February 21, 2022
Joint Statement Regarding DeKalb Cityhood Movement’s Recent Letter to President Joe Biden
The seven-year saga of the cityhood effort for southern DeKalb has reached a new level of desperation.
The DeKalb Cityhood Movement group (DCM) has now asked President Joe Biden to intervene in their efforts to create the City DeKalb.
Since 2015, the cityhood proponents have operated under various names: Concerned Citizens for Cityhood in South DeKalb, city of Greenhaven, Imagine Greenhaven, and now the city of DeKalb. With 300,000 residents, its population would be second largest only to that of the City of Atlanta. While always referencing southern DeKalb, the group fails to acknowledge that residents of central DeKalb are also included in its proposed boundaries and would be impacted if this city were created.
We, the undersigned organizations, want to make certain that all residents of DeKalb County know that the proponents’ letter to President Biden contains omissions, misinformation, distortions, and many untruths. (Further, they have sent copies to the Vice President, congressional, and local leadership.)
Please note: There is no bill in the Georgia Assembly to create the City of DeKalb which means they are seeking assistance from the President for an issue that does not exist. NOR has the proposed Charter been released to the legislature or the public. Why is this important? A city’s Charter spells out all powers and responsibilities if such a city were ever established by the State of Georgia. After seven unsuccessful years of trying to create a city, it is abundantly clear that the proponents a.) lack knowledge of Georgia’s legislative process and b.) lack knowledge of the concept of representative government.
Further, the facts contradict DCM’s claims of racial discrimination. In 2017, the cities of Stonecrest and South Fulton were created by the Georgia General Assembly. Each of those cities has high percentages of African American populations: Stonecrest (97%) and the City of South Fulton (76%). (It should be noted that Stonecrest’s bill was moving through the General Assembly at the same time as DCM’s initial bill in 2015.). The DCM group’s claims of discrimination are baseless as they sought and received sponsorship (SB 465) from a former white Republican State Senator from Columbus, Georgia. That effort failed. Their
letter to the President does not mention that African American democratic legislators from DeKalb County sponsored three of their previous cityhood bills that ultimately failed to pass in the Georgia General Assembly. Citizens’ opportunity to vote occurs only after the Governor signs a bill into law and a referendum scheduled. Perhaps DCM’s failures are due to the flawed product they are trying to sell to the public and not the legislative process.
It’s even more ridiculous and disrespectful when you consider that the President is having to deal with a potential war with Russia, the continued COVID pandemic, an upcoming Senate race in Georgia (Senator Raphael Warnock), legitimate voter suppression issues, inflation, and other national issues, this action demonstrates their inability to be honest and forthright. Clearly, their inability to prioritize issues shows that they lack the basic skills to govern. Would you want this group to run a new city? If they are willing to mislead the President of the United States, you can bet they will mislead you. What a sad and embarrassing reflection on DeKalb County citizens.
DCM also stated that it sent this letter to democrats across the county. We view this as a cynical attempt to raise funds, using discrimination as its rallying call. In the interest of transparency, none of the organizations below has accepted donations in our efforts to create public awareness on this issue. Voter suppression is a real issue that should not be co-opted or trivialized by DCM. We urge the citizens of DeKalb County to reject the proposed city of DeKalb and DCM’s recent stunt.
Interestingly, they quote a phrase of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
However, they ignore Dr. King’s admonition that: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Concerned Citizens in Opposition to Greenhaven
Georgia Federation of Teachers
Neighbors Against Greenhaven (N.A.G.)
PRISM (Pride Rings in Stone Mountain)
See the letter written to President Biden by the DeKalb Cityhood Movement formerly known as Imagine Greenhaven or Greenhaven, Ga, shown below.
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