Thursday, February 11, 2016

South DeKalb Residents, You are Being Denied a Right to Vote

Denying your right to help determine the destiny of your community

Dear south DeKalb Neighbor,
Did you know that your RIGHT TO VOTE IS BEING DENIED!! It is being denied by some members of the DeKalb Legislative delegation by their inaction on the bill for you to be able to vote on Greenhaven despite their approval of other cityhood bills to go to a public referendum! We can correct that situation ONLY by receiving your URGENT HELP!
We need people of good will that understand what it has taken to secure our right to vote and are willing to take action to safeguard it. Tell us which of the following you can help with and we will supply you with the instructions for how to it.

1. CALL & EMAIL our DeKalb delegation during the NEXT 5 DAYS!
Please consider carefully what your right to vote means to you and what you are willing to do to protect that! We have very urgent tasks to be completed and need your support now! Please reply to to let us know what you are willing to commit to protect our right to vote in any of the 3 ways indicated above!
THANK you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stereotype Busting: Some “Bad” Neighborhoods Have Lower Crime Rates than “Good” Neighborhoods

In metro Atlanta, Georgia, something interesting is forming and taking shape.  Coalescing in southern DeKalb County is a movement that is a) trying to form a city (Greenhaven) to help improve the quality of life of its inhabitants and b) bringing together critical-thinking community members to address the issues and debunk the myths that often gather around diverse areas – in this case the issue of safety.

Crime is a hot topic. With a multitude of publications ranking the ‘safest neighborhoods’, many understandably make it a priority to peruse these lists and guides with the hopes of not only avoiding a high crime area when researching an area before purchasing a home, but to insure that the chosen neighborhood has a low likelihood of changing. Looks can be deceiving.

The issue is that people rarely get hard data to support this assessment.  These labels bring huge economic costs: disinvestment, high unemployment in the community, low economic development potential, and lower home appreciation rates. Some of these communities have median incomes that are similar or close to that of other communities, but the high crime label supersedes any positive information about the community. You can go to much of the U.S. and find this dynamic repeated. A part of metro Atlanta is presented as a case study on this phenomenon and hard data is used to prove that looks are deceiving.

Using DeKalb County Georgia, and in particular, a proposed section that the think tank team refers to as Greenhaven is a case study of perception vs. reality when it comes to crime. The author took zip codes within the proposed Greenhaven and compared them to contiguous and nearby areas that are considered affluent, desirable and high in property value.  This comparison was about assessing whether the following quote from a recent article in the major newspaper was reflective of the area.

“In south DeKalb County, where the 20-year-old Campbell lived his entire life, violent deaths of young men are so common that a shorthand term has evolved for the nighttime vigil that follows so many shootings. It is, simply, a candlelight”, declared the recent AJC article, “Life, death and gangs in south DeKalb.”

I hope these young men rest in peace and that their families and other survivors find healing and peace.

The AJC story highlights several young men that were killed since this past summer, and includes a map of where the young men lived and died. One problem: although ‘south DeKalb’ is in the story’s title, based on the story’s map, most of the killings occurred outside of south DeKalb- far outside, as in the Tucker/ Smoke Rise area. Most will agree that a killing is never good no matter where it happens, but in this case, the title of the article doesn’t accurately portray where the majority of these killings occurred.

The news reporting status quo goes something like this: “There was a killing in DeKalb”, “A young woman was murdered in ___________”. You are free to insert “DeKalb”, “DeKalb County” or “south DeKalb” onto the blank line. The AJC article and local news stations make it seem as if DeKalb County, specifically south DeKalb, is rife with crime.
South DeKalb has its share of problems, with crime being one of them. The point of this is not to trivialize those who have experienced crime of any type in south DeKalb. This is about correcting when there are errors. According to recent data from, a part of the network, the risk of being a crime victim is higher in parts of the Atlanta metro area that you would least expect. For instance, in many Buckhead and midtown zip codes, your chances of being a victim of a crime are much higher than in south DeKalb.

