Opinion

Opinion: News at your doorstep’s worth knowing, and we deliver

Opinion: News at your doorstep’s worth knowing, and we deliver

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “hyperlocal.” I hope so. If not, let me explain what it is and why The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other news organizations are investing in this category of news. Hyperlocal, simply put, are the things happening closest to your home. It’s geographically centered information you might need to help you navigate your community. Think of it as...
Opinion: Aligning interests around common goals

Opinion: Aligning interests around common goals

There’s strength in unity. And cohesion, rather than wheel-spinning division, provides the best fuel for the kind of action and thinking that will best let metro Atlanta, and Georgia, position itself to seize the best opportunities of today and tomorrow. That line of thought bubbled up during The Atlanta Regional Commission’s recent annual State of the Region breakfast. As the federally...
Opinion: A process that can help get important things done

Opinion: A process that can help get important things done

Coming out of the passage of legislation that created a regional transit authority for metro Atlanta, I often get asked why a legislator from North Georgia would choose to tackle transit in metro Atlanta – more than 60 miles away from my home, and during an election year, no less. It wasn’t easy, but as I reflect on the work so many of us put in to establish the Atlanta-region Transit...
Opinion: Working regionally can drive forward metro area’s economy

Opinion: Working regionally can drive forward metro area’s economy

I remember well the boom times before the Great Recession. I was a 20-something economic developer working for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and success was determined by the number of new jobs and capital investment I could announce. Then came the Great Recession, and things ground to a halt. It took a while to work our way out of that, of course. But when the economy finally came...
Opinion: Work together as region on housing affordability

Opinion: Work together as region on housing affordability

Back in 2014, on my first day as an Atlanta city councilman, I was named chairman of community development and appointed to the boards of Invest Atlanta and the Beltline. Talk about a trial by fire! In my third month, I attended a Betline board meeting where they shared a previous year’s scorecard showing a significant lag in fulfilling affordable housing objectives. Oddly enough, 30 minutes...
Opinion: For 2020, Democrats need to look forward

Opinion: For 2020, Democrats need to look forward

John Kerry has been a superb public servant, beginning with his heroic service in Vietnam and extending through a 28-year career in the Senate and a productive four-year stint as secretary of state. He is as qualified as anyone in U.S. history to serve as president of the United States. Yet, John Kerry should not run for president in 2020. Joe Biden is a wise and decent soul, someone sincerely committed...
Opinion: Hypocritical USA Today bullies need ethics lesson

Opinion: Hypocritical USA Today bullies need ethics lesson

This week, I did something that USA Today’s executive leadership apparently hadn’t done lately: I read the newspaper’s “principles of ethical conduct for newsrooms.” It’s pretty highfalutin’. The media manifesto of virtue, posted online, applies to all employees “working with any news platform, including newspapers, websites, mobile devices, video, social...
Opinion: ‘Everybody knew’ about Russian contacts, lies Trump

Opinion: ‘Everybody knew’ about Russian contacts, lies Trump

Over and over in the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump denied any contacts with Russia or Russians. “I have nothing to do with Russia,” he said. “I have no relationship with Russia whatsoever.” Trump denied it during the primaries; he denied it into the general election. He denied it in interviews, in debates, in speeches and rallies. He denied it before winning the presidency, and...

Readers Write: Aug. 25

After a month of stores asking me to donate money for back-to-school supplies and organizations wanting to “Stuff The Bus” with backpacks, I’ve about had it! And then I read in an article about having five boxes of crayons in case one breaks and buying tennis balls to attach to the bottom of chair legs to reduce the sound of moving desks. With all the school supplies kids are supposed...

Duly honoring a UGA legend

On Sept. 4, 1932, Vincent Joseph Dooley inhaled his first breath in Mobile, Ala. A good high school athlete, he was awarded a football scholarship to Auburn University, where he played quarterback for Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan. On the Plains, he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in history. He has been bestowed with many, many awards and honors through the years. Vince...

Following teams in sports, politics

Finally, blessedly, college football season is upon us. It’s the unofficial sport of the South. The sport that from Labor Day to New Year’s Day helps reunite old friends and divide households. The sport that helped us learn how to hold our noses to vote for the likes of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Before you exclaim, “Must everything be about the election?!?” hear me out...

Work, optimism may foster needed peace

There may yet be hope for a peaceful resolution to the standoff that is police-community relations in today’s America. The nascent groundwork that’s becoming visible deserves broad support. It may be the best chance at effecting change. The only other alternative to profound reform is to continue a pattern that has sown discord and distrust — in addition to exacting a horrifically...

