Fort McPherson – 475+ Acres of South Atlanta Hope??

 

What is going on with the Fort McPherson development on Lee Street in south west Atlanta?  Strategically located between the Oakland City and Ft. McPherson/Lakewood MARTA rail stations, this former Army Base was finally beginning to show signs of development four years ago.  That is when Tyler Perry purchased the majority of the property and the remaining (approximately) 145 acres has been slowly planned for community use with community input.

It was beginning to look as if the Oakland City/Ft Mac communities, with an average household income of less than $20,000, were about to get a “good deal”.  Now, the project that includes lots of community input, has come to a halt.

In the Saporta Report, Maria Saporta weighs in and is asking City Hall some really tough questions.  I welcomed the opportunity to add my two cents.  See her article on the link below:

Questions surround future of Fort Mac redevelopment

Be sure to leave your thoughts about what could be the best project for Atlanta residents because 60% of the housing units are slated to be affordable!

 

Don’t Ask, Demand Transit Funding From GA General Assembly

 

Billions in transit funding needed to build and connect MARTA as additional counties “get with the program”. Billions found for toll lanes.  And, former Gov. Deal even kicked on $400 million for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).  @AJC article explains it well. Read & demand more funds for all More MARTA projects to connect to future regional projects as the other 19 counties complete their transportation plans later this year.

If the state can find hundreds of millions for the GA 400 BRT Transit project, then they can also find hundreds of billions the rest of the region for much needed Light Rail (LRT) & Heavy Rail transit projects. OUR legislators always find funding for their pet projects!

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Our voices and our votes matter!  We can no longer simply allow state elected officials to vote as they please. ‘Democracy is not a spectator sport’.  Democracy is a representative system of government.  Those elected are paid with our tax dollars. So, they work for us!  Do not get it twisted!!  What happens in the halls and chambers of the Georgia State Capitol determines our quality of life both now and in the future. Traffic gridlock is at an all time high and getting worst as  tens of thousands of new residents annually moving to Georgia…especially the metro Atlanta region.

And, we all know, as proven by research done by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and numerous other organizations, the solution to Atlanta’s growing traffic nightmares is to heavily invest in a regional transportation plan. So far, we see that toll lanes around I-285, except the southern (Airport) section has been funded.  Anything wrong with that plan?? 

And, MARTA is struggling to find local and federal matching funds for its long list of worthy transit expansion projects. The state can no longer dance around their fiscal responsibility to correct the fact that they controlled, yet did not fund MARTA during its’ first 45 years.  Yet, these same state officials love to brag, Georgia is the #1 state to do business!  Really??  How many more companies are being told the dirty secret about why Georgia chose to “starve” its only commuter transit system…to reveal the real reason why Georgia was the only state to not fund its’ transit system until January of 2018. The AJC, the Saporta Report (in the Atlanta Business Chronicle)!and many others have revealed these dirty little racist decisions.

It has been 47 years of injustice and outright sabotage to the regional and state transportation plans. Are we as taxpayers going to sit back and let this current 30-40 year transportation plan suffer the same fate?  Or, are we going to stand up, speak out, and demand state lawmakers right this wrong with by finding hundreds of billions to expand and build a “real” transportation system as our northern, Midwestern, and western states; and countries overseas that includes:  Germany, European countries, Rio de Janero, Japan, China, etc. that allow residents and tourists to avoid the traffic and take public transit. It is smart, efficient, and expensive. Yet so worth it if Atlanta really wants to be a world class city.

Georgia State Legislators are elected every two years.  There are 180+ state reps and 56 state senators.  That means they are all up for re-election in 2020.  So, do we tell them they must change their views and votes to fully support transportation funding?  Do we find and fund opposition for those who refuse our demand?  This is a chance we can make next year, if we start right now!  We can no longer ask or beg. We have the power of our vote to make sure our 2020 votes send a message all the way down our presidential year ballots!!

Are you in?  Will you commit now to make sure everyone who voted against HB 930 and those against fully funding and securing additional P3 (public private partnerships) transit expansion funds?

This is a huge opportunity for us to draw a line in the sand and make sure our state lawmakers know to support our transit expansion NOW, or to spruce up their resumes for their next job.

What are your thoughts??

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/are-toll-lanes-really-the-answer-atlanta-traffic-mess/IH4lSj3oA6u6OIhXH4MLCI/?utm_source=newspaper&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8628667&ecmp=newspaper_email&

Best Graduation Gift(s) Ever!!

 

Morehouse College graduation speaker and billionaire, Robert F. Smith, announced he would pay off all student loans of all graduating seniors.  They all looked in disbelief as if to ask, ‘Did he say what I think he said?…pay off all our student loans?’

Well, well.  Most agree this was the best graduation speech ever!  Allowing these students to move forward in their career without being strapped with tens of thousands of dollars in debt is a real game changer.  It will allow them more choices in their career options.

As U.S. college graduates graduate with high amounts of student loan debt, African Americans tend to have more than other ethnic groups.  It is reported that the average 2019 Morehouse graduate owes $29,000 in student loan debt.  And, it will cost Mr. Smith about $40 million to pay off those loans for approximately 400 graduates.

 

Smith also committed to a $1.5 million donation to the Morehouse College prior to the graduation.

Thank you Robert F. Smith for sharing your wealth and changing the lives of the Morehouse College Class of 2019.  You rock!!

Wouldn’t it be great if other billionaire college commencement speakers would do the same?

 

 

Happy 90th Birthday to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Ebenezer Baptist Church bulletin from 2018.

Today Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Would have been 90 years old.

Here are some MLK,Jr questions for you and your circle of influence:

How will you celebrate his birthday today or next Monday, January 21, the day the King National Holiday is celebrated?

Will you attend the Annual Program at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as Co-Pastor and his father served as Pastor?

Will you participate in a MLKJr Day of Service?

Will you attend one of the many marches or other celebrations across the region?

Will you take time to learn more about MLKing,Jr with your circle of friends and family?

Will you read one of the many books about him?

Will you read one of his speeches (google Dr. MLKing, Jr. speeches) other than his “I Have A Dream Speech”?  Or, watch any of his less famous, yet just as important, speeches or interviews online?

To study King, his life and works will amaze you.  He was a brilliant visionary.  You will find that many of his speeches, letters and other works seem timeless. Some of them are still appropriate today…in 2019.

How do you believe things might be different if he were still alive?

What things did he envision during his lifetime do you believe still need to be fulfilled?

 

 

Long Lines in Grocery Stores

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At the Greenbriar Kroger and  grocery stores across the nation long, long lines now (and all day) after the federal government released WIC and food stamp payments for February.  Could have  avoided these lines if I had realized this impact.

And since it is late in the day, items as eggs and some produce (including kale) were sold out!  Lots of bare shelves around the store.  Yet another unintended consequence of the federal government shutdown over the past 25 days.

Thanks Kroger for calling in more workers!!