What is crime risk and how is it measured?

From the site:

Total Crime Risk - A score that represents the combined risks of rape, murder, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft compared to the national average of 100. A score of 200 indicates twice the national average total crime risk, while 50 indicates half the national risk. The different types of crime are given equal weight in this score, so murder, for example, does not count more than vehicle theft. Scores are based on demographic and geographic analyses of crime over seven years.

Personal Crime Risk - Index score (100=National Average) that represents the combined risks of rape, murder, assault and robbery.

Property Crime Risk - Index score (100=National Average) that represents the combined risks of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

I’ve gathered and looked at crime data from 19 zip codes, ranging from midtown, most of Buckhead/ Lenox Square, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Tucker, Atlanta Lavista Road/ North Druid Hills Rd areas, city of Decatur, Virginia-Highlands/ Morningside, Little 5 Points/ Inman Park, Candler Park, much of south DeKalb excluding Ellenwood and Lithonia. Five of the 19 zip codes are in south DeKalb (lying wholly in the proposed city of Greenhaven). The Atlanta, Tucker and city of Decatur zip codes were chosen because they are areas that are stereotypically thought of as great areas and are highly sought out to live in and are entertainment and/ or dining destinations.

Some highlights:
The five zip codes in south DeKalb County (specifically the proposed city of Greenhaven: 30083, 30088, 30034, 30032, and 30035) have an average crime score of 186 for all crimes, the average personal crime score is 151 and the average property crime score is 197. The national crime score average is 100 in all types of crime.
If you are living, working or playing in some of the other zip codes, your chances of being a crime victim increases significantly. 
Out of the 19 studied zip codes, you have the highest chance of being an overall crime victim in:
  •    Zip code 30306 (Virginia-Highland/ Morningside areas). The overall crime score for this zip code is 641. This is more than three times that of the south DeKalb zip codes.
  •      Zip code 30326 (Buckhead/ Lenox Square) has the highest score for personal crimes with 737. This is nearly a five times greater chance of being a victim of murder, rape, assault and robbery than you would in south DeKalb.
  •     The Virginia-Highland/ Morningside area (30306) has the highest score in property crime with 671. This is more than three times the chances of being a victim of a car theft, home burglary and larceny than in south DeKalb.
  •     Stone Mountain zip code 30088 had the second lowest crime score in all categories after zip code 30329 (Lavista Road/ North Druid Hills Road area).

So if south DeKalb is NOT a hot bed of crime, why does the area have this reputation? It may be more about human nature than some great conspiracy. Many will repeat “truths” without experiencing first-hand that which they purport to know about. If your opinion on south DeKalb is formed mainly by the news media, then you will think that its gang and crime ridden.

South DeKalb suffers more from disinvestment than crime. It’s an area that’s seen amazing growth during the 70’s and 80’s and as the ethnic demographics changed (without a drastic change in median income) the area’s reputation became increasingly colored by perception rather than reality. Even neighboring Gwinnett County, which has seen an increase in gang-related crimes, gets better treatment in the media.

The AJC story highlighted very real deaths and associations with gangs by these young men, but to include within the article statements such as: “In south DeKalb County, where the 20-year-old Campbell lived his entire life, violent deaths of young men are so common that a shorthand term has evolved for the nighttime vigil that follows so many shootings. It is, simply, a candlelight.” This is inflammatory writing where the writer chose to go with the status quo of throwing around the words “crime”, “murder”, and “gangs” to stick to an area that least deserves it.

Cityhood doesn’t solve everything as there are a myriad of cause and effect dynamics playing out in south DeKalb which has been slowly transforming the area for two decades; but all of this might not matter if the community is denied a right to vote on being a catalyst for change. There are many in southern DeKalb County that’s lived in the area for decades and have seen the quality of life decline. They want a reset and for them this reset is incorporating the area into Greenhaven.

Don’t deny us the right to vote on whether we want government closer to us or the status quo.

