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Darnell Calls HB 171 the "Re-Segregation Bill"

House Bills 170,171, and 172 will directly hurt minorities if passed, says District 5 Commissioner, Emma Darnell.


Our District 5 Board of Commissioners representative, Emma Darnell told Cascade Patch that something must be done to fight against the latest proposed bills by the republican super-majority in the Georgia House of Representatives.  Last week, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to oppose House Bills 170,171, and 172 which propose changes to the County’s homestead exemption, millage rate, governance structure, and employees’ classification status.

In a video interview with Cascade Patch Commissioner Darnell was adamant about the community's need to become aware of the 3 bills that are in danger of passing the Georgia Assembly.

Commissioner Darnell refers to House Bill 170 as the, "Fulton County Destruction Bill."  She explains that if HB 170 passes, your home exemption taxes may be reduced but your health center, library, senior center, arts center and after-school programs may be closed, due to lack of funds.

House Bill 171 has been called the "Fulton County Re-Segregation Bill", for its attempt to limit the number of Commissioners that will represent southwest Atlanta and its majority African-American neighborhoods.  "HB 171 seeks to change the current commission district lines for the Fulton County Board of Commissioners," says the Commissioner.

Lastly, the Fulton County Commissioners have also officially opposed the proposed House Bill 172 which Darnell called the "Plantation Bill."  HB 172 seeks to make changes to Fulton County's civil service system for employees.  It would strip Fulton County employees of civil-service protections that currently ensure employees are not terminated for political or non-job-related reasons.

Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves, Vice-Chair Emma I. Darnell, and Commissioners William “Bill” Edwards, Joan P. Garner and Robert “Robb” Pitts, released a joint statement stating "its opposition to House Bills 170, 171, and 172 and expresses its concern regarding the negative effects those House Bills would have on 1) the ability of Fulton County government to continue to provide essential services to its citizens; 2) the voting rights of Fulton County citizens; and 3) the right of Fulton County employees to be free from arbitrary treatment and disciplinary actions.”

Residents are urged to play a part in this fight.  Emma Darnell pointed out that since there is now a super-majority in the Georgia Senate and House, Republicans are trying to force votes on bills that would never pass otherwise. The bills in question were proposed by North Fulton legislators.

Commissioner Darnell wants residents to call or email her and express their opinions on this matter.  There is also a petition you can sign and in addition public hearings you can attend to make your voice heard.

The next public meeting will be on Monday, February 25th at the State Capitol at 1pm in room 341.  There is another meeting in South Fulton at the Cliftondale Service Center on March 9th.

Stay with Cascade Patch, and Please feel free to leave comments below as well.

Marc Richardson (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Do you think this is just the start of the Republicans' plans to pass legislation that they would not have been able to pass if it were not for their new Super-majority? What do you think will be next? Maybe they will try to end the availability of women's health services from organizations like Planned Parenthood? Who knows... But this could be a scary trend.
Rod Littles February 23, 2013 at 01:25 AM
It seems like we are revisiting a period of Reconstruction in Georgia. I thought the Civil War was settled. Maybe not? If we just could get past this issue Georgia could be a great State in the Union. May God help us if we do not!!
Rod Littles February 23, 2013 at 01:29 AM
You have the right idea. But if voters in South Fulton register and increase the turn out in off Presidential years by 10% we could win Statewide offices. Over 500,000 registered democratic voters stayed home the last Governors race and Republicans won by 200,000 votes. Our destiny is in our hands! Will we continue to sit on them and stay home ?
Tom February 23, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Just make redistricting non partisan. Miss Darnell has been less than fair and very demonic of north Fulton and white persons right to one person one. Make all of the districts equal in population would be a starter. As a liberal white City of Atlanta voter, who resides in the northern part of district Darnell, I do not support her, and did not vote for Mayor Reed. Did vote for Obama. So she can't use the 64percent ideal, bc it is not true. She is a career politician. The best thing for the future of Fulton would be term limits and new blood, on all sides and colors.
Tom February 23, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Term. Limits.
Culture Girl February 23, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I agree, we must increase voter turn out. The question is how and when do you start a campaign to accomplish this?
Ann February 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Since Republicans hold what is called the "Super-Majority" at the State-level, what should we title the majority that Democrates have held (for decades) at the County-level? And, the title should give consideration the fact that Commissioner Lowe is frequently missing in action, even when he is physically present.
K.Bernard Strong March 05, 2013 at 03:25 PM
The legislation is the slow execution of a plan to "take back" control of government and move to privatization of most aspects of government. Simply observe the game plan 1) gerrymander or redraw district lines to insure governmental control 2) increase homestead exemption which will reduce tax revenues, which causes deficits (i.e "the problem") which creates the need for a solution with will be the privatization of government services. Remember, there are no profits without problems. 3) Attack labor (unions) which give entry to less resistance to privatization. This is the strategy and tactics at play. Solution: become politically active and vote folks out of office that work against your interest. Start today...

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