Guest Columns

Excitement draining for reservoir boondoggles

By Guest Columnist CHRIS MANGANIELLO, policy director of the Georgia River Network

Georgians agree we need a healthy and dependable supply of drinking water.  We need enough water flowing in our rivers for economic and environmental reasons.

A recent turning point indicates that one pathway is no longer as appealing as it once was.

Atlanta’s moment? Convergence of housing people can afford plus access to transit

By Guest Columnist MIKE DOBBINS, professor of the practice of planning at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and a former commissioner of planning and community development for the City of Atlanta

Against the backdrop of an antagonistic and often toxic campaign season, two opportunities are emerging that could begin to lift Atlanta out of its wealth gap, the city’s own divisive and persistent stain.

Independent process to congressional redistricting may be solution for Georgia

By Guest Columnists MAYA DILLARD SMITH, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, and BRINKLEY SERKEDAKIS, executive director Common Cause Georgia

Just days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Evenwel v. Abbott that broke a recent wave of dangerously restrictive approaches by the high court that have been slowly chipping away key elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Landfill Goliath picks a fight with tiny Wayne County

By Guest Columnist DINK NESMITH, a Jesup native who is president and co-owner of Athens-based Community Newspapers, Inc., publishers of newspapers in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina

How far back can you remember?

Our three children, Alan, Emily and Eric, joke that I can remember the day I was born in 1948. Actually, I can’t. I tease them that I do recall the ride home from Ritch-Leaphart Hospital in Jesup, 40 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Creating new cities causes social and economic fallout

By Guest Columnist JOHN MATTHEWS, a retired city planner who specialized in urban growth policy and a retired instructor at both Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and  at Georgia Tech

Metropolitan Atlanta is seeing the creation of an increasing number of local governments; there are many new cities and more are sure to come. There is additional movement to allow creation of new small school districts tied to the new cities.

Transit Planning 101 for the City of Atlanta: It’s not too late

By Guest Columnist MIKE DOBBINS, professor of the practice of planning at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and a former commissioner of planning and community development for the City of Atlanta

Transit is a good. In an ideal world it gets people where they want to go, cleanly, efficiently, and affordably. Transit fills a need. Twenty percent of Atlanta’s citizens are living at or below the poverty line; additionally, a growing percentage of the population doesn’t drive. This might be because they’re too old, too young, or because they simply don’t want to.

Morehouse College – a true Atlanta story – is on the rebound

By Guest Columnist JOHN S. WILSON, president of Morehouse College

A March 15, 2016 article in SaportaReport about the Morehouse College National Alumni Association presidential elections contained inaccuracies and misinformation about Morehouse College.

We appreciate SaportaReport for making corrections to that story, and we acknowledge that even the best institutions can be hurt by misinformation and disinformation.

Transit expansion is a simple decision, not a political one, whose time has come

By Guest Columnist JOHN MATTHEWS, a commercial real estate investor and an MBA graduate of Goizueta Business School

A debate seems to still be occurring in Georgia and our legislature about transit versus roads for the Atlanta region.  Still?  It is time for the debate to stop, and it is time to begin implementing solutions. Because the logic of transit is not a subject of debate.

Let’s develop affordable housing for all of Atlanta’s residents

By Guest Columnist HATTIE DORSEY, a concerned citizen who is a former president of Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

A policy for affordable housing has been a long time arriving.

Soon the Atlanta City Council will deliberate a proposed policy on inclusionary housing to be submitted by Councilmember Andre Dickens, chair of the City’s Community Development Committee.

Love and worry over tax allocation districts

By Guest Columnist CAROLYN BOURDEAUX, director of the Center for State and Local Finance at Georgia State University

As a city of Atlanta taxpayer, I have a “love-worry” relationship with tax allocation districts (TADs): I love some of the projects that Atlanta has used TADs to finance, but I worry about whether we are keeping a close eye on the cumulative impact of this and other economic development finance tools.

Ga. Water Coalition urges legislators to protect Georgia’s water

By Guest Columnist CHRIS MANGANIELLO, policy director for Georgia River Network

More than 150 conservation advocates from the mountains to the coast are making sure their voices are heard at the Capitol – urging legislators to cast votes for clean water. In the wake of the Flint, Mich. drinking water crisis, nothing could be more important than securing clean water for all Georgians.

New year, new education opportunities…and responsibilities

By Guest Columnist DANA RICKMAN, policy and research director for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

On Dec. 10, 2015, President Barak Obama signed into law the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA).

This law reauthorizes the “Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965,” which has been more recently known as “No Child Left Behind.” This important legislation has provided Georgia an opportunity to set its own direction and determine the best way to support schools and districts.

When bad things happen to good people, good people can do great things

By Guest Columnist KEVIN R. MCGEE, a motivational speaker, business coach and blogger

As 2016 begins, many people make resolutions about the coming year. My family is no different. Our resolution is pretty simple. It’s to show more compassion for others and to find and fulfill our purpose.

Last year, on April 22, we found out that my daughter, Kayla, had a rare form of kidney cancer and would have to undergo two major surgeries to remove tumors from her body. She would also have to undergo a week of radiation therapy and eight months of chemotherapy.

Eliminating childhood poverty a way to realize MLK’s vision

By Guest Columnist KIM ANDERSON, CEO of Families First, Inc.

This month, as temperatures plunge, it is impossible not to be aware of the number of vulnerable people in our community who are without basic shelter and the bare essentials of life.

We chafe at the notion of the homeless exposed to the bitter cold, and we wince at news coverage of house fires started by people who resort to using ovens to warm their bodies and souls. This stark reality undercuts the American Dream.