Category Archives: Atlanta City Government

Rainbow sidewalks art installation approved on temporary basis, artist protested

The artist protested, but the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously Monday to allow the rainbow flag to be painted on the road as crosswalks near Piedmont Park on a temporary basis, not a permanent one.

Robert Sepulveda Jr.

Robert Sepulveda Jr.

Atlanta artist Robert Sepulveda Jr. spoke at the meeting. He told the council that the original plan was for his artwork, The Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks, to be a permanent installation at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.

“The original legislation said, ‘in perpetuity,’” Sepulveda said. “We want this to be a permanent installation.”

Sepulveda created a plan to paint right the crosswalks with rainbow strips of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Two bands are to be 10 feet wide, and two bands are to be 11 feet wide, according to the legislation.

The original legislation was changed to allow the artwork for about a week before and after the Atlanta Pride Festival. Sepulveda said neither he nor other advocates were notified of the change.

The legislation sets the time frame for the installation from about Oct. 3 through about Oct. 16. The Atlanta Pride Festival is scheduled Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.

Rainbow crosswalks

This rendering shows the Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks looking east toward Piedmont Park. File/Credit: Facebook.com

Sepulveda addressed one of the issues that Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza cited in a letter he sent Sepulveda. The letter notified Sepulveda that the city had determined its need to establish a better policy regarding such projects.

One such concern is that other groups may seek to paint the city’s street with emblems that some could find offensive or inflammatory.

“If the public wants to do an art installation of their own, they can write the proposal and send it to the city, as we did,” Sepulveda said.

The Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks project’s Facebook page attributes this letter to Mendoza:

The council voted without comment to allow the artwork to be installed on a temporary basis. The legislation was on the council’s consent agenda, which is a section that allows the council to approve multiple actions with a single vote.

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell asked the council repeatedly if there were any items members wanted to pull from the consent agenda. This procedure allows legislation to be discussed by the full council and possibly returned to a committee for further consideration.

Councilmembers pulled a few items off the consent agenda, but none was the rainbow crosswalks paper.

Atlanta Councilmember Alex Wan voted in favor of the legislation. He had been named by the project’s website as one of the city officials who should receive requests to make the installation permanent.

Wan posted a comment on the project’s Facebook page after Sepulveda spoke:

Atlanta Councilmember Kwanza Hall, who sponsored the legislation, had an excused absence from the meeting and did not cast a vote. His airplane was late returning Atlanta, it was announced at the meeting.

 

 

Atlanta City Council votes Monday on proposed rainbow crosswalks near Piedmont Park

The Atlanta City Council is slated to vote Monday on a proposal to allow the rainbow flag to be painted on the road as four crosswalks at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street. The artwork is to be removed a few days after the Atlanta Pride Festival.

Rainbow crosswalks

This rendering shows the Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks looking east toward Piedmont Park. Credit: Facebook.com

Atlanta Councilmember Kwanza Hall sponsored the resolution to allow the crosswalks to be painted. Hall also sponsored a resolution this month that established every June 26 as LGBT Equality Day.

The original plan for the crosswalks envisioned them as a permanent installation. Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza later determined the installation would be temporary, citing the city’s need to establish a better policy regarding such projects.

The project’s Facebook page attributes this letter to Mendoza:

Advocates are asking supporters to contact Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and various city officials.

The pending legislation sets the timeframe from about Oct. 3 through about Oct. 16. The Atlanta Pride Festival is scheduled Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.

Robert Sepulveda Jr.

Robert Sepulveda Jr.

Atlanta artist Robert Sepulveda Jr. has proposed to paint the crosswalks in an installation entitled, “The Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks.” Bright rainbow strips of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple are to be painted as crosswalks. Two bands are to be 10 feet wide, and two bands are to be 11 feet wide, according to the legislation.

Sepulveda works as an interior designer and his perspectives are shaped by his childhood in his native Puerto Rico, according to his website.

The legislation was drafted by Robin Shahar. Shahar, a chief counsel in the city’s Law Department, serves Reed as his top advisor on LGBT issues.

