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!

c424e6f0-5e48-4c12-8511-8d57e9f175bf.jpeg

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&

Urban Food Forest, Free Produce by 2021

 

As reported by WSB- TV2.  This is a “must read!

Atlanta creates first food forest in Georgia, largest in U.S.

By: Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated:

ATLANTA – Atlanta residents will have greater access to fresh food thanks to a public “food forest.”

City Council, on a unanimous vote, approved the transformation of 7.1 acres of property near the Lakewood Fairgrounds and Browns Mill Golf Course into a public park and garden. The food forest is the first in Georgia and the largest in the United States, Councilwoman Carla Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill has been in the works since November 2016 when the city accepted an $86,150 grant from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest and Open Space Program. The federal agency has contributed a total of $164,000 to the project, which has additional support from non-profit groups Trees Atlanta and The Conservation Fund.

The green space, currently vacant property, will feature trees, shrubs and vines that produce fruit along with walking trails, a community garden and restored forest and stream-side areas by 2020, according to the legislation.

Smith said residents will be able to pick their produce from trees in the public park free of charge.

“It’s just like going into a park and picking muscadines from a bush,” she said.

Smith said the land was previously owned by Ruby and Willie Morgan, who later sold the property to a developer intending to build townhomes. The plan fell through and the property had sat in disarray until The Conservation Fund purchased it in 2016, she said.

The food forest is part of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ plan to ensure 85% of Atlanta residents are within one-half mile of accessible fresh food by 2021.

In 2017, 36 percent of Atlanta was classified as a food desert, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A quarter of Atlanta residents must travel more than a half-mile to get fresh fruits and vegetables, the USDA said.

The city will purchase the property from The Conservation Fund for $157,384, according to the legislation. The property will be managed by the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

Trees Atlanta, which is already conducting educational programs at the site, has contributed $121,500 to hire part-time staff, including a food forest ranger and community workforce educator. The city will also create a trust fund for outreach efforts related to the food forest.

This article was written by Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For more WSB TV2 amazing articles, visit:

Happy Birthday Wishes

1E8F38CF-232E-4B3B-8D88-DC1A12BCD38F

Thanks to all my friends who sent me Happy Birthday wishes today. 

Yep!  I am 40 again!

I spent most the day at City Hall at the Transportation Committee Meeting (it was much longer than usual) doing what I love:  advocating on behalf of residents for equity in local public projects.

After that, I reminded people in my path to early vote or vote on Tuesday, December 4 in the Georgia runoff elections.  The two items on the ballot, Secretary of State and Public Service Commission are very important offices.

For dinner, I ate at one of my favorite vegan restaurants (healthy meals and healthy living can translate into more birthdays!).

I also thanked The Lord for another awesome day and birthday.

 

GA Runoff Candidate Debates are Tomorrow – Nov. 27th…

 

 

The Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young Debate Series will host two runoff debates for the General Election, including Public Service Commission, District 3 and Secretary of State. The debate series will begin taping and will stream live on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. The series will conclude with the airing of Secretary of State on Georgia Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.

Debates for Public Service Commission, District 3 and Secretary of State will be available for viewers to watch online as they take place and on demand via Facebook Live at http://www.fb.com/TheAtlantaPressClub and GPBNews.org.

All candidates who qualify with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to have their name on the ballot are invited to participate in the debates.

Due to limited studio space, we are not able to accommodate a live studio audience for any of the debates.

                             For questions, please email info@atlpressclub.org

Roland Martin on 2018 Midterms & Fake Conscious Negroes

On The Tom Joyner Morning Show today, Roland Martin shares good news about yesterdays’s midterm election results.  He also has advice for those who do not vote.  Use this link for the eight minute report:

Roland Martin: Don’t Listen To These ‘Fake Conscious Negroes’

What is your response when people say they do not vote because one vote does not matter?