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Redlight The Gulch Litigation

$10,380 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 1 month
Created November 4, 2018
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.
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Breaking News. APS has just announced a board meeting tomorrow to vote on restricting use of school property tax dollars for the Gulch scheme. Please email board members and ask them to vote to protect the interests of students, parents, teachers and taxpayers. Ask them to support the resolution restricting use of APS property taxes or better yet to rule out altogether the diversion of property taxes to the Gulch developer. Thank you!
Board member e-mails here:
https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/domain/11326
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Quick Reminder of Redlight the Gulch Get-together tonight!
And again, Thank You to all of you who have contributed to the litigation fund.

Join us Thursday Dec 6th from 6 - 9 pm at the Georgia Beer Garden - 420 Edgewood Ave SE. We’ll celebrate the work we have done so far: we did shave off $780 million from the deal and raise public awareness of misuse of mega resources. We’ll outline our plan to win this fight in the Court of Law. And we’ll hope for an interactive discussion with you about where the effort to promote residents’ interests goes next. If we all continue to participate, we can build an Atlanta that works for all of us!
https://www.facebook.com/events/946886368855314/
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Join us Thursday Dec 6th from 6 - 9 pm at the Georgia Beer Garden - 420 Edgewood Ave SE. We’ll celebrate the work we have done so far: we did shave off $780 million from the deal and raise public awareness of misuse of mega resources. We’ll outline our plan to win this fight in the Court of Law. And we’ll hope for an interactive discussion with you about where the effort to promote residents’ interests goes next. If we all continue to participate, we can build an Atlanta that works for all of us!
https://www.facebook.com/events/946886368855314/
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News Update on the Gulch Bond Validation Challenge!

The court date for the bond hearing is set for 9.00. a.m. on Mon Dec 10 at Fulton Superior Court. We look forward to our attorneys making compelling objections to the Gulch deal. If successful, it will save Atlanta residents close to a billion and a half dollars of public money. As you know, blocking bond validation is the one way now to stop this deal that hurts the public interest.

Do feel free to attend the hearing if you’re interested. We will of course update you on the outcome. We are advised that often the first hearing when there are intervenors is a preliminary procedure, with the judge scheduling another hearing for later.

As you know, Attorney John Woodham has been preparing the challenge. He is the local expert in bond validation matters. A second attorney is joining the team, who has extensive experience in civil litigation.

At Gofundme’s request, I (Julian Bene) confirm that I am not related to these attorneys. A subset of Coalition leaders – Tim Franzen, Tanya Washington, Deborah Scott and I – chose them for their expertise and willingness to take the case on favorable terms. I also confirm that, as a practical matter, I will be transferring the funds to my personal bank account in order to pay the legal expenses. I will pay myself back for the exorbitant court document copy charge of $865 that I incurred on Nov 21 and I will pay the balance in the Gofundme account to the attorneys by check or wire transfer. I will provide Tim, Tanya and Deborah with proof of these payments to ensure trust.

We have raised an impressive $9,485 from over 90 public-spirited friends and neighbors. We still have a way to go to reach the $30,000 goal we set with the attorneys to cover the cost of both the first hearing and the likely appeal hearing. While some additional direct funding pledges will help reach our goal, do please encourage your like-minded friends to come to our Gofundme page to contribute.

Thank you, again, so much for your generous support. If you have questions, please be in touch.
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$10,380 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 1 month
Created November 4, 2018
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$100
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