Sepulveda’s website notes that he chose the intersection because it is the, “epicenter of the LGBT community.”

The legislation quotes Sepulveda as describing the artwork as: “[A] visual message of acceptance, unity and tolerance that reminds us all of how diverse the [LGBT] community and its allies are.”

On his webpage, Sepulveda goes on to say that the artwork represents a broad scope of issues:

This is the rendering included in the package of legislation the Atlanta City Council is to consider Monday. Credit: City of Atlanta.

This is the rendering included in the package of legislation the Atlanta City Council is to consider Monday. Credit: City of Atlanta.

Sepulveda proposes to install, maintain, and remove the artwork at no cost to the city, according to the legislation. He passed his original fundraising goal of $20,000 by raising $40,000, according to the project’s Facebook page.

The board of Neighborhood Planning Unit E unanimously endorsed the project in a vote taken June 2, according to the legislation.

NPU-E represents neighborhoods including Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest on the north, to Georgia Tech and Marietta Street Artery on the south.

 

 

 

Watchdog organizations launched by former ED of Common Cause of Georgia

William Perry, the former executive director of Common Cause of Georgia, announced Wednesday that he’s launching two new watchdog organizations – Georgia Ethics Watchdogs and the Georgia Ethics Watchdogs Education Fund.

William Perry, former ED Common Cause of Georgia

William Perry

Perry said he’s already received a number of suggestions of where he should begin his work.

“I’ve had no shortage of suggestions on Facebook and email,” Perry said. “Everyone in Georgia feels they live in the most corrupt county in the state.”

Here’s how Perry described the organizations in a statement he released:

Perry has planned a fundraising kickoff party Sept. 28 from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. at Manuel’s Tavern.

Perry incorporated both organizations Aug. 16 as civic and social organizations, according to records filed with the Secretary of State. Perry is the registered agent for each organization.

Perry announced his forced resignation from Common Cause Georgia on Aug. 11. He was ousted as part of a realignment of the national organization under the leadership of former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich.

The national organization intends to work on economic opportunity issues, sustainability and environmental protection. Under Perry’s guidance, the Georgia affiliate focused on watchdog efforts and public policy initiatives.

“I think it’s an opportunity that will work well for all of us,” Perry said. “Common Cause can get a new start, and I can do what I want to do with a singular focus.”

On the website of Georgia Ethics Watchdogs, Perry indicates he harbors no ill will toward Common Cause:

“I will cheer from the sideline with great enthusiasm as CCGA continues with some of the issues I worked on while there, as well as forges new territories (and no doubt excel with) in the arena of public policy.”

Perry also outlines the mission of the new organizations:

“The purpose of both is to fill a void that has long existed in Georgia, by creating a singularly focused watchdog organizations. I say that not as a criticism of my former organization, Common Cause Georgia (CCGA), or as a regret of my time as its executive director for almost 5 years. It took time and training with that organization for me to form the opinion that it is nearly impossible to be successful serving simultaneously as a watchdog and as an advocate for public policy. It’s far too difficult to have the good cop and the bad cop under the same roof.”

DeKalb County will be one area of interest because of the investigation into allegations of government corruption. Former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and private investigator Richard Hyde.

In a letter delivered last month to interim DeKalb CEO Lee May, Bowers and Hyde wrote: “The DeKalb County government we have found is rotten to the core. The misconduct starts at the top and has infected nearly every department we have looked at.”

Atlanta’s 2017 mayoral race is another area Perry expects to watch.

“That will be almost unavoidable, making sure that all candidates who vye for that are playing by the rules,” Perry said.

State government also is a likely subject.

“There’s always the governor,” Perry said.

 

 

Atlanta Climate Action Plan to set sustainability agenda for region’s urban core

Atlanta is poised to adopt a comprehensive plan intended to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and forestall climate change, much like sustainability initiatives at Emory University and Spelman College that have resulted in their ranking among the greenest campuses in the country.

