Atlanta Residents Blocked From Vote on “Cop City” Facility by Closed-Door Meeting

An ordinance that could have helped people get to vote on whether to build a controversial police and fire department training center known as “Cop City” in Atlanta, Georgia has been scuttled by a back-room meeting between local city power brokers, Timothy Pratt reports for The Guardian. During the meeting a deputy chief of staff to the Democratic mayor, Andre Dickens, objected to wording that would have made the process for handling petitions effective immediately, thus covering the Cop City referendum effort. In the Cop City case, once the threshold of about 58,000 signatures is reached, the city is required to put the question about the training center’s future on a forthcoming ballot. Experts say the whole process leading up to the effort to break the logjam via the ordinance has been anti-democratic and fraught with moves by the city that threaten referendums as a tool for expressing the wishes of voters, particularly in the south.

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