Meet John Calhoun, Mayor Jacksons Partner in Creating Neighborhood Planning Units.

Atlanta Councilman & Civil Rights Activist John Calhoun Receives Award from Maynard Jackson 5/28/81

John H. Calhoun Jr. was a businessman, community leader, civil rights activist, and political organizer. He dedicated much of his life to politics, business, community, and economic development. Calhoun was born on July 8, 1889, in Greenville, South Carolina. He began working at the age of twelve as an apprentice to a blacksmith. Calhoun was a lifetime student. He graduated from high school at Hampton Institute in Virginia, 1922 at the age of 23. Calhoun received a B.A. Degree from Morehouse College in 1937 at the age of 38 and received an M.B.A. from Atlanta University in 1968 at the age of 69.

In 1934, Calhoun moved to Atlanta and for the next thirty years became affectionately known by many in Atlanta as “Your Man in Community Action”. Calhoun’s civil rights work began as early as 1923 while working at the United States Veteran’s Hospital at Tuskegee as a bookkeeper resulting in many threats from the Klu Klux Klan. In 1949, he and several others formed the Atlanta Negro Voters Leagues and served with the Statewide Registration Committee. In 1956, he became president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP where he was arrested for refusing to release membership records. He set up a network of neighborhood organizations such as Economic Opportunity Atlanta in 1965, and later, Model Cities in 1974.

Calhoun was very passionate about politics and was an active member of the Republican Party. In 1974, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council where he presented a resolution to form the Neighborhood Planning Unit System. As a member, he introduced this same idea to the Atlanta Charter Commission and the Atlanta Regional Commission. Calhoun was also very passionate about his volunteer activities. He worked with the Butler Street YMCA for over fifty years, participated in civic affairs in the Grant Park area, was an active member of the Atlanta Business League, and served as a Trustee and Sunday School Superintendent of Big Bethel AME Church.
John Calhoun died May 6, 1988, of respiratory failure at his home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Story retrieved from Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
Archives Research Center, January 25, 2023.

I was stunned to see so many community clinics and mental health facilities that have closed in metropolitan Atlanta since this printing.

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Helping to build strong communities from within.

Finally, A Due Diligence Tool…

I talk about vetting candidates and knowing who you vote for all of the time. Well here is the answer to all of our prayers, The GCV Ballot. We must vote the entire ballot, regularly vetting and hiring the best candidate for these positions are vital to us as citizens. Pay close attention to the Public Service Commission positions they affect us directly in our bank accounts every month but we can change that, too. Here is the Civics Tool we all need, so get ready to Boss Up!

The GCV Voter tool shares information on the positions and its duties and responsibilities. Candidate information and their platforms, what they plan to do to make change and how they will or will not move policies forward are here on your very own build a ballot. Also candidate information on past posts or positions, how they vote and their outcomes. And how to vote is explained here, too. Four referendums, two amendments and eleven offices will be voted on in this midterm election. Please visit this tool and share it with everyone and make this dinner conversation for the next three weeks. I recieved my ballot immediately and seeing my choices in front of me with their pictures duties makes me feel empowered and like a BOSS.

Get to know Georgia Conservation Voters, GCVOTER.ORG and Kudos GCV and Thank you so much for creating this extremely valuable tool to help citizens obtain unbiased candidate information so that they can make enlightened decisions about the people, that want to represent us.

GCV Voters Education Fund supported BOSS UP a virtual online event in 2021.

The State of Democracy in Georgia

For environmental voters, safeguarding our democracy and increasing civic engagement is not an optional strategy: without it, we cannot and will not succeed in our fight to save our air, water, and people. We must advance and protect our democracy so that it is representative of and responsive to all the people that call this country home. For us, this means having transparent and accessible elections, and ensuring that elected leaders represent all of the people that live in their district, no matter where they come from, how much money they have, or the color of their skin. We must work to prevent unchecked corporate dollars from drowning out the voices of Georgians in our political process. In the democracy we seek, everyone has access to and meaningful involvement in their government and the decision-making about their lives and communities.  

A few interesting facts about civic engagement and voting in Georgia. (Source) repost from GCVEDFUND.ORG/DEMOCRACY.

10.52M The total population of Georgia as of 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

214 The number of polling places that have been closed across the state by Georgia county election officials since 2012.

300K The number of voters purged by Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger in December 2019 alone.

4% The percentage of Georgia’s electorate that got purged— more than enough to change the outcome of close elections

7.1M The number of people on Georgia’s voter rolls, down from the 7.4 million that were on the rolls before the recent voter purge.

159 The total number of counties in Georgia

500K The number of voters removed from voter rolls in 2017, this was the largest single removal of voters in Georgia history led by then secretary of state, Brian Kemp.

619 The total number of cities in Georgia

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