Sources: Compare cities
Crimemapping. DeKalb County crimes

Written by Ari Meier 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why We in Greenhaven Cannot Wait

Photo credit: Wikipedia
Depending on who you are, where you are, and the mark on a calendar year, the very mention of the term “cityhood” engenders an array of contending emotions.  Without hearing any other single word, one might feel anger, rigid resolve, distinction, elitism, isolation, safety, despair, caution, suspicion, fatigue.  Another side of the same town of people might feel another way for entirely different reasons.  They might feel hope, possibilities, promise, anticipation, renewal, inspiration.  Fittingly, we could also be talking about the flowof feelings within the Civil Rights Movement led by scores of advocates and the man whose life, ministry and mission we celebrate this week – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

While I dare not equate the scope and significance of the Civil Rights Movement to any campaign to launch a new incorporated city, some fundamentals to the two scenarios and the debate remain much the same.

Civil Rights advocates were never to be seen as a monolith of ideas and issues. They were quite diverse in their opinions. The debate was even heated at times.  But the common ground on which they stood, the fundamental truth for which they prayed and marched and were jailed, was simply to have the same right as others had – to be free to determine their own destiny and to speak their voice with their vote.

Yet, many who sincerely appreciated the stakes still felt that King was moving too fast; that perhaps he should wait to allow more time for fairness and repair to evolve.  There are legislators, opponents and some who are not sure of this Greenhaven movement who echo similar sentiments or fears, who say while others have been given the right to vote for cityhood, we in south DeKalb should “wait.”
I have to admit that my mom confided that as a young woman she didn’t care that much about why a young Martin King was marching.  But as she looked back later on in life at all the times she saw King on TV, all the times people were talking about what he was questioning, she understood that in the end, it had much to do with allowing the full flow of public discourse and participation; the chance to debate, the right to discuss, and the right to learn and disagree.  That is the purpose of a public referendum – an opportunity for people to hear the issue, understand it, discuss and debate it, and then decide/vote for what they want.  That is democracy.

No member in the GA Senate, no member in the State House, especially of the DeKalb Delegation should deny us the vote out of fear or popular discomfort.  There is no justifiable retribution to any legislator for doing the right thing. There is no understandable explanation for why residents of south DeKalb, having fulfilled all that was requested of all other cityhood applicants, should be denied the right given to others – the right to vote on a city they researched and determined to be sustainable. The question arises, “Why are we [in south DeKalb] being treated differently….Why must we wait to be treated fairly?”  We echo Martin Luther King’s question,“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?  Expediency asks the question, is it politic?  Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right?”

From this hallowed Metro Atlanta ground, I exclaim loudly to our state legislators: don’t deny us the right to vote on Greenhaven cityhood.  Pass the legislation that will allow citizens to vote in a referendum come May 24th.  Then join the conversation and participate in the debate, and enjoy the note in history that you did the right thing.

The CCCSD Communications Team
In honor of M.L.King

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DeKalb County Governance Transparency Dealt a Blow with Auditor Removal

Harmel Codi, recently a candidate for Commissioner of DeKalb County District 5, was the center of attention at the Legislative Town Hall meeting on Thursday, January 7, 2015.  Ms. Codi, who was recently selected to be a member of the oversight committee that will review candidates for the position of independent internal auditor for DeKalb County has now been removed from the committee.

The independent Auditor position came about largely as a result of Blueprint DeKalb's efforts to create more fiscal oversight and better governance in DeKalb County. The GA State Assembly approved HB599 which called for several actions to improve governance in DeKalb County.  The removal of Ms. Codi gives the appearance of a political taint to Ms. Codi's removal. Thus, even as efforts are made to restore integrity and transparency to DeKalb County, it seems there are efforts to combat them.

It should be noted that the Charter of proposed Greenhaven has most of the good governance measures called for by Blueprint DeKalb and others including an independent auditor, 2 term limits, citizen appointments to the Ethics Board and Citizen Review Board, and leadership that lives within city limits.  This is all apart from the citizen participation component - Community Area Planning Units. 

