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.
Public officials and development stakeholders have argued that any Community Benefits Agreement negotiation is cost-prohibitive, but fail to acknowledge that the investments and priorities addressed by the CBA could be funded by proceeds from the sale of Turner Field. The sale is expected to generate at least $30 million in revenue, but instead of investing in our communities, our public officials are investing in yet another stadium. That land was stolen from our community through eminent domain and urban renewal, and we demand that it be returned to the neighborhoods that have lost so much across so many decades.
“Students of GSU stand in solidarity with the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition. We will do everything in our power to ensure that President Becker sits and negotiates a Community Benefits agreement with the coalition. President Becker should expect a good fight from students on this. It is our responsibility to ensure our tuition does not go to a purchase that will not benefit the communities it will affect”, stated the United Students Against Sweatshops, a TFCBC ally.
“If we must set up a tent city, we will; if we must chain ourselves to construction equipment, we will; if we must fill the jails over and over, we will. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to stop yet another questionable and inequitable development project in our community, and we call on everyone to stand with us in our time of need!” Stated longtime Peoplestown resident Columbus Ward.