Yesterday American Friends Service Committee joined the TurnerField Community Benefits Coalition at city hall to hold a press conference and deliver a letter to Mayor Reed. Over sixty residents from the neighborhoods surrounding Turner Field showed up on Tuesday morning to send a clear message to the Mayor and city official. One of the residents, Doristine Samuel who’s lived in Mechanicsville since 1957 stated, “We used to have a beautiful community. We had everything we needed. Big development has destroyed our neighborhoods, from the highway to the Olympic stadium, to Turner Field. We need development done right, with community members involved. We know the Mayor wants a legacy, but it must be a legacy we can live with.”
The letter asks the Mayor to make a public commitment to completing the Turner Field Livable Centers Initiative Planning Study (LCI) process before negotiating any development deal. It requests that Mayor Reed use the recommendations from this study to initiate a competitive bidding process for the massive redevelopment project. “Our communities have suffered long enough as a result of top-down development,” says Summerhill resident John A. Colabelli. “We don’t want a quick fix solution. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore the surrounding neighborhoods and reconnect downtown to the entire south side of Atlanta.” The LCI Planning Study grant was awarded to the City of Atlanta in February 2015 and represents the largest LCI grant ever-awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The study is due to be completed by July 31, 2016.
After delivering the letter to the Mayor’s office in mass the group split up into teams and made sure every city council member, every county commissioner, and every Atlanta County recreation authority representative had a hand delivered letter by the end of lunch.
American Friends Service Committee is excited to continue to support this important coalition work. We are informed by the idea that communities should be controlled by those that live in them. We can no longer afford to have a few well connected folks who already live in overabundance make massive profits off public-private development deals while the surrounding communities fall into decay. We have the coalition effort can turn the tide of bad development deals in Atlanta and encourage all to get involved!
The Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition is a coalition of 42 neighborhood associations and advocacy groups representing thousands of residents in the communities surrounding Turner Field. The Coalition seeks community participation in decisions related to the redevelopment of the Turner Field Stadium area.
Vist the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition's press page to check out all the press coverage from the letter delivery!