Credit: Grant Blankenship / GPB News
Political Rewind: Issues in Athens, Macon, and Savannah on housing, homelessness, and environment
Guest host Donna Lowry, @donnalowrynews, GPB’s Lawmakers
Grant Blankenship, @Grant_Blank_, editor and reporter, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Margaret Coker, @mideastmargaret, editor-in-chief, The Current
Martin Matheny, @martinmatheny, programming director, WUGA, and producer, Athens News Matters
Maya Prabhu, @MayaTPrabhu, government reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
1. Local organizations, counties, and the Legislature attempt to house homeless Georgians.
- New "housing first" policies prioritize getting people in homes — then addressing other issues that may arise.
- In the Legislature, Sen. Carden Summer proposed Senate Bill 62, which would give the state the ability to designate specific areas as homeless camps. The bill's detractors say it would limit the ability of local organizations to help their homeless neighbors.
- A new joint investigation between The Current and Propublica exposes the predatory practices of Georgia's title lending industry, which preys on the poorest Georgians.
2. Shady landlords, poor living conditions, and out-of-state private owners in cities around Georgia.
- Yesterday on Political Rewind, we focused on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's series "American Dream for Rent," which focuses on the state of housing in Atlanta. But it's not just a problem in Atlanta.
- In Macon, corporate landlords are hit with small fines for housing deemed uninhabitable. Taking rent for an apartment not fit for humans is currently illegal in Georgia, but large companies navigate the legal consequences.
- Emory University is offering Glynn County residents compensation for blood tests in order to find chemicals produced by four Superfund plants.
- Georgia Power could face federal action over its handling of coal ash plants.
4. Legislation our panel is looking at.
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene visited the Georgia Senate ahead of its passage of a bill which would limit treatment options for transgender youth.
- Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis called Senate Bill 92 "racist." The bill, which would create legislative oversight committees for district attorneys, seems to have been partially inspired by Gov. Brian Kemp's comments on Athens District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez.
Monday on Political Rewind: Emory University's Andra Gillespie joins the panel.