ATL Tenants Shocked By Landlord’s Unpaid $700K Water Bill

Despite Sierra residents paying their rent, which includes water, their water was turned off earlier today.  After WAOK Radio Host And former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman and Atlanta Mayoral Candidate State Senator Vincent Fort held a press conference at the apartment complex late this morning.  It appears that the media exposure has helped the residence get a two week reprieve.

Also, I spoke to At-Large Councilman Andre Dickens, this evening.  He says, “As soon as I found out what was going on, about 2pm, I began making calls to various departments to see what could be done for the Sierra Ridge Residents.”

According to WSB TV2, the apartment owners are saying $480,000 of the $700,000 the City says they owe is from the previous owners.  They only want to pay what they owe.  Is it possible for a real estate sale to close with an unpaid water bill?  View the full story at:  https://www.google.com/amp/s/wsbtv.relaymedia.com/amp/news/local/atlanta/more-than-100-left-without-water-right-before-children-head-back-to-school/577207018

http://www.cbs46.com/story/36015866/apartment-complex-water-turned-back-on

And, many residents across Atlanta are appalled at the fact that several Atlanta businesses in Buckhead and Midtown owe millions of dollars in unpaid water bills and the City has not turned off their water.  See the full 11 Alive TV story from 2016 at:

http://www.11alive.com/mb/news/local/city-give-buckhead-condo-pass-on-1-million-water-bill/308316443#

Do you believe the City of Atlanta/Watershed Management should have different policies about who pays their delinquent water bill based on your zip code?

When is the water at the luxury Phoenix Condo building going to have their water turned off for non payment for their ten plus year, delinquent $1 million water bill?

What do you think should be done to help the 40 Sierra Ridge residents and their children?

(Please post your comment and “like” this page.)

City Council Candidate Forum Draws Crowd

 

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Most of the candidates for Atlanta City Council Districts 10 and 11 participated in tonight’s Forum at the South Side YMCA at 2020 Campbellton Road in Atlanta.  Attendees listened intently to the candidates’ background and platform.  It was exciting to see and hear from the people who want to earn our votes.

Among those in attendance were Dr. Walter Young, YMCA Board Member, his wife Sonja Young, Councilman Andre Dickens and several NPU members.

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Devin, Sherry, Helen and Leslie registered voters at City Council District 10 & 11 Candidate Forum.

Helen Butler from the Coalition of the Peoples Agenda was on hand with volunteers to register voters and hand out the flyer and website for 2017 voting and early voting FAQs:  www.mvp.sos.ga.gov

You too should attend a couple of Candidate Forums to see, hear, meet and ask questions that are important to you, your family and community. Connect to your local media (talk radio, local newspaper apps, and relevant Facebook pages) and community meetings. Get connected and stay informed. An informed voter is a POWERFUL VOTER!!

Please Repair the MARTA Escalators

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Daily riders wonder how long they will have to wait for MARTA to repair this escalator at its’ Oakland City station.  Down for at least four days, this is unexceptionable.

In four days, surely it can get it repaired!  In talking to the MARTA police officer, she says “it may be down for a while.”

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Now 10 minutes later, upon arrival at the Five Points station, the escalator to the East bound platform is not working.  Hmmm!  What is this all about??

Does anyone know if this is standard operating procedures for MARTA’s escalators to be out for days at at time?

When you see escalators out of service, do you call MARTA customer service or go online to report the problem??

 

Pedro Hernandez Freed…Judge Requires 100% of Bail

It is difficult to raise 10% of a $250,000 bail amout to get someone out of jail. Yet earlier this week a judge required 100% of the $250,000 bail.  Once the full amout was raised, he questioned whether those contributing used their own money.  And, the judge refused to release Hernandez.

If it had not been for Sean King’s diligence and the Robert Kennedy Foundation’s funds, no one knows how much longer this teenager would have to remain in jail at Rikers waiting for trial since three years has already passed.

See the Black America Web link  below for a horrific example of two types of justice in America: Justice for the haves and in-Justice for the have nots.

Special Report: Pedro Hernandez Freed

Is America re-living how she treated people of color and the poor in the early and mid twentieth century?

If you have not already “Slavery By Another Name” (Now a movie on PBS TV 30) and the “New Jim Crow. You must fully understand the plan before you can effectively respond and bring about change.

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African American Home Ownership Behind Other Groups

While the housing market is rebounding across the country and unemployment is said to be low, African Americans overall are not a part of this good economic news.

if you are African American, you or someone in your circle of family and friends has been looking for a job for the last thee to ten years.  Mostly this is do to being downsized one or more times (Last hired, first fired still applies to mostly to people of color.).  If you cannot secure employment with a good wage, there is no way to qualify for a mortgage.

