Are we there yet?

Ever felt like you were on the heels of greatness? 

THIS _ close to accomplishment… you can almost taste it?

Can’t sleep- don’t blink and God forbid, you miss a community meeting!  

Maybe it’s just me, and me knowing what I know- seeing THIS scene occur in New York (Harlem… Brooklyn..)but every meeting, every discussion, every media article, every planning  report  received is confirmation to what I feel deep in my soul.

We’re almost there…..

Not only do we have great residents working hard, we have many community advocates who are passionate about our communities and working to ensure we do “gentrification” correctly.  What do I mean? I mean, not only one group benefiting from the revitalization of our neighborhoods but we ALL benefit; our seniors,children, entrepreneurs, all races, cultures  and income levels- ALL, willing to persevere and work to reap the benefits of the vision.

Let me just say, yesterday I did not feel like this AT ALL.  I felt  tired, a bit defeated and  overwhelmed thinking:

“what more can I do? I just want to stay in my little house on my little corner doing nothing but fight with my landscaping “. 

Then Ireceived a call, an invitation to the West End Merchants Coalition. It  was time for their meeting this morning at 7AM.  YES- 7AM??…same thing I said. “Too early, I can’t make it.” However, the call was very timely as I recently completed a tour of our commercial  space, taking inventory of available locations.  Dragging myself out of bed at 6AM was a much needed renewal.  Not only did Council Member Winslow provide information on all the commercial incentives available, my personal SHE-RO, Deborah Scott of Georgia Standup was the guest speaker.  If you don’t know Ms. Scott, you’re missing out! (www.GeorgiaStandup.org)

Ms. Scott discussed how our businesses (and residents) can benefit from the developments taking place in Atlanta.  Do you know how many developments are taking place in Atlanta?  The list is pretty amazing. I have no idea which I should jump into first (all late) but, after the meeting with Ms Scott-  I KNOW I can’t sit and do nothing…or mentally fight with my landscaping much longer. A wise woman said, “If  you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!”… I really like that  lady!

Here are a few projects and links for you to research:

Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal:

http://www.dot.ga.gov/informationcenter/p3/projects/mmpt/Pages/default.aspx

http://ajc.com/business/gulch-planners-take-big-1476572.html

http://atlantamagazine.com/fivepoints/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10403206

Fort McPherson:

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/state-aims-to-invest-139780.html

http://www.mcphersonredevelopment.com/

Atlanta Transit:

http://beltline.org/atlanta-beltline-programs/strenghening-the-community/

http://beltline.org/progress/planning/

http://www.atlantadowntown.com/initiatives/atlanta-streetcar/About

Atlanta Stadiums:

http://www.gwcc.com/about/Masterplans.aspx

http://www.investatlanta.com/buildDev/StadiumArea.jsp

http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/football/new-stadium-plan-retractable-roof-demolish-dome-1/nQTK4/

Business Development Opportunities:

www.investatlanta.com/entprnrSmallBus/commercialLoans.jsp

 http://www.dca.state.ga.us/economic/DevelopmentTools/programs/opportunityzones.asp

Community Improvement District:

http://westendcid.org/

Study up, and be prepared to come to the table! NPU-T holds our meeting every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7PM. www.NPUTAtlanta.org

Please let me know if any links are broken, I’m so excited I can’t type fast enough. 🙂

Westview Summer Solstice Celebration Tomorrow!

What better way to spend the height of summer than at the Westview Summer Solstice Celebration! Come hang out for an afternoon full of fun activities for the whole family!
 
 
Location, Time, Date
Join the Westview Community Organization for an afternoon of music, art, crafts, and food on Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 from 2:00pm to 8:00pm along Muse Street (next to the BeltLine pa th) as pa rt of Westview’s Summer Solstice Celebration! (Map online via website link below.)
 
 
Music
Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes – we have both live music and a DJ playing at the Summer Solstice Celebration.
·         Juliana Finch – “Heartbreaky, bourbon-infused Americana ” by singer/songwriter Juliana Finch from 3:00pm until 4:00pm.
·         DJ Theo – Boogie down to house, soul, funk, and classics by DJ Theo.
 
