I know many of you have wondered, “What’s happening with Greenhaven? Are they still working on proposing a new city for south DeKalb? Where do things stand now?”
Since 2014, a number of residents and citizens in south DeKalb and adjoining areas have been working on establishing a city of Greenhaven. For 3 years, Greenhaven has had a bill in the Georgia State legislature. And for 3 years, despite meeting all the formal and informal requirements by the state legislature to determine that a legitimate, financially viable, municipal government can be offered to residents of proposed Greenhaven (most of south DeKalb), the state legislature has refused to approve a referendum. As we approach 2018, the fourth (4th) year that a Greenhaven bill will be introduced, the citizens of south DeKalb need to stand up and say, “DON’T DENY US THE RIGHT TO VOTE!!!!”
The gloves need to come off. The niceties should stop. The year is 2017. The 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution approved by Congress in 1870 states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Due to the numerous attempts to sidestep, forbid, and prohibit the vote, especially for citizens of color, Congress approved the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet 52 years later, in 2017, we find successful efforts nationwide to limit voting by minorities through gerrymandering, certain identification requirements, a life-long prohibition on voting for ex-prisoners, a reduction in the number of early voting days, and so forth. We find that despite meeting all the requirements, the respectable, law-abiding citizen population in south DeKalb, a predominantly Black area, is not being given the opportunity to vote on our future, environment, and form of government. Indeed, in DeKalb County almost everyone has been given that opportunity but us. We need to hold accountable every member of the legislature including and especially elected officials that would represent Greenhaven and ask, “WHY?”
Those of us who have been fighting for Greenhaven since 2014 are still here and we believe more fervently than ever that we are doing the right thing in creating a city to address our needs. We want economic development, jobs, diverse businesses, and improved services. We want a focus on our side of town. We want MARTA down I-20. We want cleaner streets and maintained medians. We want elected officials who will stand up for us. WE WANT THE RIGHT TO VOTE, THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINE, AND THE RIGHT TO CREATE A GOVERNMENT THAT WILL IMPROVE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE. For this, we are standing up and ready to fight. CCCSD, GBA and those in the Greenhaven movement are raising their voices. Join the Greenhaven movement and donate whatever you can at www.Greenhaven-GA.org!