The “Progressive Dinner”, nearly two years in operation, has become a bit of an institution and forum for progressive, liberal and moderate voices in the Columbus community, attracting exiles from the Muscogee County Democratic Party Post Committee as well as a cross-section of the city’s regions and professions.
On Monday, the dinner experienced an overflow of people. Over 50 people from the Columbus community stopped by to listen to the Mayor of Columbus, Teresa Tomlinson, as well as candidates for local office such as Sylvia Hudson (running for Municipal Court Judge), Donna Tompkins (for Sheriff) and Pam Brown (for Sheriff), who was narrowly defeated by incumbent Sheriff John Darr in the 2012 election.
The mayor spoke on the upcoming tax thaw referendum, handing out materials to the audience. In Q&A, however, most of the questions were concerned with the controversial ongoing lawsuit by Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr, who is among a party of incumbent politicians suing the city for more pay but using taxpayer money to subsidize the lawsuit.
In addition, the mayor gave particular recognition to David Smith, a Columbus High School senior and Democratic activist, for his voter registration efforts and for hosting the most recent debate between the Mayor and former State Senator Seth Harp.
Organized by liberal activist Patricia Lassiter and former MCDP chair Judy Brouillette, the Progressive Dinner happens at 6:00pm every 1st Monday at Caffe Amici on the corner of Airport Thruway and Whitesville Road. The restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine.