On Saturday, October 28, 2023, South Dekalb residents and community leaders joined Representative Becky Evans, Science for Georgia, and New Life Community Alliance for an open discussion on environmental issues facing South Dekalb.
South DeKalb has long felt the effects of environmental racism, and a combination of opportunities and access are aligning which could fund the remediation and future protection of these neighborhoods. Input from the community is needed to guide these efforts to be productive and address the community needs.
Attendees heard from local organizations listed below about important topics including energy affordability, air quality monitoring, radon testing, and environmental advocacy.
- Pastor Marlin Harris, New Life Community Alliance
- Representative Becky Evans, District 89
- DeAnna Oser, Georgia EPD
- Georgia Conservation Voters (GCV)
- Georgia Power
- Chris Wood, Snapping Shoals
- Dr. Dajun Dai, Georgia State University
- Clarence Williams, Chapel Hill Organization
- Renee Cail, Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment
- Julia Singer, on behalf of, South River Watershed Alliance
- Dr. Michael Czajkowski, Science for Georgia
Breakout sessions were conducted to identify the top five critical issues facing South Dekalb along with solutions on how to mitigate them. At the end of the session, everyone voted on their top two issues, and the top five concerns identified were:
- Greater testing for pollutants and contaminants
- Concerns about predatory marketing
- Increased education on environmental health issues
- Impact on the environment from natural and stormwater sources
- Greater need for county-led workshops on Federal and State grants
A follow up session will be held on Jan 27th. In the meantime, the partners will work to understand a plan of action to address issues 1 and 3. These plans will presented at the Jan 27th meeting and participants will be able to get involved. Follow the sign-up link below for information on how to get involved!