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Mariah Parker, District 2 Commissioner, listens to her colleague speak during the Athens Clarke County City Hall meeting on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at City Hall in downtown Athens, Georgia. The commissioner spoke at the first  Young Democrats of UGA meeting of the fall 2019 semester on August 21, 2019. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta, crmatacotta@gmail.com)

District 2 Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker addressed students at the first Young Democrats of UGA meeting of the school year with high energy at the Miller Learning Center on Wednesday night. 

“When I say ‘keeping it,’ you say ‘real,’” Parker said, leading the room in a chant. 

With over 100 people in the room, many had to stand as Parker spoke about how music brought her out of a difficult period of drug addiction, depression and anxiety. Parker is now a rapper under the name Linqua Franqa. 

Parker incorporated her own raps when speaking to the group, and said that music gave her an outlet to articulate her feelings and share stories. 

“Athens is a colorful town with a white supremacy problem,” Parker said, explaining that the downtown area wasn't a place where she and her friends were “supposed to go.”

Soon she found herself in music venues in the downtown area organizing shows which she described as “a space to uplift others.”

“It wasn't in spite of these things, but because of them that I was fit to be a leader,” Parker said.

One of those things Parker spoke of was being a rapper, which she says make the best politicians. She shared a video from NowThis News in which she makes her case. 

“She used something she was passionate about first and used that to connect with people on a political level,” said first year theatre major Caroline Leggett, who was attending her first Young Democrats meeting. 

Parker’s message to the group was less focused on policy, though the Young Democrats commended the ACC Mayor and Commission for committing to 100% clean energy sources by 2035. 

“What I want to show you is that anyone can do this,” Parker said. 

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