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May Newsletter

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May Newsletter

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District 2 Park Tour 2023 and Beyond

This month’s park tour was truly a delight, and I was thrilled to share updates and insights with many of you. From Governor Kemp signing the SPLOST 2 Legislation, my SPLOST resolution advocating for citizen participation in new project lists, establishing priorities, to the updates on the Mason Mill Park Master Plan and the Recreation Center Feasibility report status – we’ve certainly covered a lot of ground.

Reflecting on my initial period in office, I think back to what I call the “listening and learning journey” across the 5 Ps – people, pets, potholes, parks, and public safety. In these initial months, we’ve built a solid District 2 team, established communication platforms and protocols for constituents, and completed various new commissioner trainings, tours, site visits, and the ARC’s Community Planning Academy.

Now, our team is swiftly moving forward – strategizing and planning key priorities for the year ahead. As always, my top priority is YOU – being available, responsive, and accountable to our county’s citizens. Work continues on many District 2 roadway projects, from pedestrian crossings, signal upgrades and roadway safety concerns addressed by DeKalb Transportation and the Georgia Department of Transportation, to paving, potholes, stormwater issues and water & sewer upgrades under DeKalb’s Watershed and Public Works Departments.  We are addressing your infrastructure needs. In addition, we are addressing issues related to park projects, animal services, and housing and homelessness, as well as leveraging SPLOST and ARC funding to accomplish the many needed projects in District 2. I am looking forward to sharing more information with you later in the year on how we are innovatively and creatively tackling these issues.

We are looking forward to future park meetings later in the year. If you would like me to join you in your park, at a meeting, or in your neighborhood, please reach out to Caroline Enloe at clenloe@dekalbcountyga.gov to set up.

BOC ACTION

I’m excited to share the latest initiatives and efforts we’ve embarked on in District 2 to support our diverse community. First, I’m pleased to announce a grant of $30,000 to Stride Ahead Inc. This support will fund Equine Therapy at Little Creek Horse Farm, promoting mental health and personal development. The allocation comes directly from District 2’s American Rescue Plan funding and underlines our commitment to innovative and impactful approaches to health and wellness.

In addition to this, we’ve also allocated $50,000 to Prospera for a Latino Entrepreneurship Program in DeKalb County. This initiative will provide education, technical assistance, and capital support to Latino entrepreneurs in our area. By investing in this program, we are fostering a more inclusive economy and supporting the growth of diverse businesses in our county.

Finally, our SPLOST 2 Resolution, an important piece of legislation that calls for a public engagement process in identifying SPLOST-2 funded projects, was approved 6-0. This resolution seeks to ensure that citizen feedback, data-driven decision making, and transparency are at the heart of decisions about how and where SPLOST 2 funding should be allocated. The potential for a second SPLOST is scheduled to be on the ballot in November and this process invites community members to take an active role in shaping the future of our county. We will announce community input meetings that will be taking place over the summer.

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!

Honoring DeKalb Friends of Parks Groups

A Proclamation of Appreciation and a Promise of Renewal

All throughout DeKalb County, volunteers have dedicated countless hours to the beautification and improvement of our local parks. In May, it was my distinct honor to recognize the DeKalb Friends of Parks groups with a proclamation, acknowledging the immense value their tireless efforts bring to our community spaces. May 23rd has now been officially proclaimed “Friends of Parks Day” in DeKalb County!

These volunteers, over 19,000 of our neighbors, have clocked in over 68,000 hours to uplift our shared green spaces. Their collective work fosters not only aesthetic improvements, but also nurtures the spirit of community, and for this, we extend our profound gratitude. If you’ve ever enjoyed a day at one of our parks, you’ve felt the impact of their dedication.

As we look forward, we are thrilled to announce that the next cycle of grant funding from Park Pride is imminent. This is an exciting opportunity for parks in need of a little extra care to apply for. Through Park Pride’s Grantmaking Program, we have the chance to apply for various improvements, ranging from new playgrounds, trails, and exercise equipment to informational signage, rain gardens, and art installations. I encourage interested parties to attend the upcoming virtual information session for unincorporated DeKalb on June 2. This session is crucial for those aiming to apply for a grant of $5,000 or more. Register for FREE at parkpride.org/grantinfosessions to learn more about this opportunity.

Moreover, I am thrilled to share that DeKalb County has been awarded $10.3 million in grants from the state for improvements across six park facilities. Announced by Governor Brian Kemp, these funds will allow us to implement upgrades and repairs to our parks, enhancing them for the enjoyment of our local communities and residents.

As we celebrate our dedicated park volunteers and anticipate the rejuvenation of our parks, we remain committed to providing vibrant, accessible spaces for our DeKalb County residents to enjoy for years to come.

Proclamation Presentation

Watch our Proclamation presentation for DeKalb County Friends of Parks Groups here!

My Appointment to DeKalb County Community Service Board (CSB)

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month this May, it is with deep pride that I announce my appointment to the DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB), a remarkable organization that serves over 11,000 individuals annually and provided critical services to nearly 7,200 individuals in 2022 alone. DeKalb CSB provides a comprehensive range of evidence-based behavioral health and developmental disability services across DeKalb County, helping children, adolescents, and adults recover and live productive, thriving lives.

Joining DeKalb CSB aligns seamlessly with my commitment to the well-being of our community, particularly in promoting mental health awareness and support. As your District 2 Commissioner, I am excited about this opportunity to enhance the dialogue around mental health, and I am committed to ensuring that our residents have access to the critical resources they need. Let’s make mental health a priority, not just this month, but every day of the year.

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