More jobs. Safer roads. Local control. Georgians will soon encounter these phrases on billboards and in commercials. They are part of a statewide campaign aimed at convincing voters to OK a proposed transportation tax.
The umbrella name for the campaign is Connect Georgia. And variations on those words will also be part of ads in 11 transportation regions outside of Atlanta.
Doug Callaway heads the Georgia Transportation Alliance, which is promoting the vote throughout the state.
He says campaigns will highlight specific road, bridge and transit projects chosen for each region. Those projects will appear on the July 31st ballot.
But he says three key phrases sum up what the vote is about.
“What we’re really doing is defining what a ‘yes’ vote truly means," he said. "When you vote yes on July 31 – and I hope you do as I will – when you vote yes, what you’re really getting is more jobs, safer roads and local control.”
Atlantans are already seeing billboards that read “Untie Atlanta” as part of the campaign. Callaway says organizers are still raising money for ads elsewhere, and will roll them out closer to the vote.
The tax has strong opposition. Some say the projects lists rely too much on transit, for example, while others say there aren’t enough rail and light rail projects.
Others say there will be a smaller turnout in July and hence the vote won't be representative of what most Georgians want.