Religious freedom is for all of us

In recent years we’ve been treated to a lot of high-handed rhetoric about the sanctity of the Constitution and of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, we’ve also witnessed just how fragile and paper-thin public support for the Constitution can be under duress, particularly in an election season. The controversy over a proposed mosque in Newton County offers another...

Dangerous status quo shows need for reform of policing

I recently had the honor of attending a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, along with activists, religious leaders, civil rights leaders, police union leaders and chiefs of police, as well as Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General of the United States, and senior members of her staff and the President’s staff. The meeting was to discuss law enforcement and race relations. The...

Comments on policing

Recent events in America have brought forth a national discussion on violence, law enforcement, community relations, and accountability. I am honored to be named to this working group, where I will draw upon my life experiences as a Baptist Pastor, an attorney, and the son of a Georgia State Trooper, to help foster a productive dialogue. We are not here to point fingers, but rather to find solutions...

Colin Kaepernick takes a stand for patriotism

When Muhammad Ali died in June, praise flowed from all over the country not merely for his skill as a boxer, but for his courage and refusal to compromise outside the ring. It was as if time and Parkinson’s had drained the danger from Ali, somehow turning the hated black Muslim firebrand who had refused to fight “the white man’s war” in Vietnam into a national icon beloved...

Political correctness can be dangerous on immigration

Why would a country with the world’s largest Jewish population, outside of Israel, admit large numbers of immigrants from countries where hatred of Jews has been taught to their people from earliest childhood? This question is ultimately not about Muslims and Jews. It is about discussing immigrants in the abstract, rather than in terms of the specific concrete realities of particular immigrants...

Pence talks up Trump to Georgia’s reluctant Republicans

DALTON — On March 1, Donald Trump won 39 percent in Georgia’s GOP primary. Six months later, he sits at 43 percent among all Georgians, as measured by the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The difference between a strong plurality in a five-man field and a slight deficit against one widely disliked woman is likely the mediocre enthusiasm for Trump among Georgia Republicans. The AJC&rsquo...
Opinion: Thoughts from New Birth Missionary Baptist’s new pastor

Opinion: Thoughts from New Birth Missionary Baptist’s new pastor

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, a renowned Morehouse man, once said “It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.” My entire life I have had the audacity to set lofty goals for myself, personally and professionally...
Opinion: Bush, like all presidents, was neither saint nor sinner

Opinion: Bush, like all presidents, was neither saint nor sinner

Which one you are I’d like to wake up and find.” – sung by the Clovers My former boss, CEO of a national healthcare corporation and an MD/LLB, ran Bush Sr.’s California campaign and was a personal friend of his. He loved Barbara and George and raised a tremendous amount of money for Bush. My cousin was a national leader in the LGBT community, as well as a former top exec with...
Opinion: Keep drinking Atlanta’s tap water

Opinion: Keep drinking Atlanta’s tap water

A few days ago, I, along with thousands of other Atlanta residents, was told that my water is not safe to drink. The Atlanta Department of Watershed issued a citywide boil water advisory due to a malfunction in the Hemphill Water Treatment plant. Suddenly the rest of the city was joining me in thinking about their access to safe water, which is how I spend my days as an associate professor of environmental...

Opinion: Gathering around common interests

Any grassroots civic effort that can unite productive people around goals most all reasonable folks share deserves encouragement, especially in divided times like these, we believe. Thus, we’re glad that inclement weather did not deter this year’s GeorgiaForward Forum in Macon. GeorgiaForward is an alliance of people interested in moving past old, counterproductive we win-you lose strategies...

Opinion: People make the difference in leadership journey

Since 2010, GeorgiaForward has been bringing people, organizations and businesses together that do not normally interact and having them focus on creative ways to improve the future of Georgia. The 2018 GeorgiaForward Forum continued this tradition. The one-day event brought statewide thought leaders together to talk about opportunities and challenges of engaging young leaders in communities across...

Opinion: Communities change when we all pitch in

We have become a nation obsessed with grand gestures, sweeping pronouncements and, alas, unimaginative solutions to intricate problems. In so many areas of public life, we prefer showmanship and bluster to reasoned, sober discourse. We have thus created a tremendous challenge, as we fail to model effective leadership to the next generation, convincing them, perhaps, that leadership should rely more...

Opinion: Big problems require bold leaders

Georgia is what the South is becoming: a dynamic and evolving region. It is characterized by rapidly shifting racial and ethnic demographics, a population getting younger by the year, high migration rates both from the North and from countries south of our borders. Georgia is also home to some of the largest variations in income in the country. Many of these changes are what give Georgia character...

Opinion: Finally, some real-life election fraud

For years, Republicans have warned about widespread voting-fraud allegedly swaying election outcomes. The claim has become a conservative obsession, with President Trump even alleging that up to five million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 elections, just enough to account for his loss in the popular vote. “People get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles...