Despite offering what almost everyone is saying they want to see, the residents of Greenhaven risk not even getting the opportunity to have these measures because we are being denied the right to vote for cityhood in a public referendum.  Call your legislators and tell them, "Don't deny us the right to vote." 

The Greenhaven Economic Development Vision/Plan

By Kathryn Rice
The CCCSD Communications Team

When the recent (and now defunct) soccer deal for DeKalb County was announced, one Commissioner stated that it was the first project for southern DeKalb in 10 years.  That should not be acceptable.  That is the primary reason why we, the Concerned Citizens for Cityhood in South DeKalb Inc. (CCCSD) are advocating for the city of Greenhaven.  If we want development, jobs, and more and better services, then we need to put ourselves in a position to get it.  And we need to recognize that we must do some things different to get it, because doing the same thing, with the same positions and the same structure for the last 10 years has not produced what we want.  Therefore, CCCSD is excited to offer the Economic Development Vision and Plan for proposed Greenhaven.  The full plan can be viewed at the CCCSD website (; below is a summary of the plan.

The goal is to create a city that is actively working to create growth and development in multiple locations.  Our Vision and Plan is not a traditional economic development plan such as the one commissioned by DeKalb County in 2015.  It is a community based plan that incorporates citizen participation, promotes growth and/or development, and rewards innovation.  There are five phases to this plan.  Some phases should occur simultaneously and some sequentially.

Phase 1: Determining Central Targets for Growth.  With the assistance of the Greenhaven Planning Department, one area will be selected in each of Greenhaven’s six Districts that will function similar to a Central Business District. All initial planning, funding, economic development, and community efforts will be targeted toward this area.  As a result, people will enjoy a central commercial area that reflects their landscaping and desires.  Business will enjoy less competition initially. Government will maximize the use of its public dollars.

Phase 2: The District Based Art Approach.  To stimulate community involvement, the Greenhaven Planning Department, with the help of artists (preferably local), will engage in art development – a single structure, painting, sculpture, garden or created entity that is a unique, creative reflection of that community.  The primary purpose of this created piece is to help the CAPU get started, change the mindset of current residents, attract prospective residents, and initiate the development of a central business/theme area.  The development of these 6 pieces will be the community’s primary contribution to economic development in their area.

Phase 3: The Contract.  In return for benefiting and beautifying their community, the community will agree to a contract to promote economic development (to be agreed to prior to the execution of Phase 2).  In theory, this contract is similar to an overlay district; however, it is less restrictive.  In exchange for support for Phase 2, the community will agree to:
-          retail/commercial/industrial development in the Central Planning area
-          support for MARTA and/or separate transit-oriented-development in Greenhaven
-          a fast track permitting system for approved commercial or industrial uses

Phase 4: Business Attraction.  The Greenhaven Department of Economic Development in tandem with the Greenhaven Development Authority (if one exists) will develop an economic development strategy based on Greenhaven’s six districts and their Central Planning area.  That strategy will include a) attraction of innovative, first responder companies in targeted industries (e.g., green energy industries) b) identification of companies in targeted industries (the county’s plan is helpful here), c) an approval process that facilitates business development, d) financial tools that accommodate business development, and e) the support and involvement of key ancillary agencies that will facilitate development.

Phase 5: Education and Workforce.  K-12 education is not in the purview of the city.  Nevertheless, its status greatly affects economic development and quality growth.  Therefore, Greenhaven will liaise with the DeKalb Board of Education on a regular basis.  In addition, Greenhaven already enjoys a significant professional population.  Building on that, Greenhaven will work with Quickstart and existing university and community colleges in Greenhaven to implement the latest workforce development methods to match business needs with workforce development and training.

