Author: George Chidi

Don’t Blame Racism For Gwinnett’s MARTA Vote

The wailing and gnashing of teeth about the MARTA vote in Gwinnett has begun. Almost everyone is starting the critique with accusations of lingering racism driving anti-transit sentiment. Almost everyone is wrong. The MARTA vote lost in large part because of a revolt among black taxpayers in southeastern Gwinnett around Snellville. These voters — who

Walter Jones, Hank Johnson and Me

There it is, in the fourth paragraph of the News and Observer’s story about the death of Walter Jones, veteran congressman from the eastern shores of North Carolina. “An early supporter of the war, Jones was generally credited with coining the term “freedom fries” and bringing them to House cafeterias, to protest France’s refusal to

Do Not Bring Your Gun To The Airport, People

“Furloughed and broke,” Mark Howell said to friends on his birthday a couple of weeks ago. He’s smiling in his pictures, but he’s plainly pissed off and I can’t blame him. Mark is the Transportation Safety Administration spokesperson for Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the rest of the southeastern United States. He spent the day with his

News That Can Kill You

Some stories you find in the news are confusing. That’s to be expected; life is complicated. Some stories actually make you less informed if you read them. But some are a working version of Roko’s Basilisk: if you read it and believe it, you might die. Last night, the AJC posted a story about hypothermia

Zoning Away Homelessness

(A letter, sent a moment ago, to various leaders in Hall County and Gainesville.) I’m George Chidi. I work on policy related to homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness and other quality-of-life issues for the Atlanta Downtown Business District. I am a former staff writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and occasionally provide commentary to local television

Four Precincts in Gwinnett Go Down on Election Day

(NOTE: Machines are now working at Anniston Elementary.) Electronic voting machines in four Gwinnett County polling locations malfunctioned on Election Day, county officials said Tuesday. The yellow cards that voters use to record their votes on each machine were not working with the machines, said Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson. Annistown Elementary and Suwanee public