News

Georgia's Local Elections Could Predict Whether You'll Vote in 2018 or Not

11/1/2017
 – 
Emily Weitz, VICE Impact

Today, African Americans are three times more likely to be unemployed than whites, and only 4 percent of people born in poverty in Athens make it to the middle class. As County Commissioner, Valentine wants to implement specific policies that would address these inequalities head-on. "We need to bring in high wage jobs," he said, "to ensure that people who work full-time can provide for themselves and their families. We need to establish a living wage, and to remove barriers of discrimination in local education and local hiring."

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Athens' Racist Past Still Haunts Us

5/31/2017
 – 
Blake Aued, Flagpole

Athens-Clarke County Commission candidate Tommy Valentine made a similar point recently—that Athens has a dark side, one we’ve collectively chosen to gloss over in favor of an image of ourselves as a welcoming, inclusive community, snug in our bubbles in Normaltown and on West Washington Street. But in one Prince Avenue storefront window hangs a Confederate flag. A few blocks down from the 40 Watt, African Americans are routinely turned away from college bars. A few blocks south, an obelisk erected to perpetuate the myth of the Lost Cause juts into the sky, even as New Orleans removes its monuments to a “fake news” version of the past.

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The Jersey Barrier Returns With a Thoughtful New Album | Threats and Promises

5/31/2017
 – 
Gordon Lamb, Flagpole

I don't really talk a whole lot of politics in this column, and I'm not about to start now, but I do want to give a big shout out and congratulations to Tommy Valentine. Although best known for many years in Athens as a show promoter and hip-hop impresario, he's become known to a new generation of friends and fans as a thoughtful, constructive voice in Athens politics and the community. Last week, Valentine announced his candidacy for Athens-Clarke County commissioner for District 9. It's nice to see him staying true to his music roots with the inclusion of both the aforementioned Miller and Mariah Parker (Lingua Franca) on his campaign team. Currently, Valentine hosts the public-affairs radio program—appropriately named “The Tommy Valentine Radio Show”—on WXAG 1470 AM/92.7 FM and is in the final stretch of completing his PhD in public administration at UGA.

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Tommy Valentine outlines platform for Athens-Clarke commission bid

5/29/2017
 – 
Jim Thompson, Athens Banner-Herald

One of the lessons of his studies in public administration, Valentine said, is the importance of effectively assessing a community’s needs. A corollary of that lesson is the realization that “no one person knows enough to solve the problems of a community.”

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Tommy Valentine Launches Commission District 9 Campaign

5/24/2017
 – 
Blake Aued, Flagpole

On the economy, Valentine wants to not only focus on recruiting businesses that pay a living wage (which he defines as $15 an hour) but rewarding and recognizing existing businesses that pay a living wage. More ambitiously, he pointed to the city-county unification charter, which promises a comprehensive, well-funded and well-staffed anti-poverty program that he said does not exist. (ACC’s Housing and Community Development Department is funded entirely with perpetually shrinking federal pass-through grants that are under further threat from the Trump Administration.)

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Tommy Valentine to announce run for Athens-Clarke commission seat Sunday

5/19/2017
 – 
Jim Thompson, Athens Banner-Herald

Tommy Valentine, a doctoral student in the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs whose experience includes work as a business owner, management consultant and civil rights advocate, will announce his bid for a seat on the Athens-Clarke County Commission at 2 p.m. Sunday at Lay Park in the edge of downtown Athens.

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For Athens Hip-Hop Community, Music is Politics

1/18/2017
 – 
Matthew Pulver, Flagpole

Hooking up with Miller and Dreaded Mindz “began one of the most pivotal periods of mentorship in my life,” says Valentine. In addition to honing mic skills, members were encouraged to be active in catalyzing positive change. “It was very much a crash course in community organizing,” remembers Valentine, who would later apply those skills to managing a Democratic congressional candidate in 2008, Bobby Saxon. “Hip hop taught me [how] to inclusively lead a large group of people, and how to energize them behind a cause,” says Valentine.

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Valentine: Civil rights committee good for business, good for Athens

10/29/2016
 – 
Tommy Valentine, Athens Banner-Herald

With the help of cities and counties across the nation, volunteer civil rights committees have been empowered to improve communities through education and research. In most cases – and in the case of our local proposed body – these are volunteer committees, appointed by local commissions, that exist to collect citizen input, advise local governments on anti-discrimination measures, direct citizen complaints and inquiries to the proper entities, and offer businesses information on best practices to make sure all customers feel welcome. Athens deserves such a committee. With respect, humility and urgency, we ask the mayor and commission to help us protect the future of our neighbors, our children, and the businesses that define our community.

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[Flashback Article] Latest organization and volunteer announced through The Mayor's Call to Service

12/29/2013
 – 
Athens Banner-Herald

Together with Tommy Valentine, director of the Mayor’s Call to Service, Denson hopes to encourage people of all ages to sign up for service projects through HandsOn Northeast Georgia, a program of Community Connection of Northeast Georgia that helps volunteers by providing a type of “one-stop-shop” to find service projects at 120 local agencies.

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[Flashback Article] Athens rapper meets his match

4/1/2010
 – 
Joe Vanhoose, Athens Banner-Herald

West surprised Valentine on all levels, he said, especially on matters that deal with business and trust. He never met someone before her who enjoyed both the music and business sides of the industry as much as he did.

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[Flashback Article] Valentine is back in spotlight

4/23/2009
 – 
Chris Starrs, Athens Banner-Herald

Although he's been away from local stages for two years, Valentine hasn't been in hiding. Besides enrolling at the University of Georgia, where he's seeking a degree in political science, the former Eagle Scout also worked on Barack Obama's presidential campaign and managed the campaign of Democratic Congressional candidate Bobby Saxon.

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[Flashback Article] Valentine, Stamps hope to revitalize hip-hop scene in Athens

9/18/2009
 – 
Chris Starrs, Athens Banner-Herald

In addition to hosting a pair of sold-out shows at the 40 Watt and an eight-hour block party at the Max Canada, Valentine is cementing his spot in the Athens hip-hop community by forming an alliance - known as Mean Mic Entertainment - with Bobby Stamps, manager of Southern rap artist Bubba Sparxxx.

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[Flashback Article] A Valentine from the Lovenotes family

2/15/2007
 – 
Athens Banner-Herald

Valentine and other members of Athens' hip-hop community decided to put their idea into song, inviting two-time BeatWars winner Nobody Famous of Flowery Branch to create the beats and structure, and six rap artists to write eight lines each to create the lyrics. Meanwhile, local musicians were invited to come in and play music to replace the song's synthetic sounds with real instruments.

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[Flashback Article] Local rappers battle on the mic, cross political lines

2/14/2005
 – 
Anna Ferguson, Red & Black

"I am a devout Christian, and Ishues is Muslim," Valentine said. "There are so many different things about us, but through this project we've been able to humanize things that are not usually able to be humanized. The idea is to balance radio and underground hip-hop, to unite both sides so it will endure for future generations."

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