Entries by Alex Karner

Responding to Trump: Count one, two, three – breathe

By Guest Columnist JEREMY GARLINGTON, an executive leadership consultant who resides in Atlanta

While the contents of this post are political, the intent is apolitical. What does that mean? No axes to grind, no sides left to choose. Only observations that hopefully will lead to better perspective. So others in leadership positions can consider for their own usage.

Addressing Georgia’s chronically failing schools

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

Last November, Georgia voters rejected a constitutional amendment to establish an Opportunity School District (OSD) that would have created a new state-run district with the authority to step in and manage “chronically failing” schools. At that time, 127 schools were on “the list.” These were schools that received a failing score on the state’s accountability report card three years in a row.

Tips on how to garden sustainably

By Guest Columnist SUSAN VARLAMOFF, the former director of the University of Georgia’s Office of Environmental Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and lifetime Master Gardener

Landscapes occupy vast swaths of land across urban and suburban areas in the U.S. and how we cultivate our gardens directly affects the surrounding environment. Since Atlanta is bisected by the Chattahoochee River, which serves as a drinking water source, runoff from the land directly impacts the river’s water quality. Misuse or overuse of fertilizers and pesticides can result in water contamination as these chemicals run off the land during rain events.

We are chronically failing, but it’s not our schools

By Guest Columnist FRANK BROWN, CEO of Communities in Schools of Atlanta

As the headlines come and go about our current political climate and the state of our international relations, our students are dying. Several weeks ago, two metro Atlanta students were killed by senseless gun violence. Violence in communities where we live and work is on the rise. Teachers and administrators are trained in self-defense tactics to ensure their safety as they work in communities plagued by the violence that poverty makes more likely.

Learning from our past for a brighter transit tomorrow

By Guest Columnist NATHANIEL SMITH, founder and chief equity officer (CEqO), Partnership for Southern Equity

More than 100 people attended an event at Georgia Tech recently to mark the release of a report, “Opportunity Deferred: Race, Transportation and the Future of Metropolitan Atlanta,” that was commissioned by the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE).

GDOT’s support of disadvantaged businesses evident in $170 million in DBE contracts in 2016

By Guest Columnist KIMBERLY A. KING, director of the equal opportunity program at the Georgia Department of Transportation

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has had a policy in place aimed at helping small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minorities and women. This is known as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, and it extends to each state’s Department of Transportation.

Deserved raises, a lifeline for health care and a few pesky holes in Ga. 2018 budget

By TAIFA SMITH BUTLER, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

This is the week state lawmakers will really get down to the business of running Georgia, now that they’ve had time to dig into the governor’s spending plan and department heads wrapped up budget presentations to legislative committees.

APS commits to reducing inequality with affordable housing policy

By Guest Columnist COURTNEY ENGLISH, chairman of the Atlanta Board of Education

Atlanta works best when it works for everyone. For far too long, my beloved Atlanta, has been a tale of two cities.

Recent studies have placed Atlanta near the top of list in job creation while at the same time, one of the country’s leaders in income inequality and child poverty.  The negative effects of this kind of disparity is felt first and hardest in our school system.  76 percent of our kids are on free or reduced lunch.

Lithonia promotes rock solid revitalization

By Guest Columnist MELODY HARCLERODE, who promotes significant historical, cultural, and natural sites as an architect, non-profit consultant, and writer

The city of Atlanta receives much press as the financial, cultural, and transportation hub of the metropolitan area, yet small cities in this region also offer amazing stories for the public to appreciate. Consider the city of Lithonia, a town with approximately 2,000 residents covering a radius of one square mile of land north of I-20 and outside I-285.

DeKalb Avenue make-over reignites debate over cars vs. all other modes of transportation

By Guest Columnist CARL HOLT, an avid promoter of bicycling who volunteered as project manager for the installation of Atlanta’s first bike corral, in the Kirkwood neighborhood

While attending the Nov. 17, ReNew Atlanta Bond public meeting on the DeKalb Avenue Complete Streets plan, I could not but help notice the same issues arose at this meeting that came up during the Peachtree Road safety improvement plan, which was presented by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The issue of cars vs. bikes reared its ugly head from many attendees who live on the along the corridor that connects Decatur and Downtown Atlanta.

Channeling philanthropy for maximum success

By Guest Columnist DAVID E. FULLER, president of the SunTrust Foundation

I’ve always believed that to whom much is given, much is required. Throughout my business career, I’ve held fast to this principle, so when I was offered the chance to head the SunTrust Foundation, it was the perfect opportunity to turn my passion for giving into a full-time career.

Schools and Sprawl: The Impact of School Siting

By Guest Columnist KATHERINE MOORE, senior director of The Georgia Conservancy’s statewide Sustainable Growth program

This holiday season, I’m thankful for … an easier-than-normal commute.

School is out this week for Thanksgiving break, but if you’re like me, you may find yourself heading into the office at some point to escape from the excess of family time and turkey leftovers. With most metro-area schools deserted this week, you will no doubt enjoy a noticeably smoother and shorter commute.

The Atlanta BeltLine: A role for us all

By Guest Columnist CHUCK MEADOWS, whose two-year term as executive director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership ended in July

My tenure as executive director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership ended last summer. I remain supportive of the project and the positive impacts it can have on our city. Indeed, the Atlanta BeltLine is an initiative that affects the entire region – which means that all of us should not only pay close attention, but also look for ways to become involved.

Atlanta’s Future: Now is the time to provide homes affordable to all

By Guest Columnist CEASAR MITCHELL, president of the Atlanta City Council and candidate for Atlanta mayor

My devotion to Atlanta expresses itself with my devotion to serving the area and its families for over 15 years. One of my dreams that I have worked toward, first as a city council member and now as city council president, is to make sure that Atlanta is home to everyone. A home in our city that can be loved, a home that is safe, and a home that is affordable.

Andrew Young’s book on the ‘Making of Modern Atlanta’ describes the ‘Atlanta Way’

By Guest Columnist HARVEY NEWMAN, co-author of “Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta”

Six years ago, I was asked to work on a project with Ambassador Andrew Young and his daughter, Andrea Young. We began the process by sitting down with Andrew Young, with a tape recorder going, and listening to him tell stories about the decisions that shaped Atlanta’s growth from a small, segregated Southern city into a metropolis capable of hosting an international, multi-cultural event such as the Olympic Games.

This was a remarkable transformation in just a few decades.

The result of this project is a new book about our city, Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta, which was published by Mercer University Press.

It Could Happen Here

By Guest Columnist MARK PENDERGRAST, an Atlanta native and author of “For God, Country and Coca-Cola,” and other books

I am afraid of Donald Trump.

And I am appalled that a sizable number of the American voting public – at the moment over 40 percent, despite the latest revelations of his grotesque remarks about women 11 years ago – thinks he would be a good selection as the next president of the United States.

Georgia’s WIN List aims to build on record of helping elect female lawmakers

By Guest Columnist MELITA EASTERS, founding chair and current executive director of Georgia’s WIN List

No doubt about it, women voters of all ages are the deciding factor in this election cycle as political pundits increasingly predict Georgia will move to a blue column in this year’s presidential contest for the first time since 1992.

Legislative seats and private sector leadership positions held by women are leading indicators for a strong progressive streak in Georgia, which is obscured by the fact that all statewide offices and the majorities in the House and Senate are currently held by Republicans, who are predominately pale and male.