For more details on the mortgage gap between ethnic groups, see the article below:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/realestate/report-disparity-between-white-and-african-american-home-ownership-is/article_401fb72a-38ae-5f79-a056-c64e1d335add.html

Also, if you were downsized and over the age of 45, most employers do not care about your skills or experience because they can hire someone out of college for less. That is because the recent college graduate can live at home with their parent(s) and do not require the amout that 45 year old with a family is worth and deserves. Very few companies will hire older workers unless their is an inside connection, something most people of color or poor people have. In other words, it’s who you know.

What most companies fail to realize is that therenis a strong correlation between diverse workers and worker productivity. And, the long term results are priceless. Also, the U.S. has a substantial amount of workers who are grossly underemployed and lots of very talented 45-70 year olds who are desperate for any “legal job”. Many even have advanced degrees!   Yet, their talents are not valued or utilized. This leads to depression, desperation, stress, illness and increased incidence of suicide.  The stories of some of these displace workers will make you cry!

Now, to make matters worse regentrification is occurring across the country further squeezing people of color out of housing that leaves them unable to find  “affordable housing”.  A recent story on NPR/WABE, the mayor of  Brookhaven shared that all of the housing permits issued (for Brookhaven) over the past three years have been for houses priced at $800,000 or more.  Now you see for whom new communities are being built.

Until economic development projects includes jobs with living wages and affordable housing for existing residents, people of color, primarily African Americans, and poor people: the American Dream will no longer be obtainable.  In the words of one radio talk show host, “It is hard to pull yourself up by your boot straps when people has taken your boots!”

High Blood Pressure is Too Common

According to a news report today, 45% of African Americans have high blood pressure.  That is higher than any other race.  That is unacceptable because health is wealth!  A good quality of life is priceless because it allows lots of independence.

On the other hand, a poor quality of life makes you dependent on: 1) precription medicine, 2) people to take you to the doctor and 3) people to help you when your blood pressure is so high you cannnot do things for yourself.

“You are what you eat!”  Yet, most people make excuses for having poor eating habits.  Case in point:  This morning, while I waited to buy a bowl of grits, I heard a lady say to her friend, ” I am not going to get bacon, a biscuit or anything fattening. I am going to get some oatmeal.”  I look over at her two minutes later and see her piling heaping spoons of brown sugar on her oatmeal and one spoon of fruit.  So what is healthy about that I asked.  She replied she cannot eat it without lots of sugar.  Hmmmm.  She really thinks that is okay.  I smiled and thought to myself, If she is not diabetic, she may be soon.  Especially if she also puts excessive amounts of sugar on other foods and drinks lots of sweet tea or soft drinks.

It is poor food choices, too much salt, sugar, fake food and lack of exercise that is making people sick and obese.  About 33% of U.S. Adults are obese.   While a few people are genetically predisposed to some illness, many others are not. Our poor food choices and sedentary is shortening our life expectancy or causing us to live and be miserable.

There is so much information online and on Ele vision about how to eat better, walking and other exercises. Uber will deliver healthy meals (and unhealthy meals).  Several companies like Nlue Apron. have emerged that prepare healthy meals and deliver them.  Grocery stores like While Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and some Kroger stores have a section of prepared salads, deli meals, etc. prepackaged daily as “grab and go” meals.

There is no excuse in this day and age of information at our fingertips, online and on television, where we have unlimited access to the information we need. And, the only way for African Americans to significantly decrease the 45% is for us to: 1) stop making excuses, 2) develop a realistic eating and exercise plan that is sustainable, and 3) realize when we die prematurely due to our own foolish choices and say, I’m going to die of something; we realize that is a selfish reply.  Unless you live under a rock, your poor health affects your friends and family more than you know.  They have to change their schedules constantly when a person’s blood pressure soars and has to periodically be hospitalized.  When obese people suffer from all kinds of illnesses from the complications of carrying excess weight (50 plus pounds). Some of those illnesses include:  high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes,!diabetes, cancer, and respiratory problems.

So if you, someone in your family, or in your circle of influence is 50+ pounds overweight, they can get help if they really want it. If they fail, encourage them to try again.  Also, over the past 20 years, more people have made a plan to get healthy with a friend to walk or team up with friends who work/train together.  The tv show “The Biggest Looser” and  shows that showcase fitness competitions are popular as team members encourage each other to keep going despite big challenges.

Since health care professionals promote losing weight as a good way to lower blood pressure and improve overall health, why not get started or help someone you know get started TODAY!