In the News
Since May 2014, the Greenhaven cityhood movement has been covered by regional and local newspapers, radio, television, university newspaper, realtor newsletter, online Internet news, and blogtalk radio shows.
"In the News" contains the writings published by various media organizations. All other articles and writings are in the blog section.
The latest of "In the News"- March 24, 2017
IS THAT THE SOUND OF A TRAIN COMIN ROUND THE BEND?
I’m excited. I’m beginning to hear the faint sounds of a train comin round the bend in, of all places, proposed Greenhaven in south DeKalb. I’m about to explain how that might happen with special kudos to Greenhaven proponents and especially some of our DeKalb delegation.
People in south DeKalb have been waiting for almost 40 years (the east-west corridor started service in 1979) while being until recently one of only two counties to pour taxes into transportation and hopes of MARTA. Many people moved to south DeKalb with the promise that MARTA would be coming down I-20. But year after year passed with no progress. Indeed, in 2017, the latest proposal has MARTA going from the Clifton corridor to Atlanta and from Indian Creek to Stonecrest Mall (bypassing almost all of I-20).
Proponents of the proposed city of Greenhaven have been pushing the MARTA issue since they began in 2014 because transportation stimulates economic development (kudos to Greenhaven). In addition to moving people rapidly, a lot of construction and retail occurs around MARTA stops. This is known as “transit oriented development (TOD)”, which means JOBS. So, in 2016, the Greenhaven Business Alliance Inc. (GBA) formed to conduct research and promote business in south DeKalb. GBA is chaired by L. Dean Heard, a partner in Magnitrans - a private firm who has been planning for years to bring MARTA down I-20. Greenhaven proponents are excited to see their efforts begin to come to fruition. But it couldn’t have occurred without the help of some of our legislative leaders at the GA State Assembly.
On March 15, 2017, the DeKalb delegation voted to approve an additional half-cent SPLOST only if MARTA would guarantee that the funds would go to rail (not bus or maintenance). MARTA agreed. Commendations go to Representatives Stephenson, Jones, Mosby, Carter, Bennett, Kendrick, Henson and Mitchell (who is on the MARTOC committee)! Previously, the DeKalb delegation had voted that they would support the ½ cent tax only if the funds went to MARTA projects in DeKalb County. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT!
As many of you may know, Emory and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been exploring the possibility of annexing in to Atlanta. Indeed, Emory has purchased property to position itself to be able to do just that, leading many to believe they are on the verge of taking action. By putting together “project must be in DeKalb” and “funds can only be for rail”, the delegation is forcing Emory and CDC to decide whether they want to stay in DeKalb and get the funding for rail or leave DeKalb, in which case I-20 emerges as the clear front-runner to get the MARTA funds FOR RAIL. Either way, DeKalb County wins because they get a rail project and TOD. Kudos to the delegation for showing LEADERSHIP and for not SETTLING for south DeKalb to get the usual bus or maintenance but no rail.
What surprised me is that the vote was divided between north (who voted against rail only) and south representatives (who voted for it). If north DeKalb representatives vote against a bill that would ensure rail in south DeKalb, then it furthers the claims of those who are skeptical about the north supporting projects in the south. Everyone agrees that south DeKalb has large undeveloped areas that represent the future growth and potential of DeKalb County. Then, let’s support policies like MARTA down I-20 that will help the southern part of the county. In the end, it benefits all DeKalb County.
GUEST COLUMN - ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION
Let South DeKalb vote on cityhood
Posted: 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015
By Kathryn Rice
What do the residents in the proposed Greenhaven want for Christmas? We want the right to vote.
We want the state Legislature to grant us what it granted every other proposed city that fulfilled its requirements. We want the right to vote.
We want the same self-determination everyone else has requested and been given. We want the right to vote.
Why do we harp on this refrain?
Because we, the Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc., recently listened to a state elected official publicly state that the proposed Greenhaven would not be considered for cityhood in the 2016 legislative session. We at Concerned Citizens challenge whether there are any reasons for us to not be considered. The Legislature put forth requirements for proposed cities, so everyone would know what needed to be done to receive approval for a public referendum.
Additionally, Concerned Citizens studied and reviewed recent cityhood proposals (since Sandy Springs) so we could understand and follow the process used by other cities allowed a vote. We now ask, "If we meet those requirements and follow the proper process, are there any legitimate reasons that should stop residents of the proposed Greenhaven from having a right to a vote?"
How Greenhaven decides to form is what self-determination is all about. We decided we want a government that will promote economic development, encourage citizen participation and be fiscally conservative. We considered different options and chose a structure that allowed us to keep taxes low, put us at the table for big projects, and enabled us to be fiscally responsible as a result of economies of scale - larger quantities get lower prices. We want self-determination, the opportunity to realize our choices.