Urban gardens

Atlanta is home to at least 85 community and school gardens, and at least 10 urban farms, according to the proposed Atlanta Climate Action Plan, which proposes to expand the city’s food programs. Credit: westsidecommunities.org

Lofty goals outlined in the introduction of the proposed Atlanta Climate Action Plan can be achieved through, “common sense approaches and cutting edge policies.” The goals include reducing energy use and waste, creating local jobs, improving air quality, and improving the local landscape and history.

The proposed sustainability policy has evolved into one that addresses many more aspects of the city’s carbon footprint than a proposal introduced at the start of the Great Recession, in 2007. Rather than focusing on commercial buildings, the current proposal covers everything from energy audits on buildings to urban farms and food deserts.

The Atlanta City Council could consider adopting the proposed Atlanta Climate Action Plan as early as Sept. 21. This schedule presumes that two council committees support the proposal at their meetings on Tuesday. Atlanta Councilmember Kwanza Hall sponsored the resolution.

The Utilities Committee is to begin the discussion. If members approve the proposal, they are slated to refer it to the Community Development Committee for consideration Tuesday afternoon. If the proposal clears the second committee, it is to be placed on the city council’s Sept. 21 agenda.

The sweeping proposal encompasses several initiatives the city now is implementing, but in a piecemeal fashion. The Atlanta Climate Action Plan is to bring all the initiatives, both existing and future, into one program overseen by the Office of Sustainability, now headed by Stephanie Stuckey Benfield.

For example, Mayor Kasim Reed recently created and posted the position of “urban agriculture director.” The duties will include the implementation of a food security program that’s identified in the Atlanta Climate Action Plan. The notion is for the new position to promote new policies regarding farming in the city, and the conversion of brownfields into urban gardens.

The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge now has 100 million square feet of commercial space enrolled in a program that aims to reduce water and energy consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020. The Atlanta Climate Action Plan calls for expanding the program. The plan states that 45 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions stem from commercial buildings and industrial processes.

An example cited in the Atlanta Climate Action Plan involves the cost savings and emissions reductions related to the illumination of the exterior of Atlanta City Hall. The older lighting system was replaced in 2013 with a system of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Annual maintenance costs were trimmed by $8,000, electricity costs by $8,000, and 36 tons of greenhouse gases were abated.

The Atlanta Climate Action Plan is the result of a stakeholder process that brought together more than 50 individuals with expertise in six categories:

 

 

The organizations that participated on a Technical Steering Committee include:

 

 

 

One participant previously produced a report on air quality in metro Atlanta that’s received scant attention. David D’Onofrio is the ARC’s air quality and climate change principal planner, and he released a report last year entitled, Understanding the regulatory environment of climate change and the Impact of community design on greenhouse gas emissions.

The Buckhead community in Atlanta produces the greatest amount of carbon dioxide emissions, per person, in the Atlanta region. The ranking includes emissions for both powering homes and tailpipe exhaust.

On a related point, Atlanta’s sustainability plan is more aggressive than Georgia’s pending State Wildlife Plan.

Atlanta’s plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the state plan seeks to devise ways of, “preparing for and coping with climate change impacts on fish and wildlife.”

The two campuses in metro Atlanta that achieved national rankings for the success of sustainability programs were announced in the August edition of Sierra magazine.

Out of a pool of 153 schools, on a scale of 1 to 1,000 points, the schools were scored:

 

Atlanta to observe LGBT Equality Day annually on June 26

Atlanta will observe June 26 as LGBT Equality Day in recognition of that date being significant on the LGBT calendar because that is the date on which the Supreme Court issued rulings on human rights, and it was the date of Atlanta’s first observance of Atlanta Gay Pride Day.

LGBT Equality Day, Atlanta City Council

Every member of the Atlanta City Council signed a resolution that proclaims every June 26 to be LGBT Equality Day in the city. Atlanta Councilmember Kwanza Hall sponsored the legislation. Credit: City of Atlanta

Every member of the Atlanta City Council signed a resolution that proclaims June 26 as LGBT Equality Day.

