News and Updates from
DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council
December 6, 2019 Volume 1: Issue 6
They said it couldn’t be done, but we did it! Thanks to YOU, we were successful in defeating the referendum that would have weakened DeKalb County government ethics.
And we did it in a resounding way: 61.3% No votes / 38.7% Yes votes
As Margaret Mead said:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Thank you for being part of our group of citizens! Your support and actions made this vote possible.
The Work Continues
We may have won the vote, but our work is far from done. We still need to get the Ethics Board back up and running. Since, we’re not sure how the legislators will approach this issue, we communicated our expectations in a letter
sent to all of the DeKalb legislative delegation, Board of Commissioners, and the CEO. In that letter we included the following points:
- Time is of the essence: The appointment process must be dealt with NOW in order to get the Ethics board working again as soon as possible. We don’t know yet whether a referendum will be required, but in the event it is, we must have legislation passed early in the General Assembly session so that it can be placed on the ballot in March 2020.
- We expect a simple fix that would correct the Ethics board appointment process. Going beyond this fix is what gets ethics legislation in trouble. Additional issues can be dealt with by a DeKalb County charter review or by separate legislation.
- We expect legislators to undertake a transparent process in their deliberations.
- If they form a task force to address ethics legislation, we ask that they include a representative from DCAC in the group. It would be our hope that we could convey to County residents that the process was transparent and that we are in support of the resulting legislation.
We will continue to stay engaged on your behalf: We will be speaking out at meetings of the Board of Commissioners and talking with state legislators. Once the General Assembly begins, we will be monitoring the delegation’s work and keeping you apprised of what’s happening. In the meantime, we could use your help in communicating with your commissioners and state legislators.
How You Can Help:
an email or written note to the CEO, your county commissioners, and your state legislators expressing your support for the points outlined above. For your convenience we have drafted a model email
(also see below) that you can use or adapt for this purpose. You can find email addresses at this link:
Model Email message to legislators, commissioners, city council members
While DeKalb voters successfully defeated the Ethics Referendum in November, it will take a concerted effort on the part of citizens and elected officials to get the Ethics Board back up and running as soon as possible. I support the expectations expressed by the DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council:
Before sending the email, please review these instructions first:
- The appointment process must be dealt with NOW. Time is of the essence: we don’t know whether a referendum will be required, but in the event it is, we must have legislation passed early in the General Assembly session so that it can be placed on the ballot in March 2020.
- Legislators should focus on the simple fix: just fix the board appointment process to satisfy stated court requirements. Going beyond this will likely delay success in this effort.
- Legislators should engage in a transparent process to produce the proper legislation.
- This process should include the DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council.
- Always add your name and street address; legislators want to know you really are in their district.
- If you decide to email all the DeKalb legislators and not just your own, it’s important to email each one separately; we have been advised that emails written to several legislators don’t get the same attention as one sent separately.
- If you email more than your legislator, it’s important to say who your legislator is and why you are writing to someone who isn’t yours. (Ex: “We need all of the legislators to work together as a team to get this work done.”)
your communication with your DeKalb friends and contacts, and ask them to communicate their support. We want a wave of public opinion to wash over our legislators so they stay focused on doing the right thing: fixing the board appointment process in a timely manner.
our Facebook Page: DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council.
your election sign through CHARM: https://livethrive.org/charm/
(Button/link at bottom of this email)
We continue to have expenses related to maintaining our organizational infrastructure (website, bank account, donation accounting vendor) and printing materials. Any year-end support you can provide would be appreciated.