Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life

Pharmacists’ moral judgments

2:15 pm Apr. 30, 2015

Should pharmacists be allowed to refuse to fill prescriptions based on moral grounds? A recent incident at a Milledgeville Wal-Mart raised that question when a pharmacist denied a woman medication ordered to treat her miscarriage. In media accounts, the pharmacist allegedly assumed the drug was needed for an abortion, and the woman had to go elsewhere for her medication. Today, an OB-GYN criticizes laws that allows pharmacists to make

Women in leadership: Faith, careers, justice

4:18 pm Apr. 29, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Americans generally assume Muslim women aren’t treated equally with men and perceive them as oppressed, weak, dormant and submissive. Today, an executive for a local magazine considers public ignorance and false images of Muslim women a major social challenge. A companion essay deals with the lack of women in the science, technology, engineering and math industries. The third column champions Gov. Nathan Deal’s efforts to reform the

The Minimum Wage Debate

9:30 pm Apr. 28, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

The Fight for $15 labor movement has a home in Atlanta. Today, a veteran home-care provider explains why she has joined fast-food workers and other low-wage earners in the fight for a $15 hourly pay rate. A companion essay says a Georgia wage increase to $10.10 an hour, phased in over three years, would boost the state’s economy. The third column is a compilation of comments from

Public trust of the police

6:43 pm Apr. 22, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Accountability, trust, transparency. We expect it from our police departments and, in light of recent killings, some are taking steps to deliver. Agencies are moving to independent investigations of officer-involved killings and shootings. Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers recently announced the GBI would investigate actions that result in death or serious, life-threatening injury. Today, an official for a state law enforcement group applauds such policy shifts.

Minority-owned firms seek state contracts

10:12 pm Apr. 21, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

The issue of minority participation, or a noticeable lack of it, in state contracts came to light during legislative discussion of the $1 billion spending measure to fund transportation fixes. The Georgia Chamber president and CEO pledged to work with lawmakers to boost such participation in state contracting. Today, he writes an essay that outlines ways the issue is already being addressed. Other guest writers weigh in

MARTA trains to North Fulton?

12:15 pm Apr. 21, 2015

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

As discussed on today’s AJC Atlanta Forward page, planning is under way to build out MARTA rail through North Fulton, all the way to Windward Parkway. A half-penny sales tax increase, ostensibly to pay for the expansion, was shot down in the recent legislative session, but officials are looking for ways to raise funds to pay for the estimated $2 billion extension. State Senator Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta,

A healthier Fulton; a people rising together

10:38 pm Apr. 15, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

How healthy is your county? Well, Forsyth has been tapped as Georgia’s healthiest, according to a recent ranking that measures certain health factors of every county in every state. Metro Atlanta took four of the fop five slots in overall rankings. Accolades to Forsyth, Gwinnett, Fayette and Cobb. Fulton County, meanwhile, made substantial progress; today, a county commissioner explains how. In the other column, an Atlanta-based activist

The growth of digital entertainment and media

6:03 pm Apr. 14, 2015

Moderated by Rick Badie

Contributions of the film and television industry to our region’s economy have been well-publicized, but there’s a related sector that’s showing promising growth — digital entertainment. Today’s lead column shines light on this budding creative cluster. Elsewhere, advocates of the propane industry extol the benefits of using the fuel residentially and commercially. The third column notes the importance of creating a consistent brand, identity and

Fayette voting discrimination?

3:34 pm Apr. 9, 2015

A divisive Fayette County voting battle continues today as an NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer writes about the alleged injustice of the county’s election system, and a local official argues that the civil rights organization is not interested in seeking a compromise. Opponents say Fayette’s at-large voting systematically keeps blacks from serving on the county commission and school board. A U.S. district judge agreed and cleared the way for district