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April Newsletter

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April Newsletter

Earth Day 2023

What a full and joyful experience Earth Day 2023 turned out to be! We kicked off last week with Commissioner Ted Terry’s Green New Deal highlighting sustainability efforts in many areas of the county. On Friday, my office was delighted to team up with DeKalb Sustainability and Trees Atlanta for a day of service removing English Ivy and restoring the forest at DeKalb Memorial Park. Saturday commenced with Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett and Commissioner Ted Terry welcoming citizens for an afternoon of Earth Day activities on the Decatur Square. The Decatur expo educated all on various aspects of sustainability, conservation, clean air and climate change. Afterward, I was able to catch a little basketball at the Full Court Press Basketball Tournament hosted by the DeKalb Criminal Justice Treatment Coalition and Advisory Council to the MMHC. Go team! Glenn Creek Nature Preserve hosted an afternoon Spring Fling to raise funds to improve the nature preserve and I enjoyed meeting neighbors working hard to protect this land and creek at the headwaters of Peavine Creek. I ended the day in Emory Village at the Coca-Cola “Clean Up the Creek” concert, benefitting a Rainwater Garden at Peavine Creek. This project aims to abate stormwater runoff and erosion while cleaning our waterways. It was a great day to be with friends, old and new, and to celebrate this big, beautiful Earth.

“It’s been a great honor to work with the commissioners,” remarked Senator Kim Jackson, District 41, as she welcomed the CEO and Commissioners at the celebration and congratulated all on the passage of HB 431.This bill removes the restriction limiting what capital outlay projects DeKalb can spend SPLOST funds on, and allows us to use SPLOST funds, with the approval of a voter referendum, for all items that any other county in the state can. We look forward to hearing next steps from the administration on the development of a project list followed by a robust community input experience. A SPLOST Committee of the Whole (COW) is scheduled for April 20 at 9 am.

D2 Happenings

Stay up to date on what’s happening in DeKalb with video messages from Commissioner Spears. Subscribe to her YouTube channel.


In April, I appointed Ron Nawrocki and reappointed Allen Venet to the District 2 Community Council. I also supported the Rainwater Garden at Peavine Creek in Emory Village with an allocation of $5,000 and appropriated another $5,000 to Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights’ FunkFest, part of Decatur’s Bicentennial Celebration, educating the community on the history and stories of the historic African American community of Beacon Hill. I also introduced an amendment to Chapter 4 of DeKalb’s code that would apply to businesses operating under the Emory Village Overlay. With this change, DeKalb welcomes new business SAVI Market, opening soon in Emory Village.

The SPLOST Resolution I introduced previously is working its way through the commission committee process. Stay tuned for action on this important piece of legislation asking for feedback and data on what citizens want funded with SPLOST 2 scheduled to be on the November ballot this year.

Finally, I accepted an appointment from CEO Thurmond to serve on DeKalb’s Community Service Board. I look forward to learning more about this agency and working to address citizen’s needs through this appointment. Thank you, Mr. CEO!

District 2 in DeKalb Parks in May

In May, I will be making a tour of the district and look forward to joining many citizens in District 2 Parks.  Please join me for an update on my first 100 days in office, a report on SPLOST 2 legislation, and a listening session with citizens like you!  

On the evening of May 17th, I will be in Mason Mill Park at the Recreation Center for an update on the Mason Mill Park Master Plan and a report on the feasibility study for a new recreation center in D2.  

Saturday, May 20th will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Deepdene Park, followed by 11:30 a.m. in Briarlake Forest Park, and then I will round out the day with a visit to Frazier Rowe Park at 1:30 p.m. to greet volunteers and hear feedback from citizens on a new vision for Frazier Rowe Park. I look forward to spending the evening at the Beacon Hill for Black Alliance for Human Rights’ FunkFest in Decatur where we will honor and welcome home community elders from the historic Beacon Hill community.

Of special note, Brookhaven Councilwoman Madeleine Simmons has invited me to her virtual townhall on May 22nd to speak with Brookhaven residents.

At the last Board of Commissioners meeting on May 23rd at 9 a.m., I will honor DeKalb’s Friends of Park Volunteers with a Proclamation thanking them for countless hours of service in DeKalb County parks.

Please join me for any and all of these events next month!

Red Cross Needs Your Help to Aid Fire Victims

Did you know that in its most recent fiscal year, the American Red Cross aided 1,299 victims of apartment fires in DeKalb County alone?

Since January 1, 2023, five people have died in home fires in DeKalb County. If you want to help, now is the time because the Red Cross needs volunteers and blood donations to assist those displaced by fire. Each time you hear about an apartment fire in DeKalb County, Red Cross volunteers are there working with citizens to connect them with temporary shelter, food, clothing and more.


Just this month on Mountain Drive in Decatur, GA, ten units burned with 21 people living in them. The same day of the fire, volunteers met with the families to comfort them and provide direct client assistance for motel stays, clothing, food and hygiene products including medication, medical equipment, and eyeglasses. The Red Cross also follows up after a fire, designating emergency caseworkers to help with a recovery plan and referrals to other agencies that can assist with long-term care and support.

Red Cross Volunteers also provide one-on-one education on fire safety and install free smoke alarms. Despite widespread knowledge of their effectiveness, smoke alarms are absent from many households in DeKalb.

To volunteer or donate blood to the Red Cross, visit It’s a one-stop shop to donate blood, obtain CPR training, or volunteer in DeKalb. Questions? Contact Jay Lawrence at 404-502-7314 or


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