Maria’s Metro

A reinvented Sustainable Atlanta joins forces with Center for Civic Innovation

Ever since it was founded in 2009, Sustainable Atlanta has been trying to do what all nonprofits try to do – become sustainable.

Sustainable Atlanta is joining forces with the Center for Civic Innovation – a relatively new nonprofit that is seeking change the equation in the level of public engagement and participation in the community as well as work on creative and entrepreneurial ways to make the city a better place to live and work.
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A new screenplay for Fort McPherson would have happier ending for Atlanta

Update: Tyler Perry Studios deal advances

All is not lost – actually quite the opposite is true.

If the Tyler Perry-Fort McPherson deal really is falling apart, we have a wonderful “do-over” opportunity to get it right.

The 488-acre Fort McPherson property – a locked treasure chest overflowing with possibilities – can and should be the catalyst to the renaissance of the southern side of Atlanta.
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Posted in Maria's Metro | 14 Comments

Atlanta’s ongoing teaching moments on civil disobedience – the Ferguson protests and the Rodney King riots

Just as every generation must learn the art of civil disobedience, Atlanta’s ongoing role as the center of higher learning in civil and human rights is as vital as ever.

That inescapable fact hit home after the protests – both nationally and locally – that followed the Ferguson, Mo. case when a Grand Jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, over the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
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When spending TAD dollars and selling City of Atlanta land, let’s act smart

After almost no activity during Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s first term in office, a sense of urgency has gripped City Hall when it comes to selling real estate and spending Invest Atlanta’s Westside TAD (Tax Allocation District) dollars.

What is not totally understood is: What’s the rush?

During the Nov. 19th Invest Atlanta board meeting, several multi-million dollar grants of Westside TAD dollars were granted – which led me to ask: How much is left?
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My tribute to Herman Russell – lessons in business, race, friends, family, love

Update: Herman Russell’s wake will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Friday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at St. Philip AME Church at 240 Candler Rd SE.

When I got a call Saturday telling me that the larger-than-life Herman Russell had passed away, it was hard to believe.

Even though he was just a month shy of his 84th birthday, Russell seemed to be one of those people who would defy the passage of time and be with us for years to come.
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Celestine Sibley – a wise and beautiful writer and woman with a warm heart

I had never appreciated the reporting chops of Celestine Sibley until I became her target.

As a budding journalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I had long admired the homespun writing talents of Sibley – her ability to tell heartfelt tales of the ordinary man or woman, bringing them alive with extraordinary stories bridging our humanity.

The Atlanta Press Club inducted the late Celestine Sibley into its Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 7 along with NBC’s Tom Brokaw, WXIA’s Brenda Wood and Claude Sitton, who covered the civil rights movement for the New York Times out of Atlanta.
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By ignoring public funding for the arts, Georgia’s innovation economy suffers

The amazing arts disconnect.

Georgia has endured endless months of repetitive campaign ads and messages spotlighting our weaknesses or strengths in education and the economy depending from a candidate’s point of view.

But what speaks volumes is what has been left unsaid.

We have heard repeatedly that we have the highest rate of unemployment. We already know we have among the lowest average SAT scores in the nation and rank low in high school graduation rates.
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Fort McPherson – secret treasure can spark rebirth of Atlanta’s southside

The second in a two-part series about the economic opportunity on metro Atlanta’s southside. Last week: significance of Clayton’s vote on Nov. 4 to join MARTA.

Behind the walls surrounding Fort McPherson, a secret Atlanta treasure remains hidden from public view.

The 488-acre property – larger than three Atlantic Stations – currently includes an historic row of officers’ housing, a golf course, beautiful historic buildings, a parade ground, lakes and numerous amenities that helped Fort McPherson become its own self-contained community.
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Clayton’s Nov. 4 MARTA vote could shift metro growth to the south side

The first in a two-part series about the economic opportunity on the southside of metro Atlanta. Next week: unlocking the secret treasure of Fort McPherson.

For decades, metro Atlanta’s center of gravity has grown to the north – creating a lopsided region.

But one vote on Nov. 4 could reverse that trend.
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GEEARS makes sure early childhood education wins at the polls on Nov. 4

Early childhood education advocates in Georgia showed their political chops Monday when they invited candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate and State School Superintendent to a forum at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

It was a strategic way to get exposure, and even commitments, from the elected leaders in Georgia three weeks before the General Election on Nov. 4. The three candidates for governor showed up in person — Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, Democrat Jason Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt.
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