Atlanta Councilmember Kwanza Hall sponsored the resolution. Hall invited Atlanta Councilmember Alex Wan to join him for the presentation and to make remarks.

Beth Littrell, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal, said in remarks during the event that advocates there eventually will be a national LGBT Equality Day. Littrell has been involved with several lawsuits significant to the LGBT community.

Here it the full text of the resolution:

Hall said the resolution grew out of a meeting at which representatives of the ACLU and Lambda Legal noted that June 26 is an important day on the calendar of the human rights movement.

The court issued its ruling June 26 in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, and three related cases. In a 5-4 ruling, the court found the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

LGBT Equality Day, Beth Littrell

Beth Littrell, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal, said advocates hope that one day there will be a national LGBT Equality Day. Credit: City of Atlanta

Hall read the resolution and invited Wan to make remarks. Wan began by noting that he and his finance became engaged on June 26 at an event at the Center for Civil and Human Rights, in Atlanta.

“I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime,” Wan said of the Supreme Court ruling. “It’s a real affirmation of what our community has been working for, for a long time…. At the end, love won.”

Atlanta Councilmember Mary Norwood said the resolution is, “perfect,” adding, “We do embrace this, and I personally am looking forward to Gay Pride once again.”

Littrell presented a history of legal cases that led to the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26. She reminded of the Bowers v. Hardwick case that was initiated by the arrest of Michael Hardwick by Atlanta police officers who saw him engaged in a sex act with a man inside Hardwick’s home.

The Supreme Court upheld Georgia’s sodomy law in its 1986 ruling in the Hardwick case. The Supreme Court overturned its decision in its 2003 ruling in the Lawrence v. Texas lawsuit.

“There’s no debate this city has long been an oasis,” Littrell said. “We are so pleased that now and every June 26 this city sends a powerful message, we and hope it will be part of what will become a national holiday.”

 

Eat your vegetables: Atlanta joins effort to grow food for those underserved

Atlanta is joining the ranks of New York City and Sacramento, Ca. in promoting urban agriculture, a fast-growing trend that promotes the growing of plant food in and near the urban core of a metropolitan area.

New York food farm

New York City has designated about a dozen city agencies to oversee its urban agriculture program.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Sept. 2 that he has created and posted the position of “Urban Agriculture Director.” The position will be based in the mayor’s Office of Sustainability, now headed by Stephanie Stuckey Benfield.

The term “urban agriculture” has various definitions across various cities. The consensus for the desired outcome seems to be that urban agriculture promotes access to fruits and vegetables, mainly for folks who now have to travel long distances to access such foods.

In Atlanta, the notion is for the new position to promote new policies regarding farming in the city, and the conversion of brownfields into urban gardens.

In addition, the statement says:

Bill Bolling, the founding director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, said:

The statement does not elaborate on how brownfields are to be converted into gardens, or if food will be grown in the brownfield gardens.

Brownfields are defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Division as: “[R]eal property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”

The new position Reed has created advances a policy his administration promoted in 2014. The Atlanta City Council approved June 2, 2014 an amendment to Atlanta’s zoning ordinance that allows urban gardens and market gardens to operate in residential zoning districts, according to a statement released by Reed’s office:

This is how one advocate for the zoning change, Atlanta Local Food Initiative, described the reason for the amendment:

This is how the urban agriculture movement has unfolded in two other cites:

New York City

Sacramento

 

Atlanta Streetcar to accept Breeze Card despite earlier reports of conflict, to get new interim director

It turns out that the Atlanta Streetcar will utilize the Breeze Card, despite an earlier report by a top city official that it isn’t cost efficient and resulted in no fares being collected this year. In addition, the streetcar has a new interim executive director, according to a statement issued Thursday by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.

Atlanta Streetcar

Atlanta’s streetcar system serves the Downtown area. File/Credit: walkableapp.com

A main reason for interest in the fare technology is that Reed told Central Atlanta Progress at its annual breakfast meeting in March that there was one reason for delaying fare collection on the streetcar until 2016. Reed said fares wouldn’t be collected in 2015 because he’d learned of new fare collection technology while traveling abroad.