The Vision
The result of these five phases is what we call our Vision.  At the end of this process, Greenhaven will look like an international city populated by citizens of all hues and cultures with a multiple business strategy focused on “green.”  It will represent a creative, attractive, planned growth city with an artistic, intelligent and involved citizenry.  Demographically, the population will be more technical, creative and international. Businesswise, Greenhaven will have simultaneous but differing growth in six spots.  When it comes to environment, land-use and planning, at least for a period of time, Greenhaven will look like a city with planned growth.  Educationally, Greenhaven will be at the cutting edge of local government-public school partnerships. 

Imagine Greenhaven, Your City.  Now imagine this opportunity lost because we didn’t get the right to vote.  Contact your legislator and tell them to not deny us the right to vote; do not deny us this Vision and Plan.

Click here for the full version of the Greenhaven Economic Development Vision and Plan.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Let South DeKalb Vote on Cityhood

This article was published on, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

By Kathryn Rice

What do the residents in the proposed Greenhaven want for Christmas? We want the right to vote.
We want the state Legislature to grant us what it granted every other proposed city that fulfilled its requirements. We want the right to vote.

We want the same self-determination everyone else has requested and been given. We want the right to vote.
Why do we harp on this refrain?

Because we, the Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc., recently listened to a state elected official publicly state that the proposed Greenhaven would not be considered for cityhood in the 2016 legislative session. We at Concerned Citizens challenge whether there are any reasons for us to not be considered. The Legislature put forth requirements for proposed cities, so everyone would know what needed to be done to receive approval for a public referendum.

Additionally, Concerned Citizens studied and reviewed recent cityhood proposals (since Sandy Springs) so we could understand and follow the process used by other cities allowed a vote. We now ask, “If we meet those requirements and follow the proper process, are there any legitimate reasons that should stop residents of the proposed Greenhaven from having a right to a vote?”

How Greenhaven decides to form is what self-determination is all about. We decided we want a government that will promote economic development, encourage citizen participation and be fiscally conservative. We considered different options and chose a structure that allowed us to keep taxes low, put us at the table for big projects, and enabled us to be fiscally responsible as a result of economies of scale — larger quantities get lower prices. We want self-determination, the opportunity to realize our choices.

The role of the state Legislature is to conduct due diligence on the viability of a proposed city before turning the proposal over to the people in a referendum. Concerned Citizens has met all the requirements. We formed an organization to take responsibility for the formation of Greenhaven, conducted a feasibility study with the University of Georgia that estimated $27 million in revenues, developed a charter by which Greenhaven would govern itself, found a legislator who sponsored the bill and, finally, advertised the bill and process to the public.
As expressed by one supporter of cityhood in South DeKalb, “Whether they like the idea of the city or not, if these requirements have been met, then the Legislature should pass the bill and offer the people a public referendum for them to decide whether they want to form a city.

LaVista Hills and Tucker, two areas that recently voted on cityhood, are excellent examples of what we’re talking about. LaVista Hills and Tucker are geographically side by side. They engaged in the same discussions and the same issues during the same time period. On Nov. 3, one approved cityhood by a large margin; the other voted against cityhood by a whisper of a margin.

LaVista Hills and Tucker represent democracy and self-determination in action. The residents of the proposed Greenhaven want to exercise their own democracy and self-determination. We do not want our lawmakers to tell us we cannot vote.

We are not asking for any special favors or waivers. We have an economic development vision and a plan of action. We are excited about our future and opportunity to realize our dreams in ways the current county business model has not produced. To our state representatives and senators, we say, “Do unto us as you have done unto others.” To the residents of the proposed Greenhaven, we say, “Get informed. Then get involved. Take control of your destiny. Realize your dreams. As spiritual people, there is nothing we can’t do!”

