South Fulton Cityhood Advocates Seek State House Seats

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rafer and debra(APN) ATLANTA — This election cycle, at least two advocates for South Fulton cityhood–Debra Bazemore and Rafer Johnson–are putting their names on the ballot to run for State House.

 

State House races in Districts 62 and 63, covering much of south Fulton County, will be top-heavy with City of South Fulton advocates.

 

Atlanta Progressive News is beginning our election coverage for the May 2016 Primary Election.  APN has already sent out questionnaires to numerous candidates.

 

While this article has a special focus on candidates in two races because of their common bond, APN will be reaching out to every campaign in House Districts 62, 63, and many others with questionnaires over the next few weeks.

 

DEBRA BAZEMORE, CANDIDATE FOR HD 63

 

Debra Bazemore, supporter of South Fulton cityhood, and an outspoken critic of annexations in south Fulton County, will be running for Georgia House District 63.

 

Currently, the seat is currently held by State Rep. Ronnie Mabra (D-Fayetteville), who is not seeking reelection so he can spend more time with his family.  The district comprises parts of College Park, Union City, and Fayetteville.

 

Linda Pritchett also intends to run for the District 63 seat.

 

Pritchett previously attempted to run for the same seat in 2012.  At that time, CBS 46 television news ran a troubling report regarding Pritchett’s criminal history.

 

http://www.cbs46.com/story/19125066/state-rep-candidate-stops-interview-when-asked-about-criminal-history

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2012/08/25/davenport-jones-mabra-win-state-legislative-run-offs/

 

Bazemore, who has led the group South Fulton United for the last two legislative sessions, has openly criticized City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) for attempting to influence over annexation attempts in South Fulton.

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2014/09/22/loch-lomond-estates-in-south-fulton-seeks-annexation-into-atlanta/

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2015/01/07/city-of-south-fulton-bill-reintroduced-in-legislature/

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2015/04/15/city-of-atlanta-annexation-south-fulton-city-efforts-clash-fail-for-now/

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2015/08/06/dekalb-community-edmund-park-petitions-for-atlanta-annexation-as-south-fulton-petitions-still-being-processed/

 

Bazemore said South Fulton cityhood is one motivation for running, but not the only one.  In fact, she predicts that the State Senate will approve a South Fulton cityhood referendum this year.

 

“I am the best person for the job.  I am collaborating with commissioners and county leaders about public safety,” Bazemore said.

 

“We had a rally last year and invited other city leaders, on education, as the Governor attempts to take over some failing schools in South Fulton; the concern is that the State takes money from some schools, leaving others with no money.  This creates a ripple effect for students, teachers and parents,” Bazemore said.

 

“For economic development, we want to attract the right kind of businesses.  We sit in close proximity to the world’s busiest airport.  We want to build up our area and have it be enticing.  If we don’t have the community and all the voices at the table, we won’t succeed.  I will continue to be their voice, as I have for the last six years,” Bazemore told Atlanta Progressive News.

 

Bazemore was appointed to the South Fulton Comprehensive Plan steering committee that outlines the County’s priorities for the next thirty years.

 

She has worked with legislators, ran a State Senator’s office, lobbied on behalf of South Fulton residents, and traveled internationally with legislators; is a state committee member for Democratic Party of Georgia; has put on numerous meetings in Fulton County; and has been the President of her homeowners association for the last ten years.

 

RAFER JOHNSON

 

Rafer Johnson, a flight attendant and South Fulton advocate, hopes to make a mark on District 62 this year.

 

District 62’s seat is currently held by State Rep. LaDawn Blackett Jones (D-Atlanta), an open critic of the City of Atlanta’s annexation attempts in South Fulton, who will not be seeking reelection.

 

William K. Bodie and Valerie Vie, both attorneys, are also both running for the seat.

 

“I have the combination of private, public and nonprofit organizations.  My opponents do not bring that to the table,” Johnson told APN.

 

“I am a proud Leadership Atlanta alum of 2009.  When Leadership Atlanta 2012 signed a letter for the South Fulton movement, I made some calls and started to tear through the finances; it was a no brainer for us.  I formed coalition of South Fulton Now that included clergy, business leaders, and residents and served as the first chair of the organization, that became part of the bigger coalition,” Johnson said.

 

Johnson said he is the first openly gay black man to run for office.  He has served his community in many capacities.  He was the President of the Parkside Homeowners Association and was the Commissioner of Housing for Fulton County.

