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Buckhead secession: Chief in ritzy Atlanta suburb says residents not getting what they ‘want and deserve’


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An elected official representing Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood stated these residing within the suburb, which is on the middle of an ongoing secession effort, usually are not getting what they “want and deserve” and have been uncared for by metropolis authorities.

Leaders pushing for Buckhead to change into its personal entity have grown much less outspoken in latest months than in 2021, when the hassle made headlines amid information of bloodshed within the ritzy, tree-lined suburb. However “time is of the essence” for Buckhead, whether or not as an Atlanta neighborhood or its personal metropolis, Atlanta Metropolis Council Member Mary Norwood stated. 

“The stats might have modified, however the psyche hasn’t modified.”

— Atlanta Metropolis Council Member Howard Shook, District 7

Norwood, who represents District 7, the western portion of Buckhead, described in an op-ed on InsiderAdvantage.com how she is “usually requested: What’s inflicting Buckhead residents to entertain the concept of forming their very own metropolis authorities, separate from Atlanta?

“Many assume the reason is crime as a result of that’s what they’ve heard. However there’s a nice deal extra to it than that,” wrote Norwood, who as soon as led an unsuccessful bid for mayor. “It boils right down to a few years of Buckhead’s neglect by the Metropolis of Atlanta’s authorities.”

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Norwood stated her district is grappling with “suffocating” visitors, streets that “are within the second-worst situation of all Council Districts, flooding and an inflow of recent residents as a result of the neighborhood has “accepted a disproportionate share of ‘rising Atlanta!’” she wrote. 

District 8 wants newly paved streets, its “neighborhoods preserved” and its “residents secure,” amongst different issues, she wrote. However it has “been neglected and underserved for years.”

“Buckhead isn’t getting what we want and deserve. If the Atlanta authorities needs to forestall the creation of a separate metropolis, it ought to deal with the identical factor that I, as a City Council member, am centered on: the supply of companies to my constituents,” she wrote in conclusion. “The issues I’ve been listening to all through my district, and that I’m expressing right here, must be taken very critically by our Atlanta Metropolis Authorities. Time is of the essence.”

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However Norwood’s counterpart, Council Member Howard Shook, who represents District 7, the rest of Buckhead, argued that Atlanta’s newly minted Mayor Andre Dickens has “been very attentive to listening to Buckhead.” 

Shook noted that Georgia’s Home and Senate leaders have “sidetracked” the Buckhead secession effort, however he additionally acknowledged that “it’s not going to go away.” 

“My place is identical. If my constituents are going to go to the polls and take advantage of consequential vote within the historical past of this metropolis, they should have all of the details,” he stated. “Listed below are the pluses, listed here are the minuses. And I might inform you that, proper now, we don’t have that.”

Shook defined: “What’s it going to price? What? What are the true prices? What issues wouldn’t be solved?

Shook spoke to Fox Information Digital in June 2021, when he stated his constituents “do not examine Zone 2 crime stats to Zone 5 crime stats. They’re human beings. They examine how they really feel now about crime and the way they suppose they bear in mind feeling about crime 10 years in the past.”

Atlanta Law enforcement officials responded round 11:35 p.m. Sunday to the Buckhead Goal on Peachtree Highway 
(Fox 5 DC/ WAGA)

When requested Thursday if he thought his constituents felt secure in the present day, he responded, “No.”

“The crime stats could also be down. However, the issue is, when you go to a public assembly and ask whether or not you or your neighbors had a automotive damaged into or whether or not you and your neighbor have felt threatened, all of the arms go up,” Shook stated. “The stats might have modified, however the psyche hasn’t modified.”

Atlanta Police Division statistics present

And never everybody has supported the “divorce.” 

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Invoice Linville, a spokesperson for The Committee for a United Atlanta, stated the group commissioned a ballot of Buckhead voters, 61% of whom stated they’d not vote in favor of Buckhead’s secession. He informed Fox Information Digital he believed “breaking apart our capital metropolis can be a catastrophe for everybody concerned.”

“The Buckhead group and the town of Atlanta are inextricably linked. Whether or not it’s via public training, through police and hearth safety, via pensions and bond commitments which might be billions of {dollars} and a myriad of governing and authorized points.”

Publicity surrounding the Buckhead secession efforts gained momentum across the summer season of 2021, after a 41-year-old father of three was shot whereas strolling in his neighborhood. 

The person was shot twice round 8:35 a.m. on June 4, 2021, when a silver Hyundai sedan rolled as much as him, police and his spouse stated on the time. 

The gunman, recognized by authorities as 22-year-old Gaelen Newsom, allegedly first shot Worrell within the leg, then fired one other spherical earlier than fleeing. Newsom later crashed into and critically injured a person in his 20s who was taking out the trash, police stated on the time. He was later taken into custody. 

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A person was shot the subsequent day on the Intercontinental Lodge in Buckhead throughout a home dispute, police stated.

And Buckhead has lately seen high-profile crimes, together with these involving celebrities. 

In mid-June, NBA legend Vince Carter’s Buckhead mansion was burglarized by thieves whereas his spouse and two sons have been inside. The trio hid in a closet and referred to as 911 whereas the burglars ransacked the house and stole practically $100,000 in money, police stated. 

Investigators reportedly recovered two weapons and over $16,000 outside Carter’s home.

Ludacris and Chaka Zulu attend Michigan Avenue Magazine Celebrates Its Summer Issue with Ludacris at LondonHouse July 13, 2017, in Chicago.  

Ludacris and Chaka Zulu attend Michigan Avenue Journal Celebrates Its Summer season Difficulty with Ludacris at LondonHouse July 13, 2017, in Chicago.  
(Jeff Schear/Getty Photographs for Michigan Avenue Journal)

And, final weekend, a music govt who has lengthy represented famous rapper Ludacris, surrendered to police on expenses associated to a deadly capturing at a Buckhead restaurant in June. 

Chaka Zulu, whose actual title is Ahmed Obafemi, was charged — together with a number of others — in reference to a June 26, 2022, capturing at a restaurant on Peachtree Highway. 

Three males, together with Zulu, have been wounded. One of many wounded males later died, police stated. 

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However Zulu’s lawyer, Banks Weaver LLC’s Gabe Banks, stated his consumer was “attacked and jumped from behind by a gang” of at the least 4 folks. He stated his consumer was licensed to hold a gun, which he fired out of self-defense.

Chaka Zulu attends the Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards at The Beverly Hilton June 26, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Chaka Zulu attends the Tradition Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards at The Beverly Hilton June 26, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. 
(Jerritt Clark/Getty Photographs for Tradition Creators)

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Zulu “was pressured to defend himself after this gang repeatedly stomped, punched and kicked him whereas he was on the bottom in a defenseless posture,” Banks wrote in an emailed assertion earlier this week. 

“Mr. Zulu was shot within the again through the capturing and practically misplaced his life and continues to be recovering from the practically deadly accidents he sustained that night,” Banks added. “Mr. Zulu was at his administrative center that night time and had each proper to defend himself.

“It’s not misplaced on Mr. Zulu that somebody lost his life, however had Mr. Zulu not lawfully defended himself, Mr. Zulu would have been killed that night time.”



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