Christy Atkinson, the regional director for American Heart Association, is the special guest for the Covington City Council monthly meeting on March
However, Atkinson is not simply there to spectate. Fellow City Council member, Rick Smith, invites Atkinson to serve as an appearer.
It is not uncommon to have an appearer at a council meeting.
The City Councilman of District C, Joey Roberts, says, “We often have people come to speak before the meetings. Some are non-profits that are associated with the city, some are public officials discussing their perspectives on agenda’s that may affect the city, or sometimes is residents/groups that just have a cause that they are compelled to speak on. All speakers have to be ‘sponsored’ by a council member in order to be placed on the agenda.”
Mrs. Atkinson was sponsored by Councilman Smith and was able to present her cause for us all, as well as the audience at home since we are live streaming the meetings currently.”
At 6 p.m., the meeting begins. Before the meeting is put into motion, the floor is in the hands of Atkinson.
As an appearer, the city council allocates Atkinson time to voice her mission. She uses the chamber as a medium to inform the public about events in association with the AHA.
As she advocates for support from the community to raises awareness of heart disease, Atkinson expresses the significance of the Circle of Red Fundraiser. It is the annual heart wall that takes place on the Northshore.
Erin Bovina, the Covington Chief Administrative Officer, says, “[Atkinson] She was providing information about the purpose of the American Heart Association and the Heart Walk. This is a wonderful event, not only for the AHA but for Covington.”
The annual heart walk usually takes place at Fontainebleau State Park. But this year, downtown Covington will host the City of Red Fundraiser on May 8.
The AHA does not decide to relocate, but the presiding area chooses where to host the event. Mayor Mark Johnson says, “[The venue change] Not a proposal. As Mayor, I had suggested the Heartwalk move to downtown Covington.”
Mayor Mark projects that the event will have over at least a thousand in attendance, benefit both the city and the AHA.
Currently, the AHA is accepting donations and sponsorships are available at this time.