‘I Love Macon’ day announced by mayor

A gathering of nearly 70 Macon residents came to declare their love for Macon in the city’s Rosa Parks Square on the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 8.
At the event, Mayor Robert Reichert announced the day as “I Love Macon Day,” as a tribute to the yearlong campaign whose objective is to get 10,000 people stating the reason they love the city of Macon and vowing to spread the message of appreciation whenever possible.
“(The campaign) promotes the positives,” the mayor said, according to The Telegraph. “While we recognize there are negatives, as there are with other cities, we want to do something about them. … It is a way to remind ourselves of the positives we have. It should be an all-day, everyday event.”
Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart announced to the crowd his hopes that the day expands next year to “I Love Macon and Bibb County,” once the two governments have consolidated.
Campaign organizers rolled out a long sheet of paper at the event to gather signatures. People can also sign the pledge at the website ilovemacon.org, go to a local pledge signing spot listed on the website, or pledge by sending an email to [email protected]
As of Jan. 8, around 7,200 people signed the pledge. Organizers hoped to get the remaining 2,800 by the deadline of Jan. 31, 2013, the one year anniversary of the effort.
Now the pledge has 8,500 signatures, but still needs the last 1,500 to complete the “I Love Macon” challenge.
The “I Love Macon” campaign was created by five Macon citizens: Josh Rogers, Pilar Wilder, Julia Wood, Wesley Griffith and Heather Bowman Cutway.
All five of the campaign’s founders were selected as Macon Magazine’s “Five Under 40” in 2011. The group was asked what they loved about Macon, which the initial inspiration for the campaign.
The “I Love Macon Pledge” asks people who sign to keep a positive outlook on their city, even as they acknowledging that the city has problems common to many cities. The pledge also encourages signers to spread the good aspects of the city of Macon with others in the community.
Rogers said the project, which has mostly been a grass roots affair, provides a way to boost the city’s collective self-confidence, according to The Telegraph.
“Sometimes, people can be critical of the place they live,” Rogers said. “Because people are sharing the things they love, they learn about other aspects of Macon. … We hope this will deepen people’s love.”
Schools, restaurants, and other organizations around Macon have helped the campaign by encouraging people to sign the pledge. Mercer brought about an opportunity to sign the pledge at one of its basketball games.
The “I Love Macon” campaign also has a Facebook page on which the organizers post some of the best reasons people love Macon. People can also sign the pledge on the Facebook page.
“I feel privileged to have been raised in a city with so much rich history, culture and tradition,” wrote one pledge signer, Fred Swann. “Is it perfect? Absolutely not. I am willing to fight to make it better every day.”