News and Updates from DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council
October 14 2019 Volume 1: Issue 2
In this issue:
- This referendum is about ethics, not race
- Reminder of important dates
- Commentary: What if the problem is HR?
- Call to action: How you can make a difference
Reminder of Important Upcoming Dates
We’ve had a very busy two weeks since our last newsletter, speaking at events throughout the County, distributing yard signs, and beginning the first stages of a neighborhood canvassing effort.
If you’re interested in helping canvas either your neighborhood or other neighborhoods you can recommend, please leave us a message at email@example.com.
This Referendum is about Ethics, Not Race
Hopefully, you’ve seen our response to Sen. Jones introduction of “the race issue” in Bill Torpy’s column in the AJC. Here’s the comment we posted on Facebook:
In Bill Torpy’s recent article about the upcoming referendum, Senator Emanuel Jones accused the bill’s opponents of opening racial fissures. He brought this up, not us. In our opinion, Ethics is the issue, not Race. We are joined in that sentiment by Joel Edwards of Restore DeKalb who told a multi-racial audience attending the PRISM (Pride Rings in Stone Mountain) meeting Thursday night: “Ethics is not a black thing or a white thing; it’s a we thing – as in We the People.” DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council is a multi-racial non-profit organization with support from citizens and organizations throughout the County.
We have posted our full response to Senator Jone’s race assertion at this link: https://dekalbcitizens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Ethics-is-the-issue.pdf
Legislative Town Hall Meetings
Come out and join us! We’ll have stickers, flyers, brochures and yard signs to share with you at these meetings:
October 15: Maloof Auditorium
6:30-8 p.m. 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030
October 21: Brookhaven City Hall
6:30-8 p.m. 4362 Peachtree Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319
DCAC leaders will be at these meetings to ask questions and comment. It’s vital that we have a good showing at these meetings and communicate our displeasure with this legislation. You can show your support by:
- wearing one of our stickers
- standing in support as we speak before the legislators
Early voting will start Tuesday, October 15th and 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
Commentary: What if the problem is HR?
There are many provisions in the Revised Ethics bill that are damaging, but one of the worst is the requirement that employees report ethics complaints about their immediate supervisor to Human Resources (HR.) The provision doesn’t include anything that makes HR forward a complaint to the Ethics Board. The onus to move the complaint forward is totally on the employee who makes the complaint.
BUT, what if the ethics complaint addresses a problem within HR itself? There is strong motive for those in HR to retaliate against the employee reporting the problem. HR can sit on the complaint in perpetuity. There is a high likelihood that the Ethics Board would never hear of the complaint. Additionally, there is nothing that prevents HR from reporting the complaint to that supervisor, further creating the opportunity for retaliation or the outright dismissal of the employee.
This reporting requirement presents an overwhelming roadblock for ethics complaints. The chance that complaints would be reported by employees at all is extremely low. The culture of rampant ethics violations such as existed prior to 2015 will undoubtedly reemerge.
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.