Cities are non-partisan
Refreshingly, the issues handled by cities are non-partisan. A proposed city of Vista Grove, like the existing twelve cities in DeKalb and those elsewhere in our metropolitan region, would have non-partisan citizen legislators. City leadership is not Democratic or Republican. And their responsibilities — improving infrastructure like roads and sidewalks, acquiring parks and multi-use trails, and helping support new local businesses and civic events like festivals — aren’t partisan, either.
In a season of such political rancor, we think it is important to emphasize that Vista Grove Initiative (and the civic improvement objectives that we work on with volunteers) is also non-partisan. Although we have not taken a poll, it is likely — since as a grassroots movement, Vista Grove reflects the progressive community we live in — that most volunteers in their presidential and local office voting, lean more Democratic. A large number of volunteers and supporters are strong, lifelong Democrats.
But those labels are really irrelevant to the mission of giving ourselves a single voice and a means of creating much-desired infrastructure improvements through a new city.
Trying to frame a discussion about cityhood as partisan is not helpful and can be quite counterproductive. It ignores the fact that we have a diverse community with thousands of people from both parties who would like a representative city voice — and who believe in the possibilities of a new city to create improvements in roads, parks, transit alternatives like trails, and sidewalks, and to spur smart economic development. None of these are partisan issues.
Cities provide a strong and effective voice for the communities they represent. In a progressive and diverse metropolitan community like Vista Grove, a city’s priorities could be correspondingly progressive. A few examples from other DeKalb cities:
- Doraville made history earlier this year when it swore in two LGBT city council members, a proud accomplishment by any standard. It has also recently passed an ordinance prohibiting businesses from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, disability, and other protected identities.
- Brookhaven was honored as a 2018 Welcoming City by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and it recently completed a zoning overhaul to include some important, if not yet fully sufficient, steps to provide for more and better affordable housing.
- Chamblee has long shown how city government can promote diversity and economic opportunity for all across city geography.
The opportunities for positive change, including here in Vista Grove, are limited only by our civic engagement and imagination. These are not partisan issues — they are Vista Grove issues, the priorities, hopes and dreams that we bring to the table, and for which we will fund implementation and elect representatives to work consistently and proactively to fulfill.
What can you do to help make Vista Grove a reality?
- Donate to help fund our outreach efforts.
- Encourage your neighbors to sign our petition to let legislators know we want the option to consider cityhood.
- Help represent Vista Grove by attending other key community meetings (please wear your Vista Grove shirt!).
- Volunteer with Vista Grove Initiative.
- To take pictures of our area
- To help out with our Public Safety and Zoning/Economic development task forces
- To help organize letter writing and petition efforts
Andrew, Meg, Lara, John, and Megan
Vista Grove Initiative