Opinion: We listen to, appreciate feedback

“I didn’t really want deadlines and editorial work. I wanted something mechanical and eight hours a day. So I went to work, thinking it was easy – ha, ha – on the complaint desk …” – Katharine Graham, legendary publisher of The Washington Post. Here, at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we really don’t have a complaint desk, per se. Each of us in the...

Opinion: The George H.W. Bush I knew

George Herbert Walker Bush, whose careful custodianship of the unraveling of the old Soviet Union shaped a safer world for hundreds of millions, was mourned by a grateful nation Wednesday in a state funeral that brought together Republicans and Democrats in an increasingly rare demonstration of civility. Historians will measure the late president’s life by familiar quantities, like the challenges...

Opinion: New fisheries policy good for oceans, sportfishing

In 1976, U.S. Senators Warren Magnuson and Ted Stevens led the development and passage of the nation’s primary marine fisheries management law. The Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA) was designed to protect marine species and the rights of recreational anglers by stopping the over-harvesting of our oceans by the commercial fishing industry. Congress is currently...

READERS WRITE: DEC. 6

Liberal Luckovich hits new, indecent low I was shocked and disgusted to see Mike Luckovich’s cartoon of Tuesday (“For fun, we seated Trump next to Dana Carvey,” Opinion, Dec. 4). To use the passing of past-President George H.W. Bush to take a swipe at current President Trump was the lowest of the low. I didn’t think I could be shocked by any Luckovich cartoon as he has morphed...

Opinion: Stop Left-wing’s corpse abuse

Impolite question, but it needs to be asked: Is there a Republican dead body that left-wing partisans won’t use to bash Donald Trump? This week’s partisan corpse abusers callously exploited the passing of George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st president, to get in their digs at the current commander in chief. Their vulgar level of incivility was inversely propositional to their sanctimonious...

Opinion: We bury a man of honor

This week, we bury a man of honor. And by honor, I don’t mean the type of honor that accrues to a person just by virtue of rising to the presidency, because not all who achieve that post are people of honor. Nor do I mean any kind of honor conferred by others through popularity, fame or high ratings. I mean instead an old-fashioned form of honor that is earned by living as much as possible by...

Opinion: Stories from 2018 that insipired us, others

Meet the Delaneys. Hopefully, you already know their story. When Amy and Derron Delaney married more than 20 years ago, they imagined a blended family that included their kids from previous marriages along with more babies they’d have together. They would have more kids together — just not in the biological sense. Since their union, the Delaneys have adopted six children with disabilities...
Opinion: Dear Ga.’s newly elected leaders

Opinion: Dear Ga.’s newly elected leaders

In a sense, the campaign might have been the easy thing, however counterintuitive that seems. After a long, bruising haul of a rancorous campaign, Brian Kemp gained a close victory that brought him the current interim title of Georgia Governor-elect. That win means he must now make the transition from campaigning to governing. We’d be surprised if the latter work does not prove much more difficult...
Opinion: Key regional issues await next governor’s attention

Opinion: Key regional issues await next governor’s attention

Dear Governor-elect: You will step into the Governor’s Mansion as our nation is experiencing historic political divisiveness. However, here in Georgia, our state leaders have worked together to make progress on several key issues, from transportation to economic development. As a result, Georgia remains the number one state for business. We’re investing billions of dollars to improve the...
Opinion: This isn’t normal, or acceptable

Opinion: This isn’t normal, or acceptable

This week, President Donald Trump retweeted an image that accuses multiple political opponents of committing treason against the United States of America, demanding that they be prosecuted and imprisoned for their crime. Think about that for a moment, because it is extraordinary. The chief executive of the United States is urging the government that he heads, the people whom he can hire and fire,...
Opinion: Silicon Valley ‘sharia’ shows tech’s Left-wing bias

Opinion: Silicon Valley ‘sharia’ shows tech’s Left-wing bias

This is a tale of two young, outspoken women in media. One is a liberal tech writer. The other is an enterprising conservative new media reporter. One has achieved meteoric success and now works at a top American newspaper. The other has been de-platformed and marginalized. Their wildly different fates tell you everything you need to know about Silicon Valley’s free speech double standards....
Opinion: Two years of bluster wear thin for Trump

Opinion: Two years of bluster wear thin for Trump

As Donald Trump tells it, he got “very tough” in a recent conversation with the head of General Motors about the layoff of some 14,000 people and the closure of four U.S. auto plants: “You’re playing around with the wrong person ….,” Trump claims to have warned CEO Mary Barra. “And they better damn well open up a new plant (in Ohio) very quickly …...
Opinion: Poor EMS governance bad for market, worse for patients

