ATLANTA — The Atlanta Municipal Clerk’s Office has now made public digital versions of petitions signed against Atlanta’s public safety training facilities.
Organizers of the petition say the 25,208 pages made public include the signatures of more than 116,000 people who want to see the training center come up for a vote.
The public documents include the names, addresses and phone numbers of those who wrote them on petition forms. The City redacted signers’ dates of birth, which is protected information.
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Earlier this month, the Atlanta City Council voted to allow the city clerk to begin the process of scanning and publicly posting submitted forms related to the referendum petition.
Mayor Andre Dickens said that he supports the action taken by the City Council.
“I fully support the action taken by City Council today. As I have stated before, I support allowing the process to run its course in an open and transparent manner. Like many, I want to know exactly what is in those boxes and this moves us one step closer,” Dickens said in a statement.
- City Council votes to begin scanning petitions that want training facility to be put on the ballot
- Training center opponents deliver signatures for Nov. referendum. City says it’s too late
- A petition could put a training facility on the ballot. How are they checking the signatures?
Atlanta City Council member Keisha Sean Waites released a statement following the discussion around the Public Safety Training Center. She said the petition process has “lacked integrity” from the beginning.
“The petition process surrounding the recent events has lacked integrity from the beginning. The threat to verify signatures is tantamount to voter suppression. These tactics erode public trust and confidence and cause the voters to tune out and believe that the government does not support or work for them. Today, I had planned to join my colleague in introducing legislation to allow a referendum vote on the public safety training facility issue. However, I was advised the Council lacks jurisdiction and authority.”
The posting of thousands of people’s personal information led to outrage from some petition organizers who say they believed more redactions would be made.
“This move by the city clerk is irresponsible and intentional,” says Kendra Cotton, CEO of New Georgia Project and New Georgia Project Action Fund. “It’s the latest in a string of attempts orchestrated by the City of Atlanta to stand in the way of an agreed-upon democratic process to decide the future of ‘Cop City.’ It is a direct attack on City of Atlanta residents.”
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