 

“As Chair of Fulton County’s Housing Authority, he was called to lead the organization during one of the greatest modern migrations due to a natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.  He ensured a positive reputation for greater Atlanta while maintaining care and fairness to its citizens who had existing housing needs,” according to his website.

 

(END/2016)

3 comments

  • South Fulton Guy

    Debra Bazemore is running because she naively thinks it will help her get back the $10,000 of personal funds she was conned into investing by cityhood zealots, in last years now obsolete feasibility study for the proposed city of South Fulton. Especially given that the bill died yet again in a Senate Committee this time, this week, your money is now most assuredly gone girlfriend – even if you become a state representative…

  • The proposed city of Stonecrest would be one of the largest cities in DeKalb County with a population of 50,000 residents and the largest city in terms of land area 29.6 square miles. In order for it to be feasible the land size and the number of people had to be large to make it feasible. The proposed city charter for Stonecrest only has three services in it. Parks and Recreation, Zoning, and Code Enforcement. If Stonecrest was a full service city like Dunwoody and Brookhaven it would not have passed it’s feasibility test.

    The CVI feasibility studty used Peachtree Corners, Brookhaven, and Dunwoody for Greenhaven estimates. The CVI feasibility used Peachtree Corners and Smyrna for the proposed city of Stonecrest but also utilized data from other metro Atlanta area cities. The proposed city of South Fulton the feasibility analysis included all cites in Fulton County with a population of 10,000 or greater as determined by the 2010 Census. The cities with populations are: Alpharetta, 57,551; East Point, 33,712; Fairburn, 12,950; Johns Creek 76,728; Milton, 32,661; and Union City, 19,456. We do not include College Park with a population of 13,942 for several reasons. And also do not include Atlanta; with a population of 420,003 it is just much bigger than all other cities.
    Did you know that in the Stonecrest charter the number of successive terms an individual may hold a position as mayor or as a council member shall be unlimited.

    For the South Fulton feasibility analysis all cites in Fulton County with a population of 10,000 or greater as determined by the 2010 Census. The cities with populations are: Alpharetta, 57,551; East Point, 33,712; Fairburn, 12,950; Johns Creek 76,728; Milton, 32,661; and Union City, 19,456. We do not include College Park with a population of 13,942 for several reasons. First, College Park did not have a survey on file with DCA for 2012. Second, the per capita revenue and expenditure data for College Park for 2011 are considerably higher than even the city of Atlanta, suggesting that College Park maintains its financial records in a manner different from the other cities in Fulton County. The analysis also do not include Atlanta; with a population of 420,003 it is just much bigger than all other cities.

    Full Document
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_MVAtc0VsQUg1RFE/view?usp=sharing

    Ed Williams. Ed.D. Chair
    Concerned Citizens For Effective Government
    Citizens Against Cityhood in DeKalb
    facebook.com/ccegdekalb
    ccegdekalb.blogspot.com
    (678) 304-7736
    email: truthcrushtheearth@gmail.com
    Twitter @truthcrushthee2

  • Proposed City of South Fulton The proposed city of South Fulton would be one of the largest cities in Fulton County with a population of 100,000 residents and the largest city in terms of land area 105 square miles. In order for it to be feasible the land size and the number of people had to be large to make it feasible. The proposed city of South Fulton feasibility analysis included all cites in Fulton County with a population of 10,000 or greater as determined by the 2010 Census. The cities with populations are: Alpharetta, 57,551; East Point, 33,712; Fairburn, 12,950; Johns Creek 76,728; Milton, 32,661; and Union City, 19,456. The feasibility study did not include College Park with a population of 13,942 for several reasons. And also did not include Atlanta; with a population of 420,003 it is just much bigger than all other cities.

    Full Document Report
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_Q3RKUm9fdVdhZXM/view?usp=sharing

    City Charters, Feasibility Studies and Other Related Documents
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/citizens-against-cityhood-in-dekalb/city-charters-and-other-documents/1656116507978933

    Questions to Ask Supporters of Cityhood
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6rHTsNOsLE_Z1gxVDNkVVNvR1k/view?usp=sharing

    Ed Williams. Ed.D. Chair
    Concerned Citizens For Effective Government
    Citizens Against Cityhood in DeKalb
    facebook.com/ccegdekalb
    ccegdekalb.blogspot.com
    (678) 304-7736
    email: truthcrushtheearth@gmail.com
    Twitter @truthcrushthee2

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