Atlanta mayor responds to Warnock’s letter on controversial future public safety training center
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Two of Georgia’s most prominent Democrats appear to be on opposite ends of the debate over the building of the Atlanta public safety training center.
In an 11-page letter sent to U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens defended the need for the controversial project and the city’s handling of the referendum process. Dickens reiterated some of his position during a breakfast on Tuesday with law enforcement in attendance.
“It is dangerous for any of us to forget that our first job in government is public safety and I reject the notion that we must choose between investing in our officers and our community,” he said. “We can and will do both.”
Warnock previously sent a letter to Dickens urging city leaders to let voters decide the future of the training site. He also called for more transparency regarding the city’s verification of more than 116,000 signatures collected to put the issue to a vote.
Dickens said the review was necessary to protect the integrity of the process.
“This petition process provides an option for those who disagree with the decisions of their elected leaders, in this case, a veto-proof supermajority of the city council who approved the project twice, to have their voices heard,” Dickens wrote in the letter. “That process is difficult because it should only be used in extraordinary circumstances.”
The Stop Cop City Coalition responded to Dickens’ letter saying, “The mayor says he doesn’t believe we have the required number of petitions. OK. Get out of the way, withdraw your unnecessary and expensive legal appeal, and start counting. We’ll bet your political career that we’ve got the numbers.”
You can read Dickens’ full letter below:
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