Contact us at if you have any questions.
Kathryn Rice chairs Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cityhood for a Healthier County

Photo credit: John Trainor

We, the Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc. (CCCSD), are residents of unincorporated south DeKalb County, GA concerned about taxes, property values, crime, responsiveness of government, education and specifically economic development. We are proposing to form a local city government structure known as Greenhaven with a focus on economic growth and community participation in South DeKalb. 
As members of CCCSD travel around the southern part of DeKalb County, we encounter a number of citizens that do not know whether they are in a city or county (unincorporated area) because where they live has the same name as the city (e.g., city of Decatur, Stone Mountain, Clarkston or Lithonia vs. unincorporated Decatur, Stone Mountain, Clarkston or Lithonia).  If you vote for a Mayor, you are in a city. Otherwise, you are in unincorporated county (95% of south DeKalb). 

In the United States, counties serve as the principal political subdivision of a state. In Georgia, cities have home rule, which means they can create their own laws (as long as they do not conflict with state law).  In other words, cities can be more aggressive in pursuing their objectives. People often form cities to obtain more services or a higher quality of services.

CCCSD is proposing to create Greenhaven from most of the unincorporated portions of south DeKalb County because that will create a change in the government structure enabling residents to become more aggressive about focusing on economic development and raising the quality of services we receive.  A city focuses on itself and fights for increased housing values, better maintenance of commercial corridors, improved transportation infrastructure, and more economic development.  Cityhood provides an opportunity to focus on economic development in South DeKalb.  And, because of the economic benefits that cities generally bring, they often improve the health of the county in which they reside.

 In the current structure, a DeKalb County District Commissioner represents 145,000 residents. In the proposed city structure of Greenhaven, a District Councilperson represents 49,000 residents.  Key Greenhaven staff such as the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the City Attorney and the City Clerk will be required to become residents of the municipality.  In this new government structure, you will be represented by a neighbor in a smaller district.

Residents of the community will have two ways to voice where and how their tax dollar is spent – through their City Council person and also through their Community Area Planning Unit (CAPU).  Residents of the community will have a voice in the design, zoning, land use and economic development they need, want and desire.   

People are desiring change in South DeKalb – better services, more beautification and more economic development.  We propose Greenhaven as the means and the way to get what we want.  We leave you with a question.  If we do nothing different, what will change?

Mr. Finley

Greenhaven is a proposed city that comprises much of the unincorporated area south of US-78 and Memorial Drive in DeKalb County. Bills proposing the city were sponsored by 12 DeKalb county delegates in the 2015 legislative session.  The bills carry over into the 2016 session where legislators will vote on whether to allow citizens a public referendum on creating a city of Greenhaven.


  • Join us as a volunteer by emailing us at
  • Support this effort with a modest contribution of $5, $20, $100 or whatever you’re able to do today by going to 
  • Invite us to your homeowner association meeting or attend one of our public meetings.
  • For more information go to our blog -

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What Do the LaVista Hills and Tucker Vote Outcomes mean for Greenhaven?

Photo credit: John S. Quarterman

On November 3, 2015, the residents of two unincorporated areas took a vote on cityhood.  One proposed city, Tucker, won by a landslide; the other, LaVista Hills, lost by the merest whisper of a vote.  The next day, Dr. Kathryn Rice, the Chair of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb Inc. (CCCSD), received calls from the press about what the loss in LaVista Hills meant for Greenhaven.  Her answer was,“IT’S GOOD NEWS!”

What LaVista Hills and Tucker demonstrated is democracy in action!  All CCCSD has been asking of the legislature is that they give us, the people, the opportunity to decide our future.  All we ask for is self-determination - the opportunity to vote on what we want for ourselves. 

When CCCSD proposed Greenhaven in HB613 and SB221 in the 2015 legislative session, legislators worried about whether to support and approve a new city.  It sometimes appeared as though they were taking on the responsibility of deciding whether Greenhaven should exist.  What LaVista Hills and Tucker showed is that residents can take responsibility for themselves.  The PEOPLE can and SHOULD make the decision about whether they want a city.

