“[Monday] morning, we received petitions from those seeking a referendum on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center and have locked them away in a secure location until we receive further rulings from the 11th Circuit Court. State law and the City’s code have a clear and strict 60-day deadline for petition circulation. Specifically, the law commands that a ‘petition … shall not be accepted by the council for verification if more than 60 days have elapsed since the date the sponsor of the petition first obtained copies of the petition from the municipal clerk.’ The original petition was issued on June 21, making August 21 the original 60-day deadline for petition submission. The petitioners could have turned their petition in, on, or before, August 21, and indeed several times said they were going to do so but opted instead to take an additional three weeks to circulate their petition for signature,” said Webb.
Webb added, “Today, September 11, is 81 days after the date the sponsor of the petition first obtained copies of the petition from the municipal clerk, so the City is prohibited by state law from accepting the petition for verification, absent further guidance from the 11th Circuit. However, the City is willing to receive the signed petition pages into its custody, subject to the express understanding that such receipt does not constitute acceptance for verification, pending further rulings and guidance from the 11th Circuit. If and when the City receives guidance from the 11th Circuit to proceed with verifying the petitions, the Office of the Municipal Clerk will begin the process that was previously outlined. The City of Atlanta is committed to an open and transparent process that follows the letter of the law.”
City of Atlanta voting officials were expected to conduct a line-by-line review, a process voting advocates say is a “widely discredited tool of voter suppression.”
“That the city of Atlanta would use such a subjective and unreliable process is shameful and undermines the integrity of the city’s validation procedure,” more than two dozen voting rights organizations, including Fair Fight, wrote to city officials.
Last week, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued RICO indictments for 61 protestors he referred to as “military anarchists.” By Frida, Sept. 8, all 61 had posted bond and had been released from jail.
The Atlanta Police Department training compound which will be built in unincorporated Dekalb County. has reportedly exceeded its original budget due to loss of private funders and increased expenses related to the widespread public opposition to the project.
Post 3 At-Large Council member Keisha Sean Waites released the following statement in support of a ballot referendum vote for the Public Safety Training Center:
“The actual taxpayer cost of the proposed facility will be closer to $67 million, which many constituents consider irresponsible and disrespectful. With the recent closure of WellStar, the City of Atlanta has only “one” level one trauma center! We can spend the $67 million of taxpayer’s money on affordable housing, resources for the unsheltered, infrastructure improvements, mental health services, health care for the uninsured, rental and mortgage assistance, including providing accommodation and salary increases for our first responders, and law enforcement officers. These resources directly impact the root causes of crime and poverty. I also empathize with the neighbors who live near the South River Forrest, as the proposed site will have an impact on them, as well as the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line each day to protect our neighborhoods, significantly as crime is escalating nationally and in our city. Yet, we still have a long way to go to improve community-police relations. As a result, I will join in supporting my colleagues’ efforts or introduce legislation on Monday, September 18, calling to place the Public Safety Training Center on a referendum ballot vote for the November 2023 election.”