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A dozen A4E members spent hours meeting with State Senators and Representatives at the State Capitol. Meetings were held with members of the Athens delegation, members on pertinent Committees, and also with state representatives from districts where hospitals have recently closed partially due to the lack of Medicaid expansion.
“We cannot think of a better policy goal that better reflects our mission of equality, social justice, and an end to poverty for all people”, said A4E Board Member Adam Veale in 2016. “We look forward to continuing to forge relationships with our state legislators and standing up for what is right for Georgians.”
Anger in the community reached its boiling point after discoveries that the confederate-themed bar General Beauregard’s was allegedly serving a ““N*****ita” drink reignited public outcry against other discriminatory business practices. The Mayor and Commission had previously issued a resolution against discrimination and pledged to address the issue after a study released by the UGA Student Government Association documented more than 50 reports of discrimination downtown largely based on dress code.
Not waiting for the local government to take action, Mokah and Knowa Johnson, already well-known in the community as organizers of the Hip-Hop Awards, approached A4E for help in putting together a rally and march against these discriminatory practices. A4E gladly accepted, and through Mokah and Knowa’s efforts and A4E’s assistance, the march went as planned, with 400 Athenians marching through downtown on MLK Day.
This march began a year-long initiative for a civil rights committee supported by the local government and for comprehensive civil rights legislation. You can read other steps in this timeline here.
Athens for Everyone members, Pinewoods residents, Commissioner Kelly Girtz, and others concerned about transportation options along US highway 29 assembled in the Pinewoods Library on this day for a Transit Town Hall meeting. Then A4E President Tim Denson explained his plan to extend bus service along US-29 all the way out to the county line, and slightly beyond to the Veteran’s Clinic in Madison County.In a small survey conducted by A4E members, 90% of Pinewoods residents say they are not always able to get around town easily. Undocumented residents in particular have a difficult time because there are no alternative transportation options available there and they are unable to get driver’s licenses.
A bus route along US-29 was included in the 2018 TSPLOST. A4E is hopeful that when this route is implemented it will greatly improve transportation accessibility for those living in Pinewoods and Country Corners.