Kasim Reed

(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

On this edition of "Political Rewind," the Public Service Commission is about to make a momentous decision that will hit Georgia Power customers in the pocketbook and influence the future of nuclear power across the country. Will the PSC uphold Georgia Power’s plan to continue construction of the troubled Plant Vogtle? Will the commission approve a power company proposal to increase the surcharge customers are already paying for building the nuclear plant? Plus, we’ll look at the fallout from the blackout at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Stephen Fowler, GPB News

The race to become Atlanta’s next mayor is at a bit of a standstill.

Here’s where things stand after yesterday’s runoff election between two Atlanta City Councilwomen.

Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms leads Independent Mary Norwood by 759 votes. Norwood says it’s not over and is calling for a recount.

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

The cool, crisp air of an Atlanta fall dipped the temperature into the 30s, but inside the Vision Cathedral, the congregation is armed with paper fans to stave off the heat and sweat of hundreds of bodies in motion and in worship.

The predominantly-black Pentecostal church sits at the intersection of Confederate Avenue and Ormewood Avenue.

But Bishop O.C. Allen and the rest of the church only recognize one of those names.

Miranda Nelson / Flickr/CC

A new Atlanta ordinance eliminating jail time and reducing penalties for having small amounts of marijuana will allow officers to focus on eliminating violent crimes instead of petty ones, the city's police chief said.

Marijuana remains illegal in Georgia, and the ordinance addresses only the penalties associated with marijuana offenses, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told WSB-TV.

The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved the ordinance that reduces the fine for possession of an ounce or less of pot from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75.

Saporta Report

 

For more than forty years, the city of Atlanta has been led by an African-American mayor.

 

Maynard Jackson started the trend in 1974, becoming the first black mayor elected in a major southern city.

The man who preceded Jackson was Sam Massell, who made history of his own in 1970 when he became the first Jewish mayor of Atlanta.

Keizers

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed promised a comprehensive new plan to address homelessness in his State of the City address in February. The mayor promised a new $50 million program, co-funded by the city and United Way. Yesterday, Atlanta’s city council approved its share of the funding as Reed’s office released details on the expansive plan.

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Federal prosecutors are investigating bribes paid to Atlanta city officials in exchange for business contracts. Two contractors have already plead guilty to dishing out these bribes--though it is not clear who accepted them. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has exclusive new info on the situation. We talk with reporter Scott Trubey, who has been covering the bribery scandal at City Hall.

Investigative Reporters and Editors

Government transparency helps a democracy function, but many communities have a long way to go. One journalism organization is singling out the most secretive government agencies and officials with the Golden Padlock Award. The award, given out by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), is not much of an honor. This weekend, it went to U.S.

via Panoramio

Over the past couple decades, Atlanta has become a regional hub for arts and culture. Mayor Kasim Reed is seeking state approval to provide a consistent source of funding for the arts throughout the city. In an editorial board meeting with the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Tuesday, Reed said that many of Atlanta’s arts organizations are unable to acquire the funding necessary to stay afloat.

via AUCConsortium Twitter

Crime has frequently been an issue for the Atlanta University Center, but the completion of a $700,000 security system is aiming to decrease the area’s crime rate. On Tuesday, Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta University Center Consortium announced that 35 new cameras and five license plate readers have been installed throughout the AUC.

Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine each contributed $100,000 to the initiative. The City of Atlanta contributed $300,000.

Open Door Community has served Atlanta’s homeless population for 35 years. But lack of leadership, gentrification, and rising maintenance costs has forced one of the city’s longest running shelters to close its doors. But Open Door is not the only shelter that might shut its doors.

FLICKR

#ATLisReady is a group that has hosted demonstrations throughout Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed has allegedly considered setting a curfew in response to the protests. But do curfews work?

We ask Mike Males, senior researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, about what the data tells us about curfews.

Jayla Moody / GPB

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is reviewing a list of 25 demands from Black Lives Matter activists. The mayor and his cabinet met privately on Monday with four activists — a follow-up to protests last week after the killing of two black men by police officers in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

The activists’ demands include annual mental health screenings and body cameras for police officers. Activists alos requested that the Atlanta Police Department stop training with the Israeli army. Reed said today’s meeting wasn’t about getting a deal, but rather figuring out what people are feeling.


Black Lives Matter Protesters Rally At Governor's Mansion

Jul 12, 2016
Sam Whitehead / GPB

Monday meant another night of protests in Atlanta, as hundreds of demonstrators outraged by recent police killings of black men held a sit-in outside the governor's mansion.

After gathering at the Lenox MARTA station, the protesters blocked a road near Lenox Square mall before marching to the mansion amid chants of "justice" and "black lives matter."

Sam Whitehead / GPB

The Obama Administration has added five westside Atlanta neighborhoods with high levels of poverty and unemployment to its Promise Zone Communities program aimed at boosting economic opportunity.

 

Ashview Heights, the Atlanta University Center, Castleberry Hill, English Avenue and Vine City, have been combined into what the Department of Housing and Urban Development calls the Westside Promise Zone.

 

Big Changes Coming For Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

May 23, 2016
Omoo / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said big changes are in store for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with the ouster of general manager Miguel Southwell.

Though Reed did not give specifics as to why he fired Southwell last Friday, he did give a picture of the impacts the change would have.

Vine City Park Sign Of Things To Come

May 20, 2016
Sam Whitehead / GPB

After more than ten years of work, Vine City Park is officially complete. Community members, city officials, and Atlanta non-profits gathered Thursday for a ribbon-cutting for final phase of the park, which includes an expanded playground and flood-mitigating features.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the park, which sits on two flood-prone acres in the heart of Vine City once occupied by abandoned lots and vacant buildings, was a meaningful part of the city’s effort to address blight and infrastructure issues. 

He also said it was a sign of things to come.

Sam Whitehead / GPB

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has banned city employees from traveling to North Carolina for non-essential reasons after the state passed a law limiting LGBT protections last month.