We have been asked, “If LaVista Hills didn’t pass, why do you expect a city like Greenhaven to pass when it is larger and you have to convince more voters?”  Why?  Because Greenhaven residents will be voting on different issues than Tucker and LaVista Hills.  Note that the voters of Tucker are next door to LaVista Hills and were in the same time period, issues and discussions.  Yet, just like Greenhaven they were not voting on the same factors and, hence, their results were quite different (74% approval results).   

Greenhaven, which comprises most of south DeKalb, is relatively underdeveloped compared to the rest of the county.  It needs economic development, investment, jobs, transportation and other things.  So, how will the proposed city of Greenhaven accomplish those things?  Stay tuned for the economic development plan and vision about to be issued.

In summary, we say to our legislators that we have met every requirement laid out by the GA State legislature.  Now they should do the right thing, which is to allow the citizens of Greenhaven to make the decision about whether they want a city.

Our unwavering message to the GA State legislature



Greenhaven is a proposed city that comprises much of the unincorporated area south of US-78 and Memorial Drive in southern DeKalb County. Bills proposing the city were sponsored by 12 DeKalb county delegates in the 2015 legislative session.  The bills carry over into the 2016 session where legislators will vote on whether to allow citizens a public referendum on creating a city of Greenhaven.


For more information go to
Email us and invite us to present at your homeowner or civic association meeting
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Give Us the Right to Vote and Decide Our Destiny!

Photo credit: Ken Lund

We want to make one thing clear to the Georgia State Assembly: All the citizens of the proposed city of Greenhaven are asking for is to GIVE US THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND DECIDE OUR DESTINY!

The role of the State legislature is to determine whether a city can be viable before they pass it to the people for a vote.  Has a group formed to take responsibility for its formation? Can the city support its expenses? Are they offering sufficient services? Have they developed a legal framework (Charter) by which they can govern themselves? Is there a legislator willing to sponsor them?  Whether they like the idea of the city or not, if these questions are answered in the affirmative, as they have been, then the legislature should pass the bill and offer the people a public referendum for them to decide whether they want to form a city.

 In order for a public referendum to get passed through the Legislature and be included on the ballot for people to vote on, two important hurdles must be cleared.  The appropriate committees and legislators in the House and Senate must approve the proposed bill and the governor must sign it into law.  As a matter of information, the governor has signed ALL of the cityhood referenda that have passed the Legislature. 

In the 2015 legislative session, 10 DeKalb Representatives and 2 DeKalb Senators co-sponsored a bill to allow the people a vote on the new city of Greenhaven.  They are:

House of Representatives:                                 
Pam Stephenson                                      Rahn Mayo
Karen Bennett                                           Dee Dawkins Haigler
Dar’shun Kendrick                                    Billy Mitchell
Tanya Anderson                                       Mike Jacobs
Coach Williams                                         Howard Mosby

State Senators:
Ron Ramsey                                                           
Gail Davenport

We applaud these elected officials because in supporting the introduction of the Greenhaven bill, they demonstrated that they fully understand the importance of the right of the people to vote.  They led the charge in giving the people the right to determine their destiny. They were willing to grant the different sides of the Greenhaven initiative the opportunity to make their best case and let the strength of the strongest argument prevail.

For those legislators in our delegation who have so far not joined their colleagues in demonstrating active support for the Greenhaven bill, we want to make sure you have the information you need.  We have contacted your office to set up an appointment.  We believe you care about your constituents and want to ensure that they have the right to vote on their future.

Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South Dekalb (CCCSD) strongly believes in the fundamental right to a vote!  We understand, as citizens of DeKalb County, that it is incumbent upon us to make sure that our legislators and their colleagues understand how serious this opportunity to vote is for us.  And so, this campaign going forward will focus on the legislative involvement that is vital to this campaign and Greenhaven’s citizens’ right to decide their own destiny.

The time for action is now! We ask our full DeKalb delegation to IMMEDIATELY, PUBLICLY, ENTHUSIASTICALLY and UNCONDITIONALLY announce their intention to support the right of Greenhaven residents to simply VOTE on a cityhood referendum.  


For more information go to
We’d love your support.  Donate at