Atlanta Forward Blog 

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

Redefine DeKalb

  • 9:39 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

DeKalb County residents are sick of a government seemingly ripe with accusations of malfeasance and poor oversight. We turn today’s page over to two groups that want to spark change. Blueprint DeKalb leaders outline their suggestions for government transparency and reform that include creation of an internal auditor to watch over taxpayer money. Also, the founder of the South DeKalb Improvement Association explains an “Economic Bill of Standards” drafted for that part of the county. The third column continues last week’s discussion of our “do-nothing” Congress.

Redefine DeKalb

By Patricia Killingsworth and Gil Turman

Miracles at the homeless shelter

  • 8:22 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

On Sept. 26, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless avoided having water shut off at its homeless shelter by paying a nearly $600,000 city debt. The money was raised through private donations, something the task force director likened to “a miracle.” Today, she invites the community to visit and see various miracles underway at the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter. In the other essay, a state lawmaker writes about the role of temporary welfare assistance.

Come see our shelter

By Anita Beaty

Homeless youth: A crisis we choose not to see

  • 8:08 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

They hide in plain view, yet many of us don’t acknowledge their existence: homeless youth. On any given night, hundreds of teens — many turned away by their parents or guardians because they came out of the closet — sleep on Atlanta’s streets and alleys and bunk in abandoned buildings. Today’s guest writers explore a growing problem in the region and solicit your help to serve this sector of our community. (Photo: Tyler Perry visits Young People Matter, an emergency shelter in Atlanta for homeless young people.)

Homeless youth in plain view

By Simone Joye

Kids tweeted him non-stop for [More]

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