Public Safety EmPower Alert from the Office of Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell

July 30, 2009

Contact:  Contact Councilman Ceasar C. Mitchell at (404) 330-6052 or at ccmitchell@atlantaga.gov
 
 
Daytime School Day Curfew Up for a Vote
Dear Atlantan:
 
This summer has been extremely difficult for many of us who live, work and learn in Atlanta.  Our city is experiencing crime to the point where fear and frustration have become palpable.  I commend our Atlanta Police Officers for their tireless efforts to protect and serve the good people of Atlanta.  They are using every resource available to identify, capture and convict individuals who operate outside of the law.  I also strongly urge citizens to maintain a sense of calm and courage, but not complacency.
 
This week I resurrected legislation that continues my efforts to provide our police and communities with adequate tools and resources to make our city safer.  On August 17th, the Atlanta City Council will vote on an ordinance unanimously approved by the Public Safety Committee to impose a daytime curfew to keep school-age children off the streets during the middle of the school day.  Specifically, the ordinance prohibits minors age six (6) to sixteen (16) from loitering, wandering or playing in public places during the hours of 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.  Of course there are reasonable exceptions to this prohibition which are clearly delineated within the law.  While truancy laws are currently on the books and enforceable, this ordinance is intended to create accountability on the part of the parents of truants.  Multiple violations include the possibility a fine, community service and/or jail time for the parents or guardians of minors who are repeat violators the ordinance.  Enforcement of this ordinance is one of several clear and practical steps towards ensuring that Atlantans, both young and old, are better protected and our city is Safe, Clean, Green and Thriving.

It is always difficult to impose strict rules.  Yet, we must be realistic about what our fellow citizens, families and neighborhoods are facing with regard to crime.  Crime statistics and the personal stories of the unfortunate victims, reveal that too many young people are becoming involved in carjackings, robberies, burglaries, shoplifting and home invasions in broad daylight.  We cannot accept or tacitly condone the attacking of our seniors, teachers, residents, business owners and other law abiding citizens.

Let me be clear, this is not a condemnation of all of our city’s youth.  I am personally aware of numerous young people who are respectful of the law and are good citizens.  Similarly, this is not an attack on parents who are diligent in ensuring that their children are in school or otherwise accounted for during the day.  I interact with promising youth as I regularly visit schools throughout our city during the academic year.  To date, nearly 2,500 students and their parents have participated in my semi-annual College Prep Series which focuses on getting young people successfully admitted into college.  As well, I am not oblivious to the challenges many of our youth and their families face.  With a weak economy, limited employment opportunities and too few summer recreational programs, the potential for committing crime increases exponentially.  Still, this reality can NEVER justify criminal behavior.

To the parents of Atlanta, we need your help and support.  Before, above and beyond our teachers, principals and the police, the primary responsibility to direct, discipline and monitor a youth rests with that youth’s parent or guardian.  It is not too much to ask for a parent to be involved in and ultimately responsible for the whereabouts of their son or daughter during school hours.  Furthermore, the safety of our young people is a major reason I proposed the ordinance as it is designed to protect our children.  Properly supervised at school or home, our young people cannot be forced or influenced to participate in a violent crime, be arrested by the police, or worse, be themselves harmed by a fearful or frustrated victim.

Our greatest asset and source of inspiration are the youth of Atlanta.  Any action the City Council can take to prevent them from committing crimes, or being a victim of one, must be given serious consideration.  Only through bold leadership and decisive action can we reclaim our communities and streets.  Join me in this effort by participating in a neighborhood watch program and contacting the police when a crime or suspicious activity occurs.  Working together, and only together, will we succeed in protecting our youth and saving our city.

584 Holderness Street, Atlanta: Open House!!

584 Holderness St, 30310 (Historic West End) 3bed/2.5bath 1915 Victorian Bungalow 179.9k! http://www.postlets.com/res/2152320 

Saturday August 1, 2009 12-4PM!! Come tour this beautiful home and find out about the many Atlanta Down Payment Assistance programs before it’s too late.

Countrywide Offers Help to Former Customers

Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide Financial Corp., one of the most active of the subprime lenders, has begun issuing checks to its borrowers who are eligible for foreclosure assistance under an agreement with attorneys general in 40 states.

Borrowers most likely to be eligible for assistance must have experienced a foreclosure, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure after taking out a Countrywide mortgage.

Rust Consulting, a third-party administrator, is managing the program, and notifying and paying eligible customers.

Source: Reuters News, Steve Eder 

W.E.N.D. COMMUNITY YARD SALE (West End)

Again this year, the West End Neighborhood Development Association is sponsoring the community yard sale on August 22 & 23, 2009. The time for the sale on August 22nd is from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; and on August 23rd from 12 noon – 5:00 pm. Each participating family or business will sell their items at their individual homes or establishments.
Every family in the West End is invited to participate by selling whatever items you have to sell. Last year we had about 20 families participate. This could also be an opportunity to work with good friends to partner with or to collect additional items for sale at your Yard Sale.  Advertisement regarding the sale will be published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and on Craig’s List with a street map. Signs will also be posted to direct potential shoppers to the WEND Community Yard Sale.
Please let me know if you plan to participate in the community yard sale. Please contact me by email or telephone and provide your name, address and intent to participate. Also, if you know of any of your neighbors that would like to participate, please share this information with them. My email address is jackson_percy@hotmail.com My phone number is (404) 207-2032. Email response is preferred.  This event is free to WEND members but there will be a nominal charge to non-members.
Let’s make this event a success!

Percy Jackson
(404) 207-2032

Investors Drive Foreclose Prices Up

Home shoppers in parts of the country with lots of foreclosures are finding it increasingly difficult to buy. Investors are bidding up prices thousands above the original asking price.

Federal legislation slowing the number of foreclosures is adding to the problem by reducing the number of homes on the market. For instance, in Las Vegas, one of the areas where the bidding problem is greatest, home inventories are down 10 percent since March, according to the Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®.

When a bidding war erupts, the problem is particularly difficult for traditional buyers because investors are usually cash purchasers. They can bid up a property without concern whether the appraisal will prevent them from getting a loan.

Experts say the problem is not unlike the situation at the height of the housing bubble. “This market is about as abnormal as the hypermarket that we came out of a few years ago,” says Jay Butler, director of the Realty Studies program at Arizona State University.

Source: The Associated Press, Jonathan J. Cooper 

Housing Experts: Now Is a Perfect Time to Buy

Don’t forget to remind potential buyers of something that is obvious to real estate professionals: Now is the time to buy, but that opportunity may be slipping away.

For people who have a job and money, a dream house is within reach, writes Marc Roth, founder of Home Warranty of America and a columnist for BusinessWeek.

He points out that mortgage rates remain low, prices are still at historic lows, and the government is offering incentives for first-time homebuyers.

He also adds that the inventory of homes to buy is still large, but it is shrinking. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the housing inventory peaked in November 2008 at an 11-month supply. At the end of May 2009, it had fallen to a 9.6-month supply.

Roth says anyone who dallies will miss a good opportunity to buy a first home at a terrific price or go shopping for a move-up property that is a great buy.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, Marc Roth (11/17/2009)