ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- More than 40 residents of four of Atlanta’s historically black neighborhoods surrounding Turner Field (Peoplestown, Summerhill, Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh) are now in day 10 of a tent city occupation at the site of the former Atlanta Braves stadium in their fight for an accountable community benefits agreement. The fight is quickly becoming a national battleground between community-led organizing for equitable and fair development versus publicly supported luxury development taking place across the nation.
“For years, we have met with residents across Peoplestown, Summerhill, Mechanicsville and Pittsburgh to develop a Community Benefits Agreement to ensure that any development on the 80-acre turner field property benefits the community and our future generations,” explains Deborah Arnold of Mechanicsville who has been camped out since April 1. “More than 1700 of us have participated in community meetings to develop this CBA since the Braves announced they were leaving, but Carter Development and GSU have refused to meet with us, and instead have slandered us and pushed forward plans for development that doesn’t meet community needs.”Read more
After the Braves announced that they would leave Turner Field, residents of the Summerhill, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh, and Mechanicsville neighborhoods met to discuss what they imagined could become of the almost 80 acres.
Over the course of 3 years, over 1700 residents and countless experts gave input on a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that would ensure that the community’s voice would be included in future development projects. The CBA ensures that whatever ends up at Turner Field will not displace long term residents who are loved and needed in their community.Read more
The Housing Justice League (HJL) of Atlanta is working on a six-month research project to track changes to affordability of housing across Beltline communities. If you live near the Beltline, please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The goal of the survey is to gather data that will help make the case for policies that protect low-income people's access to quality housing and prevent displacement across Atlanta. By completing this survey, you give HJL permission to use the data in a public report and website. However, no individual names will be used and all data at the neighborhood level will be anonymized in the report.
Come join our April 1st March against gentrification
Today residents with the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition delivered a petition to Carter Development urging the developer to sit with long term residents to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement. The petition delivery was organized as a result of Carter's CEO Scott Taylor’s refusal to meet with the coalition. The coalition, which is comprised over 30 organizations in the community has been trying to have open communication with Carter and GSU ever since the sales process begun. To date, the only residents Carter and GSU have been willing to meet with are homeowners in Summerhill who are primarily interested in their own property values.
We have a new opportunity for a passionate person who's down to organize tenants. There's a ton of training involved so experience isn't required but it is appreciated.
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On Tuesday, Jan.17th, one day after Atlanta celebrated MLK day, Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition (TFCBC) residents and students packed City Hall to speak out against Turner Field stadium purchasers. On Dec.31st, 2016, Georgia State University and its development partners closed a purchase deal to acquire Turner Field stadium and its surrounding lots. This deal, however, did not include the detailed Community Benefits Agreement TFCBC has researched and arranged over the past two years. GSU and Carter Development have taken a stance of non-negotiation, and no-CBA, despite active outreach by Turner Field residents to the contrary. The refusal to include a Community Benefits Agreement in the purchase deal, first through the sale by the City, and later in the purchase by GSU, has created a climate of non-negotiation. Without a CBA, there is no guarantee that development in and around Turner Field will not displace families, nor economically benefit residents who remain. The welfare of the Turner Field Neighborhoods, and especially its most low-income residents, has been dramatically de-prioritized by the City of Atlanta, and their future neighbor, Georgia State University.Read more
Residents and GSU Students Threaten to Block Turner Field Development if Binding CBA Not Agreed Upon
As the final sale agreement for Turner Field is set to be completed by the end of the year, the surrounding communities of Summerhill, Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, and Pittsburgh still have no binding Community Benefits Agreement.
Today Turner Field area resident and GSU students meet at the capitol to send a clear message to the city and the developers of the Turner Field property.
“As residents, we simply can't afford another development project that further displaces our community members and has no real community engagement, and no real accountability to our neighborhoods”, stated longtime Peoplestown resident Alison Johnson.Read more
On Wednesday, Dec, 14th, members of the Turner Field campaign coordinated a direct action at Georgia State University’s mid-year commencement ceremony. During the University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s commencement address, residents and students intervened with chants of “Dr. Becker, do the right thing” and “CBA or no deal.” Their chorus sounded through the Georgia Dome, and received focused attention from Hank Huckaby and Mark Becker. Huckaby berated the protestors, and incited police officers to remove them from the seating area.
Asma Elhuni, JT Pennington, and Athri Ranganathan were pushed out of the Dome and taken to a holding room. There, they were detained and interrogated by police for two hours. The encounter was largely non-confrontational, though officers handcuffed Ranganathan and claimed he was lying about his name, date of birth, and social security number. After a delayed acceptance of Ranganathan’s information, officers issued criminal trespass notices to all three individuals. Asma, JT, and Athri are currently under a two-year ban from entering Georgia State University property. They are amidst discussions on how to fight this heavy-handed ruling.Read more