Banks wins runoff race

May 18, 2017 in News

Becomes Democratic nominee for city council Ward 6

By Othor Cain




In what was billed as ‘the battle of the pastors,’ Aaron Banks, pastor of Glory Empowerment Center located at 3874 I-55 South Frontage Rd in South Jackson, was victorious in his quest to become the Democratic nominee for councilperson in Ward 6.

Banks defeated Ernest Slaughter, pastor of New Canney Creek MB Church located at 815 McCluer Rd., also in South Jackson, by garnering 675 votes or 59 percent. Slaughter received 465 votes or 40 percent. This was the first political race for both candidates. While voter turnout was low, it was higher than most expected with a little more than one thousand people returning to make a decision.

South Jackson encompasses four wards with the largest portion belonging to Ward 6. In recent years Ward 6, and south Jackson as a whole, has been plagued with an onslaught of dilapidated housing, an influx of crime and changing demographics.

“I recognize that the greatest resource in south Jackson after its citizens, is its real estate,” Banks said. “I want to be able to utilize all of these vacant building and create some new activity in Ward 6.”

Banks recently held a press conference at AppleRidge Shopping Center which was once home to a skating rink, bowling alley and many other retail shops. Today, it sits empty and abandoned.

“I want to help find ways to restore this center,” said Banks. “I remember the glory days of south Jackson.”

Banks is proposing a program for churches to get involved in the process by offering a payment in lieu of taxes. “We believe whole heartedly that there are many churches and other non profits willing to invest in south Jackson,” Banks said. “If we are successful in bringing this initiative online, we will restore the glory of South Jackson.” Banks’ motto: South Jackson Matters.” “I grew up in this ward, I’m raising my children in this ward, this ward matters to me,” Banks said.

Banks held his victory celebration at Next Level Entertainment in the Metrocenter Mall, another South Jackson jewel. “ I remember when the Metrocenter was the place to be,” Banks said. “Simply put South Jackson matters.”

Banks faces one more hurdle before being officially declared the councilperson-elect for Ward 6. The general election is June 6 and he will face one Republican opponent in his quest.