“Community TEA” for March 28, 2021
“Sick and un-American” is how President Joe Biden described Republican efforts in Georgia to limit voting rights. During a recent news conference Biden’s remarks included his plans to run for reelection as he discussed COVID-19 vaccinations, economic recovery, and the crisis at the Mexican border, among other topics. Biden called Georgia’s new voting law an atrocity and says it is “Jim Crow in the 21st Century”.
North Korea and its unhinged leader are back at it again, testing short range weapons in what some called an act of aggression to get Biden’s attention.
Lawmakers on capitol hill grilled the CEO’s of Google, Facebook, and Twitter on their roles in promoting extremism and spreading misinformation following the January 6 riots at the US capitol.
In what is being called the first in the nation, the Chicago suburb of Evanston has agreed to provide reparations for black residents.
The jury trial for the police officer accused of murdering George Floyd begins tomorrow after a full jury was seated last week. Derek Chauvin is the first of the four former Minneapolis police officers who are set to stand trial. All four were fired after Chauvin, who was recorded on bystander video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. He is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The video brought national and international attention to Floyd’s death and prompted global protests for racial justice and against police brutality. The other three former officers involved in Floyd’s arrest are scheduled to stand trial in August. They are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Gov. Brian Kemp had a busy week. He opened COVID-19 vaccination to all residents of Georgia age 16 and over and signed a controversial election bill into law. State lawmakers were split down party lines over a need for changes, but the House and Senate approved the bill. Within hours of its passage, Kemp immediately signed the rewrite of election rules, which will bring sweeping changes to voting. The bill signing occurred in front of a portrait of a plantation, which suggests that Kemp is tone deaf and that he and those around him could care less about the optics. Voting rights organizations have already announced plans to challenges it in court. Key changes include identification requirements for mailed ballots, restricted use of absentee ballot drop boxes, and a shorten runoff elections timeframe.
Kemp is said to be planning a major announcement on April 1 that will focus on restriction rollbacks.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed a primary challenger this week to Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, who refused Trump’s demands to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s presidential election results in his favor.
On a positive note, the Georgia Board of Education approved a onetime bonus payment of $1000 to every Georgia teacher and support personnel.
The Georgia Senate unanimously passed a bill that would grant three weeks of paid parental leave to 246 state workers including teachers. The bill now returns to the House for a vote.
House Speaker David Ralston has suggested that he may send in troops to help Atlanta police deal with rising crime, saying Atlanta seems incapable of dealing with the matter on its own and hearing are planned for the summer to review the issue. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms strongly disagreed with Ralston’s assessment and pointed to gun violence and access to guns by criminals, which lawmakers at the capitol have failed to stem year after year.
Georgia’s online vaccine data portal will be offline until next week due to system errors but says public can continue to receive daily updates from their website.
Cobb and Douglas Public Health is planning to create a vaccination hotline in April – a call center designed to operate within a four-month period to assist residents in scheduling appointments and obtaining latest info on vaccines.
Marietta school district has announced that High School students and their parents will soon have an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The school district is partnering with Poole’s Pharmacy to conduct vaccinations on April 16 and will be open to students ages 16 and up, as well as up to two of their parents or legal guardians.
Tech giant Google has confirmed its expansion in midtown as plans are in motion for them to occupy 19 stories of a 32-story building upon its completion in 2022. Google originally planned for five floors, so the additional floors are good signals that Google is setting down roots.
Synagogues around Cobb began their observance of Passover this weekend as Jews celebrates their ancestors’ freedom from Egyptian slavery. The eight-day Passover began Saturday night.
Per Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta will begin allowing events up to 2000 people after May 15th. Can you say hello Chastain Park and a return of Frankie Beverly and Maze concerts?
The Atlanta Braves hope to have warm bodies back in all 41,000 seats at Truist park by June.
I just don’t know how to quit you seems to be the funny quip placed on the Atlanta Hawks after acquiring new Hawks guard Lou Williams for the second time. With his return to Atlanta, this marks round two for the South Gwinnett High alum who previously played with the Hawks. Williams joined the NBA league in 2005 and as a free agent he was acquired in 2012 by the Hawks. They would trade him two years later. To secure Williams again, Hawks traded Rajon Rando to the LA Clippers.
Georgia Tech Women basketball team made it to the Sweet 16 NCAA tournament, but lost to South Carolina today.
Sweet news is coming from our friends at Krispy Kreme. To encourage people to get their vaccination, Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut each day for the rest of the year to customers who show their COVID-19 shot card. This offer seems to be rubbing some the wrong way as they took to social media to complain. Per the Krispy Kreme CEO, “if folks don’t want to visit a donut shop, they don’t have to”‘. Donut lovers are calling it the CEO’s Mic drop moment.
The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre announced that several spring and summer concerts have been postponed until later dates. New dates will be announced as soon as they are available.
“Hero next door” is the new label being applied to doorbell cameras that are foiling home break ins and that recently helped end a swat standoff.