The City of Atlanta's Bucks for Billionaires Gulch Scheme that passed Council on Mon Nov 5 would short schools and public services of $1.44 Billion. Residents would end up holding the bag - yet would own no share of this huge private development.
This really has been a fight over what sort of city Atlanta is going to be - one run for all residents or one run for a few powerful, wealthy insiders by their pawns. Six Council Members stood firm with their constituents and we should all support them.
The Gulch Scheme has several legal vulnerabilities. Now we're forced to fight it in court, we are ready to do so. Our crack legal expert has already warned council that the sales tax exemption part of the scheme is unconstitutional. See his letter and an explainer on RedLightTheGulch.com. Preventing this scheme from going through would save every family in the city $13,000.
Sadly, litigation is not cheap, even with attorneys working at steeply cut rates. We'll need to raise $30,000 quickly to pay the legal team to prepare filings and object at the bond validation hearings and, if necessary, to appeal. Since the Gulchies rushed their scheme past Invest Atlanta on Nov 8, the court date could be in the next few days.
It's now or never. If bond validation is not challenged, the scheme is locked in.
Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of constituents have been outraged enough to protest to their council members and attend meetings to show opposition. Many supportive people have now contributed. We're on our way!
Please contribute what you can - and get like-minded friends to do the same - to head off a scheme that would cost every resident and every public employee of this city. Let's send another signal to today's leaders that the Atlanta game has to change.
Any money left over will go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
This Gofundme Fundraiser is being run by Julian Bene of Atlanta, GA - the person interviewed by WSB's Richard Belcher in the video clip above. Julian Bene is a member of the Redlight the Gulch Coalition that has campaigned against the Gulch Scheme and its BillionDollar Plus public giveaway. (A quick Google search on "Atlanta Gulch Julian Bene" will show several articles and op-eds in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and in other Atlanta media reports.) As stated above, the funds are being raised to pay the legal costs of objecting to Gulch bond validation. So Julian Bene has paid for a court copy of the ~1,700 page bond petitions and exhibits. And he will pay the rest of the money contributed to this Gofundme to the attorneys on the Redlight the Gulch Coalition's legal team. The Gofundme money may be supplemented by contributions to these legal fees and expenses from other allies of the Redlight the Gulch Coalition.