Today (Tuesday, Apr. 24) is the last day to register to vote in the May 22 partisan primaries and nonpartisan local elections.
Local races will be decided May 22 or in a July runoff and will not be on the ballot in November. They include Athens-Clarke County mayor, commission districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9, school board districts 5 and 7 and two seats on the Superior Court bench.
In addition, Democratic and Republican primaries for governor and other statewide offices, as well as Congress, are on the ballot locally.
This morning, the AJC's Political Insider picked up on Flagpole's Friday report that Clarke County Sheriff's Office will no longer detain undocumented inmates past their release points to give Immigrations and Customs Enforcement time to deport them.
The news came as a relief to many in Athens, but the Insiders wondered when Secretary of State Brian Kemp would weigh in.
Sure enough, this tweet came soon after:
Knowa Johnson, co-founder of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, has joined former Athens-Clarke County commissioner Harry Sims' mayoral campaign.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, given that Sims has been skeptical of the civil rights committee AADM has proposed creating, while fellow candidates Kelly Girtz and Richie Knight have been vocal supporters. ButJohnson could help Sims shore up his support among young people, which appears to be his weakest demographic.
From the Sims campaign's announcement today:
Last Thursday, Flagpole teamed with local video producers DT Productions and the Red & Black to live-stream a forum featuring mayoral candidates Kelly Girtz, Richie Knight and Harry Sims.
The candidates faced questions from me and fellow moderatoes Lisee Pullara, the R&B's editor in chief, and DT President Andrew Levy on topics ranging from affordable housing to sexual assault to the Athens airport.
About 6,000 people watched the forum live on Facebook and Twitter, but in case you missed it—or it was just so entertaining, you feel compelled to watch it again and again—here it is!
Athens-Clarke County commissioner and mayoral candidate Kelly Girtz released a plan Friday to deal with Athens' affordable housing problem.
A 2016 study found that middle-income families are leaving Clarke County because they can't afford to buy a home here. The median home price rose from $153,000 in 2013 to $172,000 in 2015 while incomes did not keep pace.
“Finding affordable housing in Athens is a real challenge for many of us," Girtz said in a news release. "Some seniors are getting priced out of neighborhoods they’ve lived in for their whole lives. Working people have trouble finding single-family homes they can afford. The good news this is a problem that local government can do something about, and if I’m elected mayor, we’ll make housing more affordable.”
Girtz's plan includes:
Flagpole is teaming up with Normaltown video producers DT Productions to live-stream a mayoral forum starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 29.
The forum will feature all three candidates—Kelly Girtz, Richie Knight and Harry Sims. It will be moderated by me, former Flagpole intern Nate Harris (now a senior reporter at the Red & Black) and DT Productions co-founder Andrew Levy.
Each candidate will be asked three questions in each of three categories: economy and housing, public safety and education, and community. We welcome ideas for questions from readers, so feel free to leave yours in the comments. There will also be an opportunity to suggest questions on Facebook during the forum.
The forum will be streamed on DT Productions' Facebook page, facebook.com/productionsdt.
The progressive group Athens for Everyone gave mayoral candidate Harry Sims a D- on its commission report card last month, and Sims is not happy about it.
The former commissioner has started a change.org petition taking issue with his grade. “[W]e believe Commissioner Sims’ words and actions were deliberately omitted or incorrectly characterized in a way manner [sic] to create a false impression of the commissioner’s positions,” the petition says. “We believe that the A4E report card fails to disclose relevant information, lacks important disclosures of what criteria were used and does not disclose any conflicts of interests that might exist between the group and the candidates/officials that were evaluated.”
The Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement will host a forum featuring mayoral candidates Kelly Girtz, Richie Knight and Harry Sims from 6–7:30 p.m. today at the Athens-Clarke County Library.
The forum will "center around their action plans to address poverty in Athens, quality of life, diversity and community inclusion," according to the AADM.
Originally the forum was set to be held at Ciné, but it has been moved to the library.
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