Last night, the Escambia Board of County Commissioners adopted and authorized its chairman to sign a resolution naming the Board’s Public Forum as the “Gary Sansing Public Forum.”
Gary Sansing frequently attended the scheduled Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting and spoke at many Public Forum Sessions giving his opinion on Board issues as well as national issues. Naming the Board of County Commissioners’ Public Forum as the “Gary Sansing Public Forum” is enduring tribute to his service to the County and the community. See 14255_Resolution – 06-07-2018 BCC
Sansing passed away last month.
Inweekly reporter Sean Boone interviewed him in November 2009 when Sansing was participating in a protest about the death of Victor Steen, an African-American teen that had been killed when a police car ran over him during a chase.
Here is the excerpt from the article that captures the spirit of Sansing:
The Panhandle isn’t known as a nesting ground for change. It happens slowly around these parts-often painfully slow.
No one knows that better than Gary Sansing, a man who’s been involved in the community for many years advocating transparency and fiscal responsibility at local government meetings.
It’s raining but Sansing decides to stick around. Leaning against a rail to keep his balance, he gives an occasional shout of “Now” to a chant being repeated by the crowd of Steen supporters.
“This is how democracy works,” he says. “Pensacola has come a long way. It took our founders a long time to development the constitution. It just takes a long time for things to happen.”
Sansing says he doesn’t know if Pensacola will ever be considered progressive, but he feels the community is resilient and has made strides to fix problems at hand.
“Even with this economic downturn, we haven’t noticed much change here,” he says. “We were not exactly booming beforehand. But there have been signs that things in the community are getting better.
“The turnout (of the kids) is good for the protest,” he adds. “Maybe by hanging around they will learn something.”
We all learned something from Gary Sansing.
A memorial service for longtime community activist will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 16 in Ferdinand Plaza in downtown Pensacola.