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News and Updates from DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council

October 21, 2019  Volume 1: Issue 3
In this issue:
  • Latest Development: Can you really “tweak” bad legislation?
  • Commentary: People “get” the problem of reporting complaints to HR
  • Early Voting
  • Call to Action: How You Can Make a Difference

Hello Supporters
We are entering the last full week before Election Day on November 5th.  Volunteer canvassers are actively working in many city neighborhoods to educate voters.  Since city voters have more on the ballot, we are targeting our canvassing efforts there.  However, we have also appeared at numerous civic association meetings throughout unincorporated DeKalb.   

Latest Development: Can you really “tweak” bad legislation?

Rep. Matthew Wilson wrote a terrific letter to the DeKalb Champion editor which was printed last Friday.  In it he wrote: “Quite simply, the legislature failed to do the one job we had on this: fix the appointment process. Instead, we allowed too many chefs in the kitchen to make "minor tweaks," with the overall effect of destroying the strong ethics law currently in place and approved by 92% of DeKalb voters in 2015. The only way to protect that strong law now is to vote against the ethics referendum.
 
Speaking of “tweaks,” we know some legislators have suggested that if SB7 passes they can add a time limit to how long HR can sit on a complaint without acting and they can eliminate the part of the bill that prevents the ethics board from reporting a decision within 45 days of an election.  Other legislators have suggested that if the bill doesn’t pass, they will draft a bill that not only includes fixing the appointment process, but also includes a stricter gift policy covering employees at all levels. 
We don’t believe that SB7 can be “tweaked” for the better if it passes. The ethics referendum needs to be voted down and new legislation introduced to just fix the appointment process.  Other matters can be discussed and vetted publicly through the Charter Review Commission.

Commentary: People “get” the problem of reporting complaints to HR
 
As we go around talking with groups and individuals, there seems to be a lot of agreement that requiring employees with an ethics complaint against their supervisor to go first to Human Resources is a bad idea.  As one former DeKalb employee stated at the Brookhaven Town Hall meeting: “The Human Resource department protects the status quo. They are not prepared with processes or procedures to protect employees filing such complaints.” In general, most people who have worked in corporate or bureaucratic settings understand how chilling such a requirement could be.  Currently, the Ethics Officer determines which complaints fall under the jurisdiction of the Ethics Board and she refers employees with other issues to the HR department.  
 

Early Voting
Early voting started Tuesday, October 15th and will run through Friday, November 1st.
 Four locations will be open for early voting between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  
            Brookhaven:   Briarwood Recreation Center
                                    2235 Briarwood Way NE, Atlanta, GA 30319
            Decatur:          DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office
                                    4380 Memorial Dr # 300, Decatur, GA 30032           
            Dunwoody:     Dunwoody Library
                                    5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Dunwoody, GA 30338
            Stonecrest:     Stonecrest Library
                                    3123 Klondike Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038


Call to action:  How You Can Make a Difference
 
We are a grassroots organization and need all the help we can get in reaching voters. One way you can help is by spreading the word to your neighbors and contacts. Most people are completely unaware of the Ethics ballot question.  


www.dekalbcitizens.org
info@dekalbcitizens.org
Facebook:  DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council
 
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