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Retired Neighborhood Leader Passes

By Henry Bryant
The Piggyback Yard at Cabbagetown became a protracted neighborhood dispute for all of the neighborhoods in the Porch Press area during the 80s. It gained citywide prominence and was debated in the zoning board and council chambers of City Hall. It went on through the court system with the neighborhood based No Intown Piggyback (NIP) bringing suit and CSX Railroad taking it all of the way to the Georgia Supreme Court. Ultimately NIP lost the case and that is why the semi trucks currently roll on Boulevard today. Along the way many concessions were made to ameliorate the trucks’ negative effects but the effect of the issue on the political landscape in southeast Atlanta was more far reaching and lasting. One of the players in this drama was a Cabbagetown leader named Mary Bankester who was a force to be reckoned with. She went on to run twice for city council, once in the 5th Council District in a close hardfought election. She worked in other candidate’s campaigns and served on a couple of city boards. She retired years ago and moved back to south Alabama to care for elderly relatives and take life easy. The Porch Press learned from Mary’s sister over the holidays that Mary had passed in September in Daphne, Alabama at the age of 70. Though she has not lived in Atlanta in years there are still those in the neighborhood who will remember and think kindly of Mary Bankester.

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