Opinion: Welcome to the ‘horrible’ 5th District, Mr. President

(AJC)

Dear President Trump:

Welcome, sir, to Georgia’s “horrible, crime-infested” 5th Congressional District, or as we like to call it, “home.”

I’ve never understood how you came to that conclusion about us, because it clearly wasn’t based on facts, and in your first 100 days as president, we’ve all been quite impressed by the stress that you place on getting your facts exactly right.

The fact is, the 5th is a great place to live, work and raise a family. You mention crime, but the crime rate has fallen by more than half in the last 20 years. The economy is growing, property values are soaring in much of the district and construction cranes are everywhere. Some of our biggest problems are in handling the consequences of our success, as with the world-famous BeltLine project.

No, the benefits of that prosperity aren’t being shared by everybody in the district, and that’s certainly a challenge. But it’s a challenge that is also shared by the entire country that you’ve been elected to lead, correct? We don’t have coal miners or other easily mythologized workers for you to champion, and for that we’re sorry. We did have a large steel mill downtown, but the former Atlantic Steel site has been converted to Atlantic Station, one of the most successful live-work-play developments in the country, and the source of far more jobs than the site previously supported.

“Atlanta resurgens,” it rises again. That’s what we do.

Some people say — and again, we all know that you love to quote all the nice things that unidentified “some people” say about you — some people say that your misconception of the 5th must be based on a rather simplistic chain of thought: Since we have elected a black congressman in John Lewis, then it must be a black district, and if it’s a black district then it must be horrible and crime-infested.

If so, some people would say that’s a pretty damn racist way to think about things.

We are also one of the top convention destination sites in the country, as you’ll find when you come to speak at the state-built and state-operated World Congress Center. You’ll be landing Air Force One at the city-built and city-run Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, and also one of the most efficient in the world, winning annual kudos from others in the airport-operation field. It has become the economic engine of the entire region.

We’re home to Grady Hospital, a great public hospital that has fought successfully to stay true to its mission  while achieving financial stability, but frankly, we’re worried that stability might be endangered by the health-care “reforms” proposed by you and your party. As home to Fortune 500 companies such as Coca Cola, Delta, UPS, Home Depot and NCR, we are a hotbed of international trade and logistics, facilitating the swift movement of goods across the globe, but the future of that business also seems to be in question.

With Georgia Tech, Emory University, Morehouse, Spelman and other centers of higher education, Atlanta and the 5th District are helping to teach tomorrow’s leaders and also leading the way in high-tech and medical research. Those schools have drawn the smartest students from around the globe to Atlanta, many of whom decide to stay to build lives and companies here. We’re a little worried that the pipeline of smart, motivated people is getting squeezed to a trickle, and that your proposed $5.8 billion cut in federal funding for medical research threatens not just jobs but the progress that local researchers are making in improving human health.

Speaking of research and human health, we’re also home to the world-renowned Centers for Disease Control. The work they do is important, yet it too is threatened with significant spending cuts. For example, I’m sure that you remember the heroic work they performed in containing the deadly Ebola virus while putting their own lives on the line. I’m sure that you, like all Americans, wanted to welcome them with open arms and thank them for their courage, skill and sacrifice.

If anything deserves your adjective of “horrible” around here, it might be traffic, and that too is a consequence of success. Our highways are about maxed out, our surface streets are straining under the load and the collapse of a segment of I-85 has driven home the importance of having a wide range of transportation options. As major employers insist upon access to mass transit, and as competing metro regions invest heavily in transit, once-wary suburban Atlanta communities are becoming much more interested in joining a true region-wide system.

You’ve talked often of wanting a $1 trillion infrastructure package, although so far that talk hasn’t translated into an actual proposal, let alone congressional action. If that ever does come together, we’d probably like to use our share to invest in our underdeveloped transit system. But again, I’m curious and a little worried: While you preach the importance of infrastructure investment, your proposed budget endangers $38 billion in current mass transit projects, and the 2016 Republican platform calls for ending all federal spending on mass transit.

Does mass transit fall outside your definition of infrastructure? And if so, why? All around the country, all over the world, economic growth is concentrating in cities, in urban areas much like the 5th District. Government isn’t driving that growth — it’s happening because of millions of individual choices by people deciding that’s where they want to live and work. That’s the lifestyle they want; that’s what makes business sense to business leaders.

It looks to be the future, the way that America is deciding on its own to make itself great again. It would be great to see our national leaders recognize and encourage that, rather than run it down.

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments 1

2313 comments
FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Clinton lost the election because she never had the support in the necessary places. What makes it sting more for Democrats is that Barack Obama did have that support during his campaigns, but this time around it went to Donald Trump.

[snip]

But the Democrats still have no real leader at the moment, and have not taken positions that embrace a populist economic message, or true progressive values. Their last leader Obama is instead giving a $400,000 speech to a Wall Street firm, accentuating the fact that Democratic elites continue to remain out of touch with real American voters. But polls continue to show that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most popular politician in the country, but many Democrats haven’t sided with Sanders’ single-payer health care system even though it resonates with the majority of Americans.

