the County’s existing Build Your Bucket Training to include year-round neighborhood level hurricane preparedness workshops to increase awareness for residents.

Additionally, the Board unanimously approved the initiatives made by Commissioner Nick Maddox to evaluate future opportunities to acquire eligible federal lands for the provision of affordable housing and public services and to implement the statewide planning coordination and fundraising efforts to successfully host the 2026 World Cross County Championship at Apalachee Regional Park.

15 Responses to "Leon County Commission Retreat Includes Apology for Acts of Slavery"

  1. The first documented case of legalized slavery was a black man allowed to own a white man as a slave, I’m white and I want an apology and reparations for that. Which is just as ridiculous as each and every call for reparations and every fake, insincere “apology” for something that ended in America inn 1865, still happening in other parts of the world today.

    Nobody living in America today was ever a slave unless they escaped slavery in another nation before coming here, and nobody living in America now has legally held a slave so let’s just stop and maybe work on something that has relevance to people today like the epidemic of drug abuse, homelessness, illegal immigration, rampant crime and untreated mental illness.

  2. 1, Proctor is Proctor and not one other had the guts to call him out on it.
    2 We dont need a bicentennial celebration we need more cops, that was a salary gone.
    3 Solution for Pensacola street, run them off period.
    4 Out reach for homeless, again run them out of town.
    5 Federal land acquisition for housing, does that mean city or county owned housing? If so
    very bad idea.

  3. Reminds me of when Gabordi apologized to the black community circa 2006 for the “Dixiecrat” years of the newspaper half a century prior.
    What shallow pandering that was! That occurred before Knight-Ridder bought it, and decades before Gabordi’s employer Gannett bought it from K-R.

    When will Buckhead Bill apologize to his constituents for not living in the district he represents?

  4. @Spider — things that CEASED HAPPENING 160 years ago.

    And let’s be clear. This is just another white vs black thing intended to inflame racial strife. There was white slavery here long before black slaves were imported. Chinese slave we used primarily in the Western states. But that seems to be a forgotten part of history. And people like Proctor persist down a path the won’t LET people be “just people”.

  5. Much like the foolishness of the reparations push to force people who never owned slaves to pay money to people who never were slaves… Proctor wants to make people who had nothing to do with slavery apologize for it to people who never were slaves. Ignorance of full display is all.

    America did not invent slavery. In fact, it was introduced to America via maritime merchants when African tribes would sell their captives from other tribes to travelers. Moreover, slavery still exists today in Africa based on levels of melanin in the various tribes. African tribes still view and enslave their brethren of darker pigment because they view those with darker pigment as below them on the food chain.

    Perhaps Mr. Proctor would also propose a letter of apology that would come from the Democrat Party and their New Green Deal clowns due to the child slave labor used in Africa today to mine the minerals needed to make the batteries for their cell phone and EVs.

    Like I always say; No matter how you arrange the letters D E M O C R A T… it will always spell HYPOCRITE

  6. I’m more interested in an apology for increasing my property taxes due to their facilitation of crime in this city. Half a million Americans gave their lives to end slavery, I think that’s enough. And enough with the vapid bs from the commission.

  7. Will this apology also reach out to the white families who had loved ones murdered by “regulators” because of their support of abolishing slavery? Any apology at this late date
    will do nothing except continue to support racism. (History of Jackson and Calhoun Counties of Florida by Dale Cox)

  8. The black community isn’t being helped by idiotic proclamations that do absolutely nothing to improve their lives. Just ask Tallahassee’s 24-year-old African American Lyndarious Strange Jr. Strange is charged with 1st degree murder. His future will be behind bars, forever. It doesn’t help the dozens of black people arrested every day in Leon and Gadsden Co.

  9. Apologizing for something that happened over 150 Years ago, something you barely know anything about, to a Race of People that will never really accept it is ignorant. All you are doing is raising Racism to another level with this empty act of fake gesture. Don’t even talk about reparations. If Proctor feels that bad about something that happened over 150 Years ago, maybe he should start apologizing for all the Crimes his People have been committing, all the Shootings, theft and Looting, it’s all over the News every day.

  10. Someone please help me out with this. When did the Leon County government participate in slavery by owning someone? Or better still, who is still living and participated in slavery by owning someone?

  11. “….County government issue an apology for acts of slavery.”

    Exactly who is apologizing to who with this gesture?

    Are there still a lot of living people who actually were slaves doing things like working the cotton fields and such? Will anyone hear or even be aware of this apology by the Leon County Government?

    Since the commissioners are part of the county government, will this apology be coming from Commissioners Proctor, Cummings and Maddox? That seems rather odd.

    This call for an apology is one of those “feel good” actions that the commissioners spend time on rather than addressing the long list of high priority problems Leon County has. Those problems are completely ignored and not even addressed in meeting after meeting.

    Get real commissioners and earn your tax-payer funded paychecks.

  12. How useless. What pointless virtue signaling. Apologizing for things that happened 160 years ago? Don’t waste our time or our tax money on this NONSENSE.

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