Entries by Tom Weyandt

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.

Georgia – it’s time to pass a statewide nondiscrimination law

By Guest Columnist JEFF GRAHAM, executive director of Georgia Equality and facilitator of Georgia Unites Against Discrimination campaign

We’re barely two weeks into the New Year, but politics here in Georgia are already in full swing.

It’s time for all of us to begin talking about a bill that protects all Georgians – people of faith, our veterans, those who are disabled, women, our elderly – and yes, gay and transgender Georgians too.

Climate change – making a business case for action

By Guest Columnist GORDON KENNA, director of business development for Consensus Energy, an Atlanta-based environmental services company

To the surprise of most observers, the climate change conference in Paris produced a historic consensus document that resembles meaningful progress.

It is remarkable that nearly 200 nations were able to agree on a common position.

Staring down the terrorists with the American Dream

By Guest Columnist BILL IDE, a partner with Dentons and a former president of the American Bar Association

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,” reads Emma Lazarus’ sonnet written for the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France and the most iconic and universally-recognized symbol of the United States.

U.S. Surgeon General: Walking is good for your health

By Guest Columnist SALLY FLOCKS, president and CEO of PEDS – an advocacy group for pedestrians

While waiting for a cab in front of a grocery store, I started up a conversation with an older woman who was about to get on a church van. I asked whether she got out of the house much on other days. She shook her head. “No,” she said. Crossing Peachtree Road to get to the bus stop was far too dangerous.

This is just one example of how streets designed for cars impact people’s quality of life.

Fourth annual ‘Georgia Gives Day’ on Nov. 12 showcases partnerships

By Guest Columnist KAREN BEAVOR, president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits

Forming strategic partnerships is one of the first lessons any good businessperson must learn.

As leader of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, which is a collaborator by definition, I’ve seen the attitudes and practices that fuel successful partnerships firsthand, especially during our annual fundraising event Georgia Gives Day.

Breaking through the race barrier in corporate America still a challenge

By Guest Columnist WILLIAM T. PARKER, a seasoned executive who has just published a book about his career: “How did you get here? One Black Man’s Journey through White Corporate America.”

How did you get here? It’s a question often asked of people who appear in places and in situations usually assumed to be reserved for the privileged classes.

When I hear the question, I believe it is always aimed at trying to discern how a specific individual got “through the barriers.”

To achieve equity in our cities, start at the neighborhood level

By Guest Columnist SHIRLEY FRANKLIN, executive board chair of Purpose Built Communities and Atlanta’s mayor from 2002 to 2010

Last week, Lesley Grady of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta wrote an insightful piece called “Equity, Inequality and Myth Busting” that highlighted the extreme income inequality between white households and African-American households in Atlanta.