We are witnessing a lot of farfetched chatter on Facebook and such regarding our local election and political philosophy in general.
There is a big debate over whether candidate Nick Ferrante is a socialist or a democratic socialist, and our young adults on Facebook are desperately attempting to make a distinction between the two. There are a lot of fake Facebook accounts trolling on behalf of Ferrante using intimidation tactics of name-calling and insulting anyone who dares comment in opposition to their candidate.
As I noted in my last letter to the editor (https://thecitizen.com/2021/10/15/the-peachtree-city-council-candidates-rated-1-to-5-golf-carts/), one major concern is candidate Kim Learnard’s ambiguous language on her website regarding bringing more traffic-attracting development to Huddleston Road at Ga. Highway 54. She wants to make the area special but what exactly does that include? Certainly, the land use designations in that area are critical and the last thing we need there is something that attracts even more traffic.
People have asked me if there is reason to be worried about Learnard’s ambitions for the area adjacent to Hwy. 54 West. My answer is yes.
She rezoned a large swath of land from office/institutional (a less traffic-intensive use) to retail over citizen objections on that very corridor as a council member. A review of past council meetings video shows she once wanted a large Kohl’s department store on Hwy. 54 West which was met with intense opposition from local citizens. Likewise, she has no plan on mitigating traffic in that area.
Another diversion tactic from our far-left young adult Facebook commentators is that national politics as in a local candidate’s support for Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, etc., and their drive towards national socialism has nothing to do with our local politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. As former Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill liked to say, “All politics is local.”
The west coast of the United States is the petri dish of failed Marxist, post-modernist experimentation. A recent San Francisco Chamber of Commerce poll showed that 44% of the respondents intend to abandon the city in the next few years. A Biz Journal article summed it up, “San Francisco feels like a city under siege.”
Seattle elects devout socialists, and they are reaping the pain that accompanies such moves. Amazon employs 50,000 people in Seattle and announced it would allow many corporate and tech employees to work from home indefinitely, essentially giving permission to abandon the city.
The tech employees have every reason to get out of Seattle after the city council passed a new additional tax (called the “JumpStart”) based on their high salaries, citing a need to create equity which they admit means taking from those who have and giving to those who have not. Additionally, “… crime is increasing, and increasingly tolerated by City Hall. So is homelessness, which has gotten worse despite hundreds of millions spent to supposedly address it,” (“Downtown Seattle’s troubles go beyond the pandemic,” Seattle Times, Oct. 15, 2021).
According to a new report by the Urban Land Institute, Portland has plummeted from one of the nation’s most desirable real estate markets to the bottom of an 80-city ranking. In 2017, Portland ranked third but is now ranked 66th. Riots in the streets, graffiti, homelessness, vandalism combined with “inclusionary zoning” and rent control are all tolerated by the mayor and city council.
Our own City of Atlanta is seeing a 59% increase in homicides. The posh Buckhead area wants its own city.
When someone refers to city mayors who have engaged far-left policies and have experienced very large increases in homicides along with creating a sense of lawlessness by releasing violent criminals, allowing mass shoplifting up to $950 per occurrence without prosecution, and defunding their law enforcement, the reply from our young adults is, “That is only in large cities.”
They attempt to create this foolish notion that somehow there is an invisible forcefield that keeps destructive leftist policies out of medium and small cities. It’s not true and the efforts to infiltrate local communities with far-left policies are working.
Well-funded, far-left protest groups have begun organizing (think Stacey Abrams). They are staging candidates in local races like the Down Ballot Dems group is doing in Peachtree City with Nick Ferrante. The local political front group Plan for PTC is offering backdoor support for anyone willing to bring large development to places like Huddleston Road at Hwy. 54 West and build destructive projects like the TDK Extension into Coweta County.
After wasting millions upon millions of dollars on national political campaigns, billionaire George Soros and his billionaire friends had an epiphany, realizing that revolution is much easier through local channels. They developed the brilliant strategy of funding and winning local campaigns for sheriffs, district attorneys, and school board members.
Local sheriffs and district attorneys have an enormous amount of autonomy granted to them by law. The Soros-funded district attorneys have now implemented a plan where they refuse to prosecute most misdemeanor crimes. Likewise, they can choose not to prosecute serious crimes committed under certain political philosophies, according to Politico.
New sheriffs paid for with far-left campaign funding are refusing to turn over illegal aliens who have committed violent crimes to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They can literally refuse to enforce the law. Likeminded mayors and council members have joined in with immediate release, no-bail requirements, putting dangerous people back on the streets within hours to commit even more crime.
I recall my time on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners when we issued support for a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill in the state legislature, supporting the First Amendment. The meeting room was filled with an organized throng of anti-religion wokesters who struggled to intimidate the commissioners. As it turned out, after listening to their frivolous and errant comments, it was easy to see they had never read the bill, just doing as they were told.
Across the nation, local elected officials disagreeing with the Marxist goals of Black Lives Matter or looting, arson, and leftist violence find themselves being targets of well-funded and organized harassment, including doxing and threats of physical violence. (For examples, see: https://www.google.com/amp/s/pjmedia.com/election/jeff-reynolds/2020/06/24/beware-the-woke-mob-is-targeting-you-next-small-town-america-n573953/amp)
I have not seen a mayor and city council so adamant about shutting out the taxpaying citizens as our current Peachtree City mayor and council. They have gone out of their way to counter the direction the citizens desire to follow using our land plan.
There are two incumbents running for re-election and I offered a full explanation of why neither of them deserves your votes on November 2 (https://thecitizen.com/2021/07/22/council-members-ernst-and-madden-get-thumbs-down-for-4-more-years/).
Take a stand, go vote, or be trampled. The choice is yours.
Peachtree City, Ga
[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Commission.]