Rep. Beskin: “Excluding Emory University and the CDC from APS would Disenfranchise Voters”

ATLANTA – State Representative Beth Beskin (R-Atlanta) recently urged Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Council members to revise the Emory University and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annexation ordinances to provide that the annexation territory be included in the Atlanta Independent School System (APS). In a formal letter, Rep. Beskin claimed that excluding the Emory University and CDC annexation areas from APS would disenfranchise voters.

“I am very concerned that the voters who live in the Emory and CDC annexation areas will be disenfranchised if those territories are annexed without expanding Atlanta Public Schools,” said Rep. Beskin. “The residents of the annexation areas will be able to vote for Atlanta City Council District 6, Atlanta City Council Posts 1, 2 and 3 (at-large) and Atlanta Mayor, but those voters will not be allowed to vote for Atlanta Board of Education members. The congruence required by the APS charter between Atlanta City Council districts and APS Board of Education districts will cease to exist on October 1, 2017, the effective date of the annexation, and will be exacerbated over time with each census-mandated adjustment to both the Atlanta City Council and the APS Board of Education districts. The congruence of the Atlanta City Council and the APS Board of Education districts, which benefits voters by ensuring their representatives with each body have identical constituencies with an identity of interests, will be destroyed.”

On June 27, 2017, Emory University and the CDC filed petitions to annex into the City of Atlanta. The annexation ordinance contains a clause providing that the Atlanta City Council and the Mayor have determined that the annexation of these properties into Atlanta City limits, but not expanding the boundaries of the APS, would be in the best interest of the citizens of the City of Atlanta and property owners.

“Nothing is more important than an individual’s right to vote on his or her elected representatives,” said Rep. Beskin. “Not only would your insistence on leaving these areas out of APS disenfranchise those voters, but it would also deprive the candidates for those seats, and ultimately the victor in those elections, of the ability to campaign among and be elected by every voter. Your actions would thus impugn the legitimacy of the APS Board of Education election.”

“I support Atlanta’s annexation of Emory and CDC if those territories come into APS. Time is of the essence because the municipal election ballots will be printed soon. Please immediately abandon your effort to exclude the Emory and CDC annexation territories from APS,” added Rep. Beskin.

Representative Beth Beskin represents the citizens of District 54, which includes a portion of Fulton County, all within the City of Atlanta. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 2014, and currently serves on the Education, Judiciary, MARTOC, Regulated Industries, and State Planning & Community Affairs committees. She is also a member of the Medical Cannabis working group. 

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Posted August 11th, 2017 in Beth Beskin. Tagged: .