It’s ironic how roles have changed. Back in 2008 when Dunwoody formed and 2013 when Brookhaven formed, the reasons given to those residents to support forming a city was that their tax dollars were going to south DeKalb. Well, now it’s 2018 and the tide has reversed. South DeKalb is now the ATM for north DeKalb.
In short, this year (2018) HOST (Homestead Option Sales Tax) for which we paid 1% sales tax on items we purchased was replaced by 2 separate sales taxes:
E-HOST - the same 1% as HOST but calculated and distributed differently, and
SPLOST - an additional 1% for infrastructure costs (see diagram).
In both taxes, unincorporated residents lost in comparison to incorporated cities in DeKalb County.
A Conversation between the Donkey and the Elephant about the color purple. (Side note: the donkey is the Democrat mascot and the elephant is the Republican mascot.)
Donkey: “Did you hear about the rise of the Democrats in Georgia?”
Elephant: “What you talkin bout, Donkey?”
Donkey: “You know, people been watchin to see what the Democrats are going to do in Georgia. Well, it’s official. We done turned the state purple!”
Elephant: “How can you say that when we got a Republican Governor, a Republican House, a Republican Senate and most of the voters?”
Donkey: “Yeah, you do right now. But what makes a state purple is when things are changing and it could go either Republican or Democrat.” Here’s why we’re purple right now.
Stacey Abrams, the Black woman running for Governor got more votes all by herself (424,305) than Jason Carter got in his 2014 primary bid (304,243) and he’s the grandson of an ex-President of the whole United States. (And you know she kicked the behind off her opponent – won 76% of all the Democrats voting.)
And, in 2014, the last time there was a Governor’s race, Republicans got 291,975 more voters to turn out in the primary than the Democrats. But in 2018, the Republicans only got 52,352 more voters than the Democrats. If we were in a car race, I’d say you better watch your behind.
And you know what else? Stacey Abrams got all those votes when there was a low voter turnout! Only 17.5% of the people registered in the whole state actually voted. That’s really low compared to the Presidential elections in November 2016 when 62% of the people came out to vote.
But here’s the kicker. In Fulton County by itself, you got 536,586 registered voters and only 88,552 voted. Same in DeKalb – you got 389,998 registered voters and only 78,656 voted. You got similar numbers in Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton and some other counties. What I mean to say is that you could have gotten that extra 52,352 votes Democrats needed to tie up the vote with lots of voters left over to win in any one of those counties. You get my drift?
Elephant (getting noticeably agitated now): “Yeah, I get what you’re tryin to say. But Donk, you already explained why you’re still going to lose. You had a low voter turnout. And why do you think it’s going to be any different in November. On the other hand, my President gets people to come out. We’re going to turn out in numbers!!!”
Donkey (getting more bold now): “Bruh, you missed my drift. I said there was a low turnout but I also said that even with a low voter turnout, Stacey Abrams got more votes than the ex-President’s grandson. Let me try explaining this again.
Stacey Abrams got more votes because most of the people moving into Georgia are voting Democrat (maybe that’s cause of your President or maybe it’s because Ms. Abrams got a real good message). Did you know that since 2010 Georgia is the 4th highest in population growth of all the 50 states? So, while a lot of people stayed home, there were still 69% more Democratic votes since the last Governor’s race in 2014 – from 328,000 Democratic votes in 2014 to more than 550,000 votes in 2018. And I left the best for last.
People probably think since Stacey is Black that all the “colored” folk voted for her. There were big increases in all people of color voting Democratic. But there are so few Asian and Hispanic voters that they didn’t make a big difference. The biggest difference came in White men and White women (not Hispanic). From 2014 to 2018, there was a 76.34% increase in White men voting Democratic and 84.4% increase in White women voting Democratic. The increase of White folk voting since 2014 (13,374) was bigger than the increase in Black men and women (10,569).”
(Donkey got a big grin on his face now.)
Elephant: I hear you. But it ain’t over yet. Look at the Supreme Court ruling last month that supported Ohio in removing voters who hadn’t voted in 2 years. Don’t worry. Georgia is not done yet. And you keep talking about Ms. Stacey Abrams. But I remember a whole lot of Black leaders who didn’t support her. Who says they will now?
Donkey: Don’t let that give you hope. They didn’t support Keisha Lance Bottoms and now she’s Mayor of Atlanta. Lots of our Black middle class leaders didn’t support Stacey Abrams and she won. My auntie told me that no brown skinned woman who wore her “naps” was going to win. You know what I have to say to those Black middle class leaders?
Get off your duff and support the right of people in south DeKalb to vote!
While you’re at it, support the city of Greenhaven! It’s a way for people in south DeKalb to get some of the things that everyone else all around them are getting!
Well, that’s it for me for right now. Nice talking to you man.
Elephant: Yeah, always good talking to you Donk….but watch your behind too.
As I look out the window of the airplane I am on flying from Texas to California, I see miles of wind turbines, one of the ways in which investors in our country are experimenting to prepare for the energy needs of the future. And again, as always, my thoughts come back to the area in which I live – south DeKalb County? What are we doing to advance our region, our country, the world and ourselves? How are we exercising the potential and power given to us by God?
Everyday, while traveling through parts of Atlanta, I am struck by the growth I see occurring. Metro Atlanta is the top growth area in the southeast and one of the top 5 in the United States. Yet, when I come back home to south DeKalb, I am struck by what I don’t see. It’s like we live in an alternate universe. Where are the construction of tall buildings, streetcars, hotels, convention centers, or stadiums? Where are the innovative, sustainable items like tiny homes, smart cars, hover boards, rent-a-bikes, and many others? All of these things are happening in other parts of metro Atlanta. In south DeKalb, we haven’t gotten what already exists much less what the future will bring.
We (some people in south DeKalb) have been talking about our need for economic development. We are not just talking about businesses and jobs. We are and have been talking about our future and what WE want it to look like and how WE want it to be. We want to see centers of striking, sustainable art structures surrounded by beautiful eco-structured homes or townhomes, populated by local retail shops as well as some big box stores. This is known as live, work, play. And, in other areas, we want to see large corporate industrial businesses whose presence spawns distributors, suppliers, smaller local vendors and competitor businesses. We want to see heavy and light rail running through south DeKalb so we can build what is known as transit oriented development – homes, commerce and entertainment focused around transportation stops.
Some might call this dreaming. By faith, we call it creating our reality. Dream it, plan it and commit to implementing it and others will join you. I don’t want to be known as the “little s” that indicates where we are situated – south DeKalb. I want to be known by a “big G” – Greenhaven. I am ready to stand up and say we are not where someone else put us; we are where we decide to be.
Join us who dare to dream, plan and implement! Join the Greenhaven movement! Email TheRiceReport4u@gmail.com.