Opinion: Poor EMS governance bad for market, worse for patients

When eight-year-old Ethan Hall broke his leg after falling from a slide near his home in southwest Atlanta last month, his father couldn’t have imagined it would take an hour and a half for an ambulance to arrive and another two before it finally deposited his son in the care of doctors. Unfortunately, Ethan’s story isn’t unique in Georgia, where lethargic government oversight and...
Opinion: Looking across holiday seasons

Opinion: Looking across holiday seasons

Another Thanksgiving holiday weekend is edging toward its close. Many of us are blessed in that memories of good times with family and friends this weekend will last far longer than the leftovers that now pack our refrigerators. It is good to set aside time to offer public and private thanks for the bounty that many of us share, evidenced most recently by the plentiful spreads we enjoyed, perhaps...

Opinion: Thankful for simple things in a troubled year

A blind Negro woman from Georgia, visiting her brother in Indianapolis, may be one of America’s most thankful people on this day of national thanksgiving. Mrs. Mary Mullins will be in Indianapolis thanks to the generosity of members of the Communications Workers of America union, who financed her jet flight in appreciation of her work as a volunteer speaker for the United Appeal. Her late husband...
Opinion: Multinational drug gangs worsen epidemic

Opinion: Multinational drug gangs worsen epidemic

The relationship between the United States and Canada of late has been nothing short of tumultuous. However, in the midst of the bitter exchanges and more recent positive developments on trade, a unique opportunity exists to help save lives and protect our respective borders. In short, it’s time that both countries work together to face a new common threat posed by illegally imported fentanyl...
Opinion: Holiday season’s needs demand love, action

Opinion: Holiday season’s needs demand love, action

In the midst of our busy lives, we can miss seeing the need all around us. Need is hard to see. It’s invisible. Just by looking we can’t usually tell if someone is homeless, hungry, desperately alone or suicidal. Pain and fear hide in the eyes and hearts of a child walking beside her mother, or the tough-looking teenager walking down the street. But sometimes the need reveals itself, years...
READERS WRITE: NOV. 20

READERS WRITE: NOV. 20

The transportation problem in metro Atlanta is not a lack of rail transit or “good roads,” nor is it a lack of encouraging people to move into denser settlements and ride trains instead of drive. The problem is traffic congestion, and a solution must provide a cost-benefit for all throughout an area the size of Massachusetts. Over half of the state’s population (5.9 million) resides...
Opinion: Ga. needs fair, open, accurate, secure elections

Opinion: Ga. needs fair, open, accurate, secure elections

On July 4, 1944, Primus King, a duly registered voter, walked into the Muscogee County Courthouse to cast a ballot in the primary election. He was thrown out into the street. It took almost two years for the Supreme Court to uphold Primus King’s right to vote. What happened to Primus King was a horrible injustice. Regretfully, Georgia’s past is stained with similar injustices. As I think...
Opinion: Safeguard access, security of democracy’s sacred rite

Opinion: Safeguard access, security of democracy’s sacred rite

Not too long ago, the Supreme Court wrote, “No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a choice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, they must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.” And there are many ways to undermine the right to vote. Any thing we do that makes it harder than...
Opinion: Toward a better Ga. elections system

Opinion: Toward a better Ga. elections system

There might be a rare sign of bipartisan agreement to say that Georgia’s midterm election – and its aftermath – amounts to a mess. As a result, the reputation of our state has been tarnished – not a small thing in this growing place that regularly touts that we’re the best location for business. That’s at risk when many outside Georgia are likely viewing us in a...
Opinion: A profound reason to be thankful

Opinion: A profound reason to be thankful

As we head into this week of Thanksgiving, I’ve been overcome by so many things. Things like the divisiveness of our nation. Things like witnessing blatant racism in our communities and across the country. Worrying about whether my child is safe in her school. And lately I’ve had the overwhelming urge to stand up for myself and others who have chosen journalism as their profession and...
Opinion: Trump shrugs off constitutional shackles

Opinion: Trump shrugs off constitutional shackles

In an interview this week with the Daily Caller, President Trump was asked who he might nominate to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Trump didn’t answer, instead using the question to laud acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as “a very respected man.” Whitaker is not a very respected man. He spouts bizarre legal theories, he has careened from one failure to another in...
Opinion : The how, what and why of a Trump lie

Opinion : The how, what and why of a Trump lie

Donald Trump lies with an audacity and on a scale never before seen in American politics, and it’s tempting to get so caught up in the showmanship of it all that you miss what makes it work. So let me propose a different approach. Instead of focusing on the number and scale of Trump’s lies, what if we focused more intently on one oft-repeated, run-of-the-mill Trump lie? Maybe by putting...
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