Over 60 residents participated in a press conference on Tuesday, July 7 to deliver a letter to Mayor Kasim Reed. In the letter (read it here), the Coalition requests a meeting with the Mayor and a commitment to complete the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) planning study before striking any deal to redevelop Turner Field. Residents at the press conference urged the Mayor to allow community members to develop their vision for the area as the first step in any redevelopment plans. Doristine Samuel, a resident of Mechanicsville since 1957, spoke about what a thriving community she grew up in, before the highways and Atlanta Fulton County Stadium turned the area into a desert. Sohna Harzeez, an active member of the Pittsburgh community, called for development that follows the principles of “smart growth,” which starts with community engagement and is designed to reconnect communities.
After addressing the press, Coalition members filed into City Hall to hand deliver our letter to the Mayor’s office. Other members of our delegation also delivered similar letters to Atlanta City Council, Fulton County Commission, and the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority Board at their Turner Field office. Coalition members and supporters live-tweeted from the steps of City Hall using the hashtags #OurFutureOurDecision, #CommunityNotCommodity, and #WorkWithUsMrMayor. Check out our photo gallery and media coverage of the event, and a video of our letter delivery to the Mayor here.