Remembering Leah Terry

Leah Christine Terry, born on the 7th of March, 1993 in San Jose, California. sadly passed on May 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. A passionate socialist activist, Leah's dedication to social justice was borne out of her own struggle with disability and her family's struggle against corporate America.

Leah was born with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a condition characterized by obsessive thoughts, habits or rituals. Leah's father, Alton Terry, a poultry farmer, sued Tyson Farms for canceling his contract after he helped to organize his fellow farmers. Her experiences with both of these struggles propelled Leah on a path of organizing, with a focus on the intersection between capitalism and ableism. While attending Sewanee: The University of the South, she was an active member of Sewanee Young Democratic Socialists. During this time, she also served on the 2014-2015 YDS Coordinating Committee. After leaving Sewanee, she moved to Atlanta, where she was involved with the Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America.

She will be missed greatly, and her generous and caring spirit marches on.

By Adam Cardo (in photo with Leah)


Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter to Close After 20 Years and Much Struggle

The Task Force for the Homeless’s shelter at Peachtree and Pine that has offered temporary housing, advocacy and many creative programs to Atlanta’s homeless since 1997 will soon close, as Atlanta Progressive News reported. Former shelter director Anita Beaty was honored at MADSA’s 2010 Douglass-Debs awards dinner and has been a MADSA member.  (Be sure to note the comment that follows APN's article by MADSA member and Task Force board president Chuck Steffens.)

APN closes by pointing out that "The City of Atlanta has identified no plan to house the current residents of the Task Force and does not appear to have caused new resources to materialize that would provide new shelter beds to replace the ones that would be lost."

 

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Atlanta City Workers Win $15/hr!

From a news release from Atlanta Jobs With Justice (MADSA is a proud member):

The City of Atlanta has unanimously approved raising all city workers to a $15 minimum wage as a part of the FY2018 Budget vote. City of Atlanta workers will receive at least $13 per hour on July 1, 2017, $14 per hour in 2018, and finally to a $15 minimum wage in 2019. Over 1000 firefighters, sanitation, parks & recreation, watershed, and other employees will now see their wages move up to at least $15 an hour, moving many of them out of poverty.

Seven year Atlanta parks and recreation worker Marquee Scales who earned just $12.85 before the move said “I am abundantly thankful that the Council and the Mayor have decided to prioritize the needs of all workers in this budget”.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice held the first fight for $15 rally in 2013 to support fast food workers going on strike for $15 and a union. The courage of workers that day showed that today’s victory for workers was possible. Atlanta Jobs with Justice has been working with city workers, community, labor, and faith organizations since 2016 to advocate that the City of Atlanta restore its promise of living wages from 2005.

 

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Metro Atlanta DSA at the People's Summit 2017!

Metro Atlanta Democratic DSA joined incredible activists and friends from Our Revolution Georgia and United Students Against Sweatshops at the The People's Summit this weekend! We strengthened our bonds with coalition partners around the country, articulated a positive platform for human rights -- beyond the resistance -- and attended trainings and workshops for movement organizers. — with Michelle Sanchez JonesAnoa J ChangaEmmanuel MorrellSusana Durán PerezJT PenningtonErin ParksScott BrownDaniel Hanley and Adam Cardo. (Report thanks to Daniel Hanley; photographer unknown,)


Membership Meeting: Electoral Activism and Convention Delegates

 

Great turnout for our June general membership meeting! We heard a report from DSAer