OUCH!!!

http://www.salon.com/2017/05/01/it-was-working-class-whites-hillary-clinton-lost-a-lot-of-obama-voters-to-donald-trump-democratic-firm-says/


BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

not that harsh..Obama isnt running for office..Let him make his money

YouLibs
YouLibs

@FIGMO2 

Clinton lost the election because of the power of the right-wing noise machine. In the same way they make you believe that the Earth isn't warming due to the burning of fossil fuels, they have made millions of American people believe Hillary is some kind of monster who was a terrible choice for Democrats.

She isn't and she wasn't.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@BuckeyeGa

I've got no problem with his making money, but his timing sucks.

Gotta grab it when the opportunity presents itself, I guess.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

"...I mean if Andrew Jackson had been a little later you wouldn't have had the Civil War." 

This doesn't sound particularly stupid or outrageous to me - perhaps a bit silly, but not egregious.  This kinda seems like a big nothing to me...

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

well the part when he mentioned Jackson was mad about what was happening with the Civil War is a stupid statement. Jackson was dead for over a decade

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Did jay throw his back out dancing Friday night?

The site needs fresh "Lenins".

schnirt

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@FIGMO2 He looked fine at the Hank Williams, Jr. gig at the NRA convention on Saturday night.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

What's the latest on the Republican Zombie Healthcare Bill (RZHB)?

honested
honested

@Nick_Danger 

The current version is to eliminate the entire health care system and move to a more modern regimen of witch doctors and faith healing.

skydog12
skydog12

@Nick_Danger

Last seen slow walking, like zombie`s do, up Pennsylvania Ave. Get you some cons, it ain`t that hard. Every mind since Ike has tried, nobody has succeeded.

Single pay is the only way.




McGarnagle
McGarnagle

So Trump saying he would meet dictator Kim under the right circumstances.


Would Trump care to elaborate on what those circumstances are? And that Kim not falling for it.

rimsky
rimsky

@McGarnagle The circumstance is "how much money will little Kimmy pay Ivanka".

rimsky
rimsky

Retired NASA scientist Don Kessler found himself in an all-too-familiar role at last month's European Conference on Space Debris: warning of an environmental crisis unfolding above our heads. Six decades of rocket launches have left behind a vast trash heap in orbit around Earth. There are now some 23,000 pieces of space junk large enough to monitor from the ground, and some 750,000 objects larger than a half-inch, all whipping around the planet at about 20,000 mph. At that speed, the impact of a small nut or bolt carries the wallop of a hand grenade. Even a pinhead-size chip of paint (there may be 100 million such bits up there) hits like a 22-caliber bullet.

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/space/scientists-have-some-pretty-wild-ideas-preventing-space-junk-armageddon-n752641

++++

We got to make our astraunots safe.

gotalife
gotalife

So who are going to do the tough jobs immigrants have been doing?


How bad will these unfilled jobs harm our ecvonomy?


Two questions horrible media will never ask.

gotalife
gotalife

Another shooting in Dallas.

rimsky
rimsky

@gotalife Because Obama took their guns away.  Thought get that out of the way.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Sessions probably doesn't care either based on his history

rimsky
rimsky

I was just reading the article about Trumps radio interview about A Jackson.

OMG the idiot thinks Jackson was alive in 1861.  The dumb F must have been taking history lessons from Newty.  

He must have been a valedictorian too.  

honested
honested

@rimsky 

Now, now, I'm sure chump was both valedictorian and magna-cum-laude graduate of noot' class.

honested
honested

So where are the puffed chested cons defending the 'Andrew Jackson' remark?

Has lush rimjob not given them their talking points yet?

YouLibs
YouLibs

@honested 

Where are they, indeed?

DiA stomped in this am, got off a pretty half-hearted whine about Obama making some hay, then disappeared.


Wait! doesn't the Home Guard meet on the first day of the month?

Menace
Menace

@rimsky  Time for VP Biden to provide counsel and support to the next gen.  There's much wisdom for them to tap.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

President Trump:

Referring to Sen. Warren as Pocahontas - not funny

Referring to Sen Warren as Fauxahontas - now that's funny.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@_GodlessHeathen_ So it will be okay if Senators and others in government refer to Trump by some childish name in press conferences and public affairs instead of "the President". 

Menace
Menace

@_GodlessHeathen_  Actually neither is funny.  It's one thing for bloggers, pundits, etc.  to make the political jokes.  Not Presidential. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Nick_Danger @_GodlessHeathen_

It was high-larious if you think that she deliberately lied about her family history and have some ax to grind with her on policy, I guess.

I don't think she lied and I think she's awesome on policy.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

It's amazing that in 5 years, conservatives never found anything else about Warren to pick on. 

They're actually praising with faint damns, it seems to me.

Menace
Menace

@_GodlessHeathen_  Wonder how the Repugs would have felt if Pres. Obama had called Sen. McConnell "The Turtle" in public?

stefpe
stefpe

@Visual_Cortex @_GodlessHeathen_ @Nick_Danger Quite frankly, the historical Pocahontas doesn't deserve to have her name used in some attempt to ridicule and make fun of a political opponent, whether said politician deserves to be made fun of or not.

Besides, Liz Warren was born in Oklahoma and thanks to cheeto face's new favorite president, it's not exactly uncommon to find people of Cherokee descent in that state.

In fact, I'd bet probably a majority of Oklahomans these days grew up hearing that they have Cherokee ancestors; I know some who did.