A month later, Reed’s commissioner of public works gave a different reason for the delay in collecting fares. Richard Mendoza said the lack of technology to collect fares, including the Breeze Card technology, meant city administrators decided to waive fare collection:

Evidently, all issues have been resolved.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Transportation Committee of the Atlanta City Council, William Jones, of the Public Works Department, told the Transportation Committee that Breeze Card machines will be provided at every stop of the Atlanta Streetcar.

Jones is a transportation planner charged with implementing the streetcar, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Here’s what Jones said about app’s relation to the Breeze Card:

Jones cited the Breeze Card as he was explaining on Wednesday a proposal pending before the Transportation Committee to pay a vendor $172,272 to develop a mobile app. The app is to enable streetcar passengers to buy a fare from their mobile device.

The source of funds includes $100,000 in federal funds and $72,000 from Atlanta’s car rental tax collected at Atlanta’s airport. Committee Chairperson Felicia Moore asked for an accounting of how the car rental tax seems to be a bottomless pit of funds that subsidize so many varied projects that can’t pay for themselves. Jones said he will get more information to say how many years the $72,00 fee may cover.

At the Transportation Committee meeting, Councilmember Alex Wan said he’s ready for the streetcar to begin generating revenues: “We’ve run into problems, but we’ve got to starting bringing money in on this project.”

Moore called for an accounting the funds being used to maintain the app for the streetcar. That amount totals $72,000. Williams said he needed more time to determine if the sum covered one year or several years.

Councilmember Natalyn Archibong asked who is in charge of the streetcar. Mendoza answered the same question last month and said he’s in charge. Some on the council seem to doubt that a department head is handling the daily affairs of the streetcar.

keith jones

Jones has updated his LinkedIn page to reflect his current position. Jones’ pending appointment wasn’t passed to the Atlanta City Council’s Transportation Committee when its members asked the day before Jones’ announcement who was overseeing the Atlanta Streetcar. Credit: LinkedIn.

Reed’s office issued the following statement Thursday concerning leadership of the Atlanta Streetcar:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manuel’s Tavern: First steps begin toward surrounding it with mixed-use project

Manuel’s Tavern could be surrounded by an array of homes, shops and offices if the Atlanta City Council approves the first step in a rezoning process that is to get its first hearing Tuesday at the council’s Community Development Committee.

Manuel Maloof, and donkey

Manuel Maloof, the tavern’s namesake, posed with a donkey outside the tavern to promote his 1987 campaign for reelection as DeKalb County’s CEO. Credit: dlib.gsu.edu

The committee is to consider a proposal that would pave the way for the land beneath the tavern, and its two parking lots, to be rezoned for residential and commercial developments.

This is the first public phase of the redevelopment of the land beneath and around one of Atlanta’s most iconic gathering places.

Note the careful language – land beneath and around the tavern. Owner Brian Maloof made the distinction between the tavern and the land in a note he posted on Facebook in February, after news broke that Green Street Properties was buying the tavern’s site and would build a mixed-use development.

Here’s a portion of Maloof’s remarks:

Maloof made the deal with Green Street after two groups of concessionaires he had joined failed to secure a site at Atlanta’s airport when the city put the concessions contracts on the block in 2011.

At that time, Maloof said a location at the airport may provide enough profits to enable the tavern to restore employee benefits and make improvements to the existing tavern – steps the business could not afford at the time.

Manuel's Tavern, CDP map

This map lists the requested amendments to Atlanta’s Comprehensive Development Plan to allow the redevelopment of land beneath and around the tavern. Credit: City of Atlanta

The first step in the process of rezoning the property is to amend the city’s Comprehensive Development Plan. This is the request the committee is to consider at its meeting Tuesday at Atlanta City Hall.

At some point in the future, the rezoning request will be presented to the council for consideration. The rezoning request is not listed on the agenda of the Zoning Committee meeting set for Wednesday, though it could be introduced at the start of the meeting.