The role of the state Legislature is to conduct due diligence on the viability of a proposed city before turning the proposal over to the people in a referendum. Concerned Citizens has met all the requirements. We formed an organization to take responsibility for the formation of Greenhaven, conducted a feasibility study with the University of Georgia that estimated $27 million in revenues, developed a charter by which Greenhaven would govern itself, found a legislator who sponsored the bill and, finally, advertised the bill and process to the public.
As expressed by one supporter of cityhood in South DeKalb, "Whether they like the idea of the city or not, if these requirements have been met, then the Legislature should pass the bill and offer the people a public referendum for them to decide whether they want to form a city.
LaVista Hills and Tucker, two areas that recently voted on cityhood, are excellent examples of what we're talking about. LaVista Hills and Tucker are geographically side by side. They engaged in the same discussions and the same issues during the same time period. On Nov. 3, one approved cityhood by a large margin; the other voted against cityhood by a whisper of a margin.
LaVista Hills and Tucker represent democracy and self-determination in action. The residents of the proposed Greenhaven want to exercise their own democracy and self-determination. We do not want our lawmakers to tell us we cannot vote.
We are not asking for any special favors or waivers. We have an economic development vision and a plan of action. We are excited about our future and opportunity to realize our dreams in ways the current county business model has not produced.
To our state representatives and senators, we say, "Do unto us as you have done unto others." To the residents of the proposed Greenhaven, we say, "Get informed. Then get involved. Take control of your destiny. Realize your dreams. As spiritual people, there is nothing we can't do!"
Contact us at GreenhavenGA@gmail.com if you have any questions.
Kathryn Rice chairs Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc.
In the News - Dec 18, 2015
ON COMMON GROUND NEWSPAPER
Proposed City of Greenhaven filled with History and Promise
Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2015
By Kristin Rodgers
We at Concerned Citizens for the Cityhood of South DeKalb are advocating to form a new city called Greenhaven. While we believe strongly in the advantages that forming a city will bring, we acknowledge and pay tribute to the history that Greenhaven stands on. In this message, we honor some of the accomplishments in South DeKalb.
“What is the history of South DeKalb?” one might ask. During the 1700s, the Muscogee and Hitchiti Native Americans were the majority occupants of South DeKalb County. They became known as the “Creek Confederacy.” The DeKalb History Center details the next set of occupants:
“The early settlers of DeKalb were of English, Scotch and Irish descent coming from Virginia and the Carolinas…The county was named after Baron Johann de Kolb, a native of Germany and self-proclaimed baron who aided the colonists in their fight for independence.”
Since that time, DeKalb County has become one of the state’s sprawling metropolitan areas. During the late 80’s and the 90’s, the Memorial Drive corridor (from Candler Road to North Hairston Road) was a focal point of South DeKalb’s nightlife and restaurants. The Candler Road corridor (from Memorial Drive to Flat Shoals Parkway) was the community’s shopping “mecca” with the holiday bravado of South DeKalb Mall (now Gallery at South DeKalb) at the center of it all, boasting beautiful holiday décor, a live piano player, and its very own “Black Santa.”
A sense of community is also ever present in the proposed city of Greenhaven as numerous little league to high school sports teams are fostering an environment of self-esteem and achievement among our youths - to name a few, the Gresham Park Rattlers, Glenwood Hills Panthers, and DeKalb Yellow Jackets. The historic toils of community activism echoes in the proposed city of Greenhaven. In 1975, on the heels of court-ordered school desegregation in Georgia, students at Columbia High school staged a sit down protest and marched from the school to the state capital in protest of the school’s administration’s cancellation of Black History week. Through this effort a community group of concerned parents was formed and called the Concerned Citizens.
There’s proof all around South DeKalb that a sense of community pride still exists today. However, the economic development side of our story has long been neglected. Let’s restore our community to its former splendor by taking charge of our own destiny. Let’s instill pride in ourselves by imagining ourselves in a city that would focus its efforts directly where we live. Let’s impart a sense of urgency on our South DeKalb legislators to support the right of the proposed city of Greenhaven’s citizens to vote on a cityhood referendum.
Greenhaven is a proposed city that comprises much of the unincorporated area south of US-78 and Memorial Drive in DeKalb County. Bills proposing the city were sponsored by 12 DeKalb county delegates in the 2015 legislative session. The bills carry over into the 2016 session where legislators will vote on whether to allow citizens a public referendum on creating a city of Greenhaven.
Kristin Rodgers is a Writer in the CCCSD Communications Team. Kathryn Rice, Ph.D., is heading the Greenhaven cityhood campaign. For more information, visit: www.GreenhavenGA.blogspot.com
- See more at: http://oncommongroundnews.com/local-news/item/1279-proposed-city-of-greenhaven-filled-with-history-and-promise.html#sthash.nnKDbNK9.dpuf