Notes on Neighborhood

EACA Meeting Minutes – July 12, 2016

EACA President Lewis Cartee called the meeting to order at 7:03pm and welcomed all new and returning attendees.

Rebecca Beasley of “Metropolitan Studios: An Arts and Movement Community” introduced herself and invited community members to her new studio on Metropolitan Avenue, scheduled to open in mid-August.

Ron Smith, a representative from Dekalb County’s District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson’s office introduced himself and had flyers with information about issues and events in his district.

Joe Peery, Transportation Chairman announced that he had attended The Atlanta Beltline Southeast Study Group meeting on Monday, July 11 that addressed concerns, suggestions, complaints and discussion topics about the portion of the Beltline that affects the southern region of the city. Topics included the need for a traffic study of Bill Kennedy Parkway with the increased retail and residential focus in that area, pervious surfaces of the Beltway and water run-off, styles of development along the Beltline and designated entryways onto the Beltline. The next public meeting of the Southeast Study Group will be held in Grant Park at the Rec Center on July 25, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. For more information, please see the website: www.beltline.org/event/special-call-southeast-study-group-public-meeting.

Helen Silverstein, Public Safety Chairman, announced that the Atlanta Police Department officers in attendance at the meeting had been invited as part of an on-going EACA initiative to partner with law enforcement and continue community involvement in Public Safety. APD has already implemented community policing and 21st century policing initiatives. Officers are trained and prepared to handle situations with crisis intervention and de-escalation tactics. APD officers are dispatched nationally and internationally to train other law enforcement personnel on how to prevent and handle hate crimes when they occur. Helen then introduced Capitan Gourley of APD Zone 6, as well as Officer Acashia Lavigeour, one of two LGBTQ Liaison Officers within APD. Captain Gourley has been in law enforcement for over 20 years with service on local, national and international levels. Officer Lavigeour and her team represent Atlanta as the only U.S. city that has LBGTQ trained resources to respond to international crises. The U.S. State Department funds this program. The LBGTQ Liaisons follow up on hate crimes and bias crimes against the LBGTQ community on the Federal level because Georgia does not have a hate crimes statute. They train officers and civilian staff on LBGTQ issues and support, meet and greet LBGTQ community members and the community at large. Captain Gurley and Officer Lavigeour addressed questions from attendees regarding the current protests in various parts of Atlanta, preparation of Officers for duty in the wake of Dallas shooting as well as other national events where first responders were involved in fatalities, ways that the community can support and show appreciation to law enforcement and spread information about positive experiences with police officers and law enforcement, training in non-violent de-escalation tactics, recruit screening which includes a full psychological work up and consultation with psychologists and community interaction programs. Other information provided: APD interacts with the community through the Police Athletics League (which sponsors a summer camp with approximately 200 kids), a football team during the school year, “Police in the Park” events, an Annual Toy Give-Away, Career Days, McGruff the Crime Dog and Bikes on the Beltline. APD officers are not currently outfitted with body cameras. Cameras are used on dashboards and Tasers. It is legal for anyone to record or film any encounter with an officer but you cannot physically interfere with police duties while filming. In 2015, there were 1.6 million 911 calls to APD and only 9 incidents where firearms were discharged. If you have a less than positive encounter with a police officer, you can request that the officer have their supervisor come to the scene or after the encounter you can call 911 and request to speak to the supervisor or use the www.apd.org website to contact the precinct supervisor. If these measures do not provide results, citizens can file a complaint with Internal Affairs.

Upcoming Public Safety Events:

  • “Coffee with a Cop” on August 4 from 11:00am to 12:00pm at Joe’s Coffee.
  • APD’s LGBT Liaison Unit will host a bowling night on July 26 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at Midtown Bowl on Piedmont Circle. Your $10 donation includes shoe rental. Proceeds go to the “Crime Stoppers” Greater Atlanta unit.
  • APD is participating in a “National Night Out” on August 2

Land Use and Zoning: The Flat Shoals Food Mart a new owner and they have applied for and request EACA approval for a new liquor license. A motion to approve the new license was approved with a vote of 29 in favor and one abstention.

Whitney Faigle with Striking Marketing gave a follow up presentation on Project Pabst (an AEG LIVE event) which is scheduled in East Atlanta Village on October 1, 2016 from 12:00pm to 11:00pm. “Early Bird” tickets will be $40, with a General Admission price of $55. This is an outdoor music festival which will bring up to 10,000 people into the Village to enjoy live music on two stages (one near Metropolitan Avenue and the other near Stokeswood Avenue). The event, sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon has had similar successful events in Portland and Denver. 2016 events will include Portland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Denver. The event footprint is the same as is approved for EAV Strut each year with similar street closings. Businesses will be open and tents will be available for businesses that would rather have a “pop up” on the street than have patrons come inside their brick and mortar stores. One goal is to have the lowest impact possible on retail and service businesses that won’t necessarily benefit from a festival atmosphere. Issues discussed included: notification of MARTA and it’s riders of possible interruption in service due to road closures, parking, transportation and security, volunteer opportunities, possible discount admission prices for EAV residents, provisions for employees who work within the footprint and clean-up plans. Someone from Striking Marketing will be in attendance at the August EACA meeting with more information and another opportunity for residents and business owners to ask questions. For more information on the event, visit the website: www.Projectpabst.com.

Neighbor in Need will sponsor a Community Yard Sale on August 6. For $25, NIN will advertise and promote the yard sale with a map indicating all participating neighborhood sales. Please see the Facebook event on the Neighbor In Need page.

The June Minutes and Treasurer’s report were approved without opposition.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:38pm.