Citizen Joe Sawyer is more than just a slogan for City Council Post 4 candidate Joe Sawyer. As he and his campaign manager, Steve Cone, arrived for the interview, they discussed the logistics of buying dinner that night for a homeless man they regularly see nearby. This effort to extend a helping hand also included making a call to a friend who could potentially hire the man.
Sawyer’s “people first” platform is one that seems to have evolved naturally. Since launching Alpha & Omega Carpet Cleaning with his wife, Kim, in 2001, he’s had the opportunity to step into the homes of his fellow citizens, get to know them, and listen to their thoughts on the city. “I get to hear the voices of the people every day,” Sawyer says. Not to mention, he’s called the area home for nearly 25 years.
In 2013, that familiarity and insight into the community led him to co-found the faith-based group Bridges Peachtree Corners. “We’re working on the economic disparity and racial diversity of Peachtree Corners,” says Sawyer. “There’s a big gap in Peachtree Corners. Like I say, you’ve got the train tracks, which is Holcomb Bridge Road. And it’s like I tell anybody, if you want fried chicken you go to the south side of town, if you want steak you go to the north side of town. So what we’re trying to do is bring everyone together,” he says. With the help of residents, the group organized the delivery of a truck filled with donations of clothing, water, and other supplies to help those affected by the recent hurricanes in Houston and Florida.
It makes sense that a natural next step for the pastor and juvenile youth mentor would be civil service, but that hasn’t been as easy to tackle as his other ventures. In 2011, Sawyer ran for Post 1 and lost. The decision to run again wasn’t an easy one. “I was asked probably about two years ago and I said, ‘Let me pray about it because I don’t know if I want to get into that ring again,’” he says. Nine months later, he arrived at his answer and made the calculated choice to run at-large. “I decided to run because my life is about service,” Sawyer says.
He believes his experience as a business owner, army veteran, volunteer, and homeowners association president for his community, Meadow Green, will make him an asset to the City Council. Among his top concerns for the area are revitalizing the south side, traffic, and creating a place for residents from all parts of town to gather.
- Revitalizing The South Side
Sawyer remembers the time when the south side of town was lively. “It was the happening place,” he says. He feels it’s been left in the dust to some extent as the north side and surrounding areas have continued to grow. “If we could bring some of that excitement back and beautification back, that’d be good,” Sawyer says.
Sawyer plans to improve some of the most congested areas in town, such as Holcomb Bridge Road and State Route 141 by working with state and county officials.
- Resident Gathering Place
“What I’ve noticed in the last five years is that we need a meeting place. So that all the people of Peachtree Corners can get together, not go to Norcross for the fireworks or Lenox Square,” Sawyer says. He goes on to say, “We just need a meeting place so you can get to know your neighbors, and I think that’s very important.”
Sawyer seems to radiate confidence when it comes to his positions and his second attempt at gaining a City Council seat. If he wins the spot, his work, he says, will circle back to the reason he decided to run in the first place. “It’s about the people of Peachtree Corners. It’s not about me,” he states.
For more information on Joe Sawyer, please visit https://www.citizenjoesawyer.com/
Alex McCray is a freelance writer/reporter for Peachtree Corners Life. Contributing to the award-winning, student-run newspaper and magazine publications at Georgia Southern University sparked her passion for storytelling. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, she joined Atlanta Best Media, where she continues to work today. When she isn’t glued to a keyboard, her pastimes include pursuing her only bucket list item of seeing all seven continents, working out, and trying new restaurants. She can be reached at: Alex@PeachtreeCornersLife.com