The proposal pending before the Community Development Committee involves amending the CDP for three tracts of land from their current land use designation to the designation of Mixed Use-High Density. Here are the current zonings:

The Mixed Use-High Density category provides access to 14 of the city’s 38 zoning classifications, according to the city’s code.

The highest density available to the Mixed Use-High Density category appears to be the Mixed Residential and Commercial zoning classification, MRC-3. This classification would authorize a development of 7.2 times the size of the property. Given the site is about 1.6 acres, the maximum development under this classification would be about 313,600 square feet. That’s about the size of three Walmart stores, the old store type without a grocery.

However, Green Street President Katharine Kelley has indicated the company has no plans for a development of that intensity. Kelley said in reports published in February that Green Street intended to comply with a master plan for the neighborhood that envisions four story structures, with retail on the ground floor and residences on the upper floors.

This density is permitted in some of the zoning classifications that will be available if the city provides the Mixed Use-High Density category.

 

 

Atlanta to move on Peachtree Pine shelter as Obama administration intervenes on behalf of homeless in Idaho

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said Atlanta will condemn a homeless shelter located at the corner of Peachtree and Pine streets because controversy has lingered, “too long.” Meanwhile, the Obama administration has filed a brief in a federal lawsuit in favor of the rights of homeless persons.

Homeless, Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless

A missionary serving with the group, Saved Life, snapped this photo in 2010 of a man sleeping across a street from the Peachtree and Pine homeless shelter. Credit: savedliferide.wordpress.com

On Aug. 6, the federal Department of Justice filed a brief in a case pending in federal court in Idaho. At issue is the criminalization of behavior that homeless persons cannot avoid. Specifically, the case involves sleeping in public spaces.

According to the DOJ statement of interest filed in Bell v. City of Boise et al.:

The federal court ruling will not extend to Georgia. But if the ruling favors the homeless, it likely would be cited in any lawsuits filed regarding the Peachtree and Pine shelter.

Anita Beaty

Anita Beaty

For example, some folks who otherwise would sleep at Peachtree and Pine may end up on the streets if it is closed. Atlanta police can be expected to detain some of them on charges related to sleeping in public, or charges related to public indecency or public nuisance. Reed said 300 to 400 individuals currently stay at Peachtree and Pine.

The Idaho case was cited in an Aug. 23, 2013 report to the U.N. Human Rights Committee. The report was presented by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.

Anita Beaty, executive director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, was a member of a coordinating group that helped craft the report, according to its acknowledgements page.

Here’s how the report describes the case pending since 2009 in the District of Idaho:

The Yale Law School Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic drafted the report. Contributors include Northeastern Law School’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy; Microsoft; and law firms including Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, and DLA Piper, the employer of Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

Reed said the city will take ownership of the Peachtree and Pine property through condemnation procedures.

Condemnation, or eminent domain, typically has been used to take land for roads, schools, and other public uses. Under those premises, Atlanta could have trouble making a case to condemn Peachtree and Pine.

However, the rules of eminent domain changed in 2005. That when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that a city could condemn property for the purpose of economic redevelopment.

According to a report by the law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell, the ruling in the case of, established that, “if an economic project creates new jobs, increases taxes and other revenues, and revitalizes a depressed (even if not blighted) urban area, it qualifies as a public use.”

 

Common Cause forces resignation of Georgia leader as part of national realignment of interests

The forced resignation of William Perry, former executive director of Common Cause of Georgia, speaks to the breadth of redirection of the national organization under the leadership of former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich.

William Perry, former ED Common Cause of Georgia

William Perry

The national Common Cause organization installed in 2014 a president, Miles Rapoport, who has said he intends to work on economic opportunity issues, sustainability and environmental protection.

Reich, President Clinton’s labor secretary, recused himself from the selection process because of his previous relation with Rapoport, according to a report in nationaljournal.com. Reich took over as chairman of Common Cause’s National Governing Board in 2010.

Atlanta attorney Emmet Bondurant could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.

