South Atlanta Civic League: Minutes

May 2, 2011

 Russell Hopson called the meeting to order and asked those present to join him in a moment of reflection.

Community Pride

Russell read a letter from a friend. Her car broke down near his house and she drove it over to Community Grounds. She wrote a letter praising the neighborhood for its overwhelming and generous response in helping her in her time of need.

Chris McCord thanked everyone who showed up on Earth Day to pick up and haul dumped tires to Turner Field. He especially wanted to acknowledge A-1 Tires on Blashfield, as its owner stopped by and offered his large trailer to take a load to Turner Field. We don’t know how we would have taken the truck tires to Turner Field without him.

Community Reports

(a)     Police Representatives. Lt. Browning reported on miscommunication about drug houses in the neighborhood. We are still to call 911 about drug houses, but we ALSO need to call narcotics.

Officer Paden reported on the crime in South Atlanta for the past month. It was a relatively ‘good’ crime month. We had 4 burglaries WITH arrests. The guy who robbed Carrie Amestoy was found and arrested. He is Steve Butler – aka ‘little Stevie.’

A question was raised about why 911 did not recognize the intersection of Crogman and Thayer when several residents called to report a teenage fight this weekend. The person was concerned as this has happened several times. Ms. Mary Porter responded and said this was due to the neighborhood having abandoned Crogman in 1996, so that Providence Church could expand. The church later decided it was too expensive to build and relocated.

(b)     No elected officials were present.

(c)      Committees. Russell announced the committees and their current leads – Beautification (Chris McCord). Public Safety (Jason Timbert). Youth Empowerment (Amanda Giles). Socials and Fundraising (Fran Carroll). Community Development (Russell Hopson). He encouraged those who aren’t yet a part of a committee to please join one. He thanked the committees for their hard work and invited them up to give their monthly update.

  • Beautification. Chris McCord reported on past work. He then did a random drawing. Geri picked #3 – Andra Burns, who won a gift card to Community Grounds Café. He then announced new dates – May 7th a dumpster will be at the corner of Moury and Murray for a volunteer group who will work on the property there. Residents are invited on using May 8th. He also informed the body that A-Tow has a tire shredding machine and has offered us their assistance. We want to be respectful of their time, but will do two more tire round ups this summer. He also reported that we recently received a Home Depot grant. The money was used to purchase equipment for our use during clean up projects.
  • Public Safety. Jason Timbert was working an unable to make the SACL meeting, so Josh Noblitt gave a brief report in his place. They met. Good ideas are brewing and will report back with more concrete ideas next month. Geri spoke up and said that they wanted to know about areas in the community where street lights were missing or being hidden by overgrowth. One idea that is formulating addresses areas in the neighborhood that needs more lighting.

A concern was raised about the area around Park and Hardwick. Brush overgrowth at the sidewalk was creating a dangerous intersection. Multiple near accidents already have occurred. Accident waiting to happen.

Josh reported that neighbors can contact him with areas in the neighbor that need lighting. His contact information is on the agenda (Joshua.noblitt@gmail.com).

Another concern was raised about the number of vacant houses in 17 Turman Avenue. A resident at house #8 wanted to know what we could do about nailing up the properties. Josh told her that he would gladly speak to her at the end of the meeting.

  • Youth Empowerment. Mandie reported the members of this committee are so excited about empowering the youth to be active members of the community by: (1) Creating a youth SACL committee. They are working with the board and by-laws to see what this could look like. They are in the process of selecting youth to serve on a the committee. (2.) Planning a unifying event to bring together youth and adults. (3.) coming up with effective ways to reach older youth who are lost/untouched currently by neighborhood resources, etc.
  • Socials and Fundraising. Fran reported on the work of this committee. (1.) They currently are planning a kick ball tournament for June. Hope to make it a street against street competition, but if more teams are needed are thinking about expanding the challenge to surrounding neighborhoods in NPU-Y. Talk to Fran if you are interested in heading up a team. After listening to Mandie present earlier, Fran thinks that this might be a good event to get the youth to help with. (2.) They also are working on the South Atlanta Social. More information to come on this one. (3.) They also are working on creating a community pride fundraiser – talking with venders about porch decals and car magnets, etc. They’d like to be able to roll this out at the kick ball tournament.

A visitor raised her hand to complain about how word was no longer getting out everyone about the SACL meetings. Fran said she’d love to get her information and get her help in spreading the news about the SACL meeting times and helping us to connect with more people.

  • Community Development. Russell Hopson reported that they committee currently had committed itself to helping with senior appreciation day at the Bethlehem Senior Center. He then excused himself and transitioned to Community Business giving the floor to Ms. Candie Taylor.

Community Business

Candie Taylor reported on (1) the Wesley Center’s Project Extend which was taking applications for small repairs to senior’s houses and (2.) the Bethlehem Senior Center’s open house being held on May 5 from 10 am to 4 pm open to all seniors in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. She also said they’d love to make the center open to more community events. Margaret reported that the only requirement for the senior program was being 60 years or older.

Leroy Barber reported for Green My Hood’s latest project – the mural along Jonesboro Road. It has been a long process, but they hope to be done in 2 weeks.  May 15th at 5 pm in the Marketplace parking lot is the planned mural celebration.  BBQ and fun for the kids will be provided. Press releases will be given to local press. Using this as opportunity help put South Atlanta on the map in a good way. Kristi reported that a section for the kids will be done on the mural, but plans were still being formulated for that portion of the mural. Leroy reported that he had receipts for those who had given to the mural. Wasn’t too late to make a donation. Donations of $25 or more would get your name placed on the wall. Make out checks to FCS Urban Ministries: Green My Hood.

A concern was raised by a visitor about the lack of crosswalks on Jonesboro. Russell said he’d be pleased to talk with them after the meeting was adjourned and would stay with them as long as he needed them.

Community Forum

Janice White got up to present on the demolition of 218 McDonough Blvd. Leroy moved to approve of the demolition, but only the demolition. Lucious seconded. 15 voted in favor. 1 voted in opposition. Russell promised to email Paul McMurray with the results and to prepare a letter from the SACL.

Katie reported that the coffee and snacks were provided by Community Grounds Café and informed the body that Sweet Potato sandwiches were now available at Community Grounds. She also reported on the annual Community Fellowship Camp. It is 7 weeks long for ages 5-14 for a registration fee of $25. 10 local teens are hired to run the camp. Talk to Andra or Donna for more information. If you would like to sponsor a child, let Katie know. There are different sponsorship opportunities. Russell promised to sponsor one child.

Leroy recommended adding a committee to deal with business and help create a standards. Russell suggested that this could be done in the community development committee. He encouraged anyone who shares this passion to join the committee. Andrej got up and spoke on his efforts to reach out to the local businesses. He said many have expressed interest in helping South Atlanta, but lack direction. Many want to come together and learn from one another. He is former a group. Andrej will make sure they are here next month. Rev. Harleman reported that he believed the #1 standard for businesses to be safety and quality. He reported on how his church has helped maintain the beautification of the area around their church and helped to fix the water issue on Turman Avenue.

Kristi recommended a communications and marketing committee. Russell said he’d love to see Socials try and tackle that. He said he’d put out a feeler to the community asking if others want to be a part of that committee. Josh said that he wanted to make sure that such a committee wouldn’t step on the toes of the secretary and assistant secretary, as that does touch on their responsibilities.

Mazie Lynn made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Reverend Rice seconded the motion. It was accepted by all present. The meeting was adjourned.