Atlanta Forward Blog 

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

Georgian voted for progress

  • 4:00 pm Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

When Weltner stood alone

By Nathaniel Meyersohn

In November 1860, Thomas R.R. Cobb, author of an influential legal defense of slavery, called for the immediate and unconditional secession of Georgia. Cobb would go on to serve in the Confederate Congress and later became a general for the Confederacy. He was killed in 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Fifty years ago this summer, Cobb’s great-grandson, Charles L. Weltner, issued another decisive call on an equally pressing issue in the South: the 1964 civil rights bill. Weltner’s words would echo through the red hills of Georgia and beyond.

Weltner, a first-term congressman from Georgia’s Fifth [More]

Time to talk race in Atlanta

  • 10:28 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Can we talk? About race, that is. Given the Hawks’ controversy, now just might be a good time for racial dialogue. Today, a guest writer invites us to partake in “It’s Time to Talk: A Forum on Race,” an inaugural event Tuesday at the Delta Flight Museum. Two other essays also delve into racial matters; one suggests racial justice begins at the ballot box, while the other confronts an “attitude that kills young black men.”

Now’s time to have dialogue

By Laura Turner Sydel

Now is the time for Atlantans to come together to reflect on how we can enhance [More]

Being proactive about drugs, driving

  • 9:01 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, Holly Springs’ top lawman writes about his Cherokee County agency being the first in Georgia to train and equip officers to use an anti-overdose medicine. A Georgia State University professor who lost two adult children to substance abuse shares his story and encourages parents struggling with addiction to speak up — and seek help — to address the disease’s toll on families. A third column deals with teenage driver safety.

Equip police with anti-overdose meds

By Ken Ball

As a 40-year law enforcement professional, I can say there is nothing I haven’t seen or done that could shock me. [More]

Georgia arts, culture and bees

  • 5:14 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we highlight Georgia’s dynamic cultural community. The head of the Georgia Council for the Arts explains that organization’s mission to enhance and promote the region’s “creative industries,” a growing sector of the state’s economy. The companion essay, written by the executive director of the Atlanta mayor’s office of cultural affairs, notes the importance of arts education and the city’s Cultural Experience Project. Finally, read about a pesticide ban at Emory University.

The arts are a vital state cornerstone

By Karen L. Paty

Karen L. Paty is executive director of the Georgia Council for the Arts.

Art changes young [More]

Stop militarization of local police

  • 11:16 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Armored vehicles. Sniper rifles. Combat gear. Such military-style equipment was mobilized to quell unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and, in the process, fueled debate about what some call the militarization of law enforcement agencies nationwide. Today, a Georgia congressman writes about the need to curb and audit free military surplus police obtain via the federal government, while a law enforcement advocate says the equipment is necessary to serve and protect.

When police behave like an army

By Hank Johnson

The overwhelming militarized response of St. Louis-area police forces to protests over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager is an [More]

Weighing benefits of pot legalization

  • 9:04 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we present another conversation on whether to legalize the use of medical cannabis. A former DeKalb County district attorney presents a historical perspective on the prohibition of cannabis and implores the 2015 General Assembly to conduct a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis of legalization for medicinal and recreational use. Meanwhile, a conservative activist supports medicinal use of pot but opposes its use for recreational purposes.

Analyze costs, benefits of legal pot

By J. Tom Morgan

Working to better communities

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Meet the Rev. Eric George Vickers, freshly minted senior pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, located in a gritty Atlanta neighborhood commonly referred to as “The Bluff.” Vickers writes about providing a holistic ministry for those who attend the historic church as well as those who never grace its sanctuary. Elsewhere, two essays deal with the formation of a South DeKalb improvement association and next Thursday’s crime and safety summit in Sandy Springs.

Good can come from The Bluff

By Eric George Vickers

Georgia veterans deserve first-class care

  • 12:49 pm Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

A $17 billion plan to overhaul the Veteran Affairs Department awaits the signature of President Barack Obama. Today, two of our congressional representatives, a Democrat and a Republican, give partisan takes on the bill and pledge to fight for the health care of veterans.

VA culture needs bipartisan fix

By David A. Scott


Growing communities, healthier kids

  • 11:56 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Countless residents and public servants contribute and volunteer time to make pockets of this city and region better places. Today, I write about an operation that teaches West End kids how to repair bikes while using cycling to create healthy, sustainable lifestyles. Also, an Atlanta city councilman writes about the “Year of Boulevard,” a neighborhood trust-building effort in the Old Fourth Ward that has continued to grow since its 2012 debut.

Children bicycling to better health

By Rick Badie

Some days, Holderness Street in Southwest Atlanta gets flooded with so many kids riding bikes that it reminds Shawn Deangelo Walton [More]

Teaching life skills

  • 10:55 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we highlight a local program that mirrors the purpose of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. It’s the Priority Male Institute, a 12-week program for young black men ages 18 to 28, sponsored by the nonprofit Community Council of Metropolitan Atlanta. A volunteer writes about experiences of the Class of 2014, which recently took part in a “rite of passage” ceremony and graduation, while I talk to the founder of the nonprofit.

“The Institute changed my life”

By Rick Badie