Bondurant serves on the Board of Governors of the national organization, and the Board of Directors of the state organization.

Among the prominent lawyers who work at Bondurant’s law firm, Bondurant, Mixon & Elmore, are Jason Carter, a former gubernatorial candidate and state senator, in the capacity of partner; and Robert Ashe, chairman of MARTA’s Board of Directors, in the capacity of associate.

Perry’s focus on government ethics and spending did not comport with the new interests of the national organization.

Rapoport asked Perry to resign and issued the following statement Tuesday morning:

Miles Rapoport

Miles Rapoport

Perry issued the following statement Tuesday morning:

During Perry’s term in office, Perry has bluntly challenged a number of actions by leading elected officials and civic leaders overseeing major public projects. The list includes:

Falcons stadium, July 2015

Atlanta’s decision to provide up to $200 million to help pay for construction of the Falcons stadium drew strong rebuke from William Perry, who was forced out as executive director of Common Cause of Georgia by the president of the national Common Cause organization. Credit: newstadium.atlantafalcons.com

Here the full statements released by Common Cause of Georgia and Perry:

From Common Cause Georgia

Aug. 11, 2015

William Perry Leaving as Head of Common Cause Georgia 

Atlanta, GA – Common Cause Georgia’s Executive Director, William Perry, has resigned the position and will seek to pursue government watchdog work in a new organization.  The decision came as a mutual understanding between Mr. Perry and national Common Cause President Miles Rapoport, who requested Mr. Perry’s resignation, about the future of the Georgia chapter.

Rapoport said:  “William Perry has led the Georgia chapter of Common Cause for four and a half years.  He has been an effective advocate for government ethics and transparency, and I know he will continue to be so.  Common Cause, both nationally and in Georgia, has a broader policy agenda for an inclusive democracy, and new leadership will help move the chapter in these new directions.”

Perry sees this as a great opportunity to continue the work he likes most about his former job.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work outside the confines of public policy advocacy and fully focus on government watchdog work. Over the past four and a half years, I’ve found exposing public corruption requires a single-minded focus, and it is the work I most want to do. I deeply appreciate the work that Common Cause Georgia does, and will continue to work with them as allies on issues that concern holding our public officials accountable.”

Newly elected Common Cause Georgia Board Chair, Clint Murphy of Savannah, said:

“We appreciate William’s service to Common Cause Georgia.  We wish him well, and look forward to working with him on important issues in the future.”

Common Cause, with the assistance of the Georgia advisory board, is beginning the process of selecting a new Executive Director.

From Perry:

Aug. 11, 2015

William Perry Leaving as Head of Common Cause Georgia

Organization and Director reach mutual agreement as organization seeks new leader

Atlanta, GA – Common Cause Georgia’s Executive Director, William Perry, has resigned the position and will seek to pursue government watchdog work in a new organization.  The decision came as a mutual understanding between Mr. Perry and national Common Cause President Miles Rapoport, who requested Mr. Perry’s resignation, about the future of the Georgia chapter.

Rapoport said:  “William Perry has led the Georgia chapter of Common Cause for four and a half years.  He has been an effective advocate for government ethics and transparency, and I know he will continue to be so.  Common Cause, both nationally and in Georgia, has a broader policy agenda for an inclusive democracy, and new leadership will help move the chapter in these new directions.”

Perry sees this as a great opportunity to continue the work he likes most about his former job.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work outside the confines of public policy advocacy and fully focus on government watchdog work. Over the past four and a half years, I’ve found exposing public corruption requires a single-minded focus, and it is the work I most want to do. I deeply appreciate the work that Common Cause Georgia does, and will continue to work with them as allies on issues that concern holding our public officials accountable.”

Newly elected Common Cause Georgia Board Chair, Clint Murphy of Savannah, said:

“We appreciate William’s service to Common Cause Georgia.  We wish him well, and look forward to working with him on important issues in the future.”

Common Cause, with the assistance of the Georgia advisory board, is beginning the process of selecting a new Executive Director.

 

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