Author Archives: MATTHEW CHARLES CARDINALE

Atlanta Council Silences the Public During National Pandemic

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  (APN) ATLANTA — In response to the national COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta City Council has shifted its meetings to an online/telephonic format, but has unnecessarily infringed upon the right of members of the public to be heard.   The City’s new public comment practice only allows members of the public to email their public comments to the City Council, […]

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Atlanta Gathered, Withheld Watershed Records from APN in 2015

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  (APN) ATLANTA — In 2015, the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management gathered records regarding its perceived need to take the homes of Peoplestown families through eminent domain, in response to a records request from Atlanta Progressive News, but then never provided the records, APN has learned.   APN previously has reported that we never received the records.   […]

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Former Council Aide Leveraged Knowledge from Job in Comcast Lobbying

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  (APN) ATLANTA — Wayne Martin, a former Chief of Staff for Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland (Post 2-at-large), accessed information related to Comcast Cable’s 2009 billion dollar franchise agreement with the City of Atlanta during his time of employment, prior to going to work for Comcast and lobbying the City Council in late 2019 to approve yet another billion […]

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Atlanta Ethics investigation of Westmoreland’s Former Aide, Wayne Martin (UPDATE 1)

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Image of Wayne Martin and Councilwoman Marci Overstreet (District 11) posted to Overstreet’s official Facebook page; reposted here pursuant to Fair Use doctrine.   (APN) ATLANTA — The Ethics Office of the City of Atlanta is currently investigating a complaint received regarding an alleged conflict of interest involving Wayne Martin, former Chief of Staff to Atlanta City Council Matt Westmoreland […]

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Atlanta Council Knowingly Approves Illegal Voucher Ordinance (UPDATE 1)

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  (APN) ATLANTA — Requiring residential lessors to accept housing authority vouchers from tenants as a form of rental payment is a national best practice.  Unfortunately, the Georgia Legislature does not allow cities to adopt such an ordinance.   So, when the Council voted on Monday, February 17, 2020 to approve an ordinance purporting to require the acceptance of vouchers […]

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Lawsuit Documents Nineteen Open Records Violations by City of Atlanta

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  Image of Robert Ashe used pursuant to fair use doctrine.   (APN) ATLANTA — In an amended complaint filed on yesterday, Friday, February 21, 2020, citizen advocate Adrian Paulette Coleman provided Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney with evidence of a total of at least nineteen known violations of the Georgia Open Records Act by the City of […]

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Atlanta Abuses Executive Session to Discuss Illegal Ordinance (UPDATE 1)

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(APN) ATLANTA — The City Council of Atlanta continues to operate in a cloak of secrecy and abuse public trust, this time holding two closed-door meetings to discuss their illegal ordinance, 20-O-1155, despite having no eligible exception that would allow the meeting to be closed under the Georgia Open Meetings Act.   APPARENTLY ILLEGAL CLOSED MEETING   On Tuesday, February […]

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Atlanta Ordinance to Require Voucher Acceptance, Preempted by State Law

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  (APN) ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta is currently considering an ordinance by Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3) that would ban rental discrimination in Atlanta on the basis of form of payment – essentially requiring residential lessors (“landlords”) to accept vouchers issued by a housing authority.   Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3) introduced the ordinance as a personal paper […]

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City of Atlanta Lawyers Up in Coleman Open Records Case

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  Image used pursuant to fair use doctrine. (APN) ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta has retained attorney Robert L. Ashe III (commonly called “Robbie Ashe”), at a rate of 450 dollars per hour, to defend the City in a lawsuit filed by Adrian Coleman regarding the City’s violations of the Georgia Open Records Act.   The City of Atlanta has […]

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Atlanta Council Approves Rent Control Resolution to State of Georgia

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  (APN) ATLANTA — A resolution asking the State of Georgia to remove the statewide prohibition on rent control, or rent stabilization, passed the City Council of Atlanta at the Full Council Meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.   http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2020/01/07/atlanta-resolution-would-ask-georgia-to-allow-rent-control/   The resolution, introduced by Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3), passed in a vote of fourteen to one.   J.P. […]

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Westmoreland Cuts Public Comment on Community Development, Human Services

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(APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta City Councilman Matt Westmoreland (Post 2-at-large) has used his discretion as the new Chairperson of the Community Development/Human Services Committee (CD/HS) to make cuts to public comment time.   Westmoreland has cut the total amount of public comment time from five minutes to three minutes per person, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.   Since 2010, members […]

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State Sen. James Seeks Georgia Apology for Slavery

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(APN) ATLANTA — State Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) has introduced a Senate Resolution, SR 537, seeking that the State of Georgia formally apologize for slavery and Jim Crow.   http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20192020/SR/537   On January 15, 2020, the Senate referred the resolution to the Rules Committee.   The co-sponsors on the resolution are State Sens. Gail Davenport (D-Atlanta), Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Sally […]

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Atlanta Resolution Would Ask Georgia to Allow Rent Control

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  (APN) ATLANTA — Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3) introduced a resolution encouraging the State of Georgia to allow cities like Atlanta to adopt rent stabilization, or rent control, laws.   Currently, Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 44-7-19 prohibits cities and counties from regulating how much a residential lessor can charge a tenant for rent.   “A RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING THE […]

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Atlanta City Attorney Misled Council on Comcast Reports

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  (APN) ATLANTA — City Attorney Nina R. Hickson for the City of Atlanta admitted in an email response to an inquiry from Atlanta Progressive News that her statement to City Utilities Committee on November 26, 2019, regarding the availability of Comcast reports was “incomplete.”   Hickson admitted her misleading statements, after it was revealed through an open records request […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Homeless Ruling Suggests Atlanta Laws Unconstitutional

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  (APN) ATLANTA — A recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the U.S. calls into question the constitutionality of several Atlanta laws that criminalize homeless people.   Atlanta’s laws criminalizing urban camping (106-12), public urination (106-30), and monetary solicitation (106-85) each raise issues under the Eighth Amendment, which is the Federal Constitution’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.”   […]

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