 
Grill-Off: Taste of Southwest Atlanta
Are you ready to sample a taste of southwest Atlanta ? On the day of the event purchase your ” pa ssport” and taste what our seven grill masters have created! The ” pa ssport” will allow you to sample the different foods (chicken and pork) plus a drink for $7. Last year there was so much food most people were too full to taste everything – what a deal! Once you have tasted all the different categories submit your vote for “the best of…”.
 
 
Art/Vendor Market
Between eating and dancing browse our artist/vendor market! Hand-crafted jewelry; natural skin, hair, and home fragrance products; handcrafted cedar garden beds and planters; rum cakes; drawings and pa intings; hand-poured soy container candles and tart melts; clothing, jewelry, posters, purses, and more!
 
 
Games & Talent Show
Come bring the kids!
·         Field Day Games – We’ll have field day type games to keep the kiddos entertained. Think tug-of-war, sack races, hula hoops, and more!
·         Crafts – For the artsy and younger kids we’ll have craft projects. Think maks, bird feeders, and more!
·         Talent Show/Open Mic – Does your kid have a special talent? Are they eager to show off their moonwalking skills? Shakespeare recital? Breakdancing? Juggling? Chris Rock impression? Sign them up for the talent show hosted by MC Hectic Da Back pa cka – there are $100 worth of prizes! There will be musical, non-musical, and open mic challenge categories. We just ask to keep it PG. Sign up by 3:30pm on the day of the event or emailtrueearth@gmail.com ahead of time.
·         Basketball Shoot-Off – Show off your hoop-throwing skills for a chance to win movie theater tickets!
 
 
Sponsors/Partners
The Westview Summer Solstice Celebration could not happen without the generous donations from:
·         Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services
·         Councilmember C.T. Martin
·         Councilmember Michael Julian Bond
·         Kroger
·         EpiCity
·         Representative Pat Gardner
·         Representative Rashad Taylor
·         Fat Cat Design & Graphics
·         nuS pa ce Media
·         Westview Community Organization
 
 
More Info
Interested in more details? Visit our website at http://www.westviewatlanta.com/community-organization/westview-summer-solstice-celebration/ and check out pictures from prior years on our Facebook pa ge at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150240935609834.342291.161022399833.
 

Redistricting in District 4

In an effort to get back to basics now that my baby is 15mths- last Saturday I had the opportunity to sit in on the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board monthly meeting.  OK- let’s just say in addition to receiving a ton of informative information about the many changes taking place throughout the city- I was able to get a really good laugh.

The board meetings are usually well attended by faithful senior community advocates and leaders throughout Atlanta, with MANY strong views and opinions on the more important topics on the agenda but also they can become very vocal on items that aren’t really an issue…causing a 10minute delay and intense discussion on nothingness!  The great thing- our President is always calm, collected and restores order without sweat.  I guess she is use to it and expects this- since I’ve attended from 2009- it’s been the same way.  Who really can stop a Senior from voicing his/her concern even IF they are completely wrong due to a misunderstanding?

Besides the humor and the inbetween enjoyment of  O.J./ blueberry muffin, what caught my attention was the presentation on the new “Redistricting” plan for Atlanta. I must admit- I have not given this item the much needed attention it deserves because in review of the plan-I’m not happy with losing a great community such as “Historic Adair Park” in my district.  Yes, we have gained others- why Adair was taken is a bit unclear and seems to leave us at a disadvantage.  If I’m now reading this correctly- district 4 will only have 1 designated Historic community – and that would be West End.

My questions with this entire redistricting process are: How do funds being allocated (if any) will play into this?  How will/are future economic developments within our community now look, if we have an abundant of lower income households (below poverty level) and rentals or dilapidated housing stock?  Was another redeveloping community taken from us, and a more blighted neighborhood given?

This is one of those times I really need an honest politician to sit with and discuss these concerns…candidly.  Until one steps up- I will have to hit the books, do the research and rely on God to show me, if anything- what I’m missing- and what I must do to keep our West End, Westview, Beecher Donnelly  and Ashview Heights communities moving forward.

Any advice? I’ll give you an update as I have it….