The Truth about Voting Rights
1. Buckhead residents are not being denied the right to vote.
Legally registered citizens have voted and elected representatives to the state legislature and City Hall that oppose secession.
It is important to note that not one single member of the Atlanta delegation (as elected by the voters of Buckhead and Atlanta) supports Buckhead cityhood. Because there is no local support for it, secessionists found a workaround method of getting their bill introduced. They circumvented the Buckhead and Atlanta delegation, effectively disenfranchising the very voters they claim they want to protect.
2. Why not just let Buckhead residents vote and see what happens?
Because cityhood promoters are working with lawmakers from other parts of Georgia, whom the citizens of Buckhead did not elect, the actual residents of the Buckhead neighborhood—the voters—are being denied input in this process. The Buckhead City Committee is a private organization being run by a small, largely anonymous group of people; funded by anonymous, large-dollar donors; and is making plans behind closed doors without community consensus or buy-in.
The results of this secretive, closed-door process—rammed through the General Assembly over the objections of our elected representatives—is what would be up for a “vote.”
The anonymous funders of the BEC have simply decided what they think the Buckhead community should look like and demanded that the rest of us go along.
3. Buckhead neighborhood residents aren’t being denied the right to vote. Far worse, they are being disenfranchised. The following list is a small sample of the issues that Buckhead neighborhood residents have no say in.
- Which neighborhoods would be included in “Buckhead City”
- What a “Buckhead City” would look like from an operational standpoint: the size of a city council, the powers of the mayor, the boundaries of council districts, etc.
- Where our children will go to school
- What parks we will continue to have access to
- What fire and first responder stations will continue to service our communities
- How the enormously complex legal and constitutional issues that de-annexation raises will be resolved
4. Secessionists continue to make promises in the name of Buckhead neighborhood residents without our consent—without our vote. For example, they have already made public commitments which they have no authority to uphold to issues like:
- Bond liabilities and repayment
- School agreements
- Homestead exemptions
- City government budgets
- City ordinances
- Salaries/benefits for city employees
- Municipal courts’ scope of work
- Standing up a police department
In short, because the BEC sidestepped Buckhead’s elected representatives, we never received a “vote” on any of these issues. You should not take seriously claims of “voter suppression” or “denying us the vote” from a movement that is rooted in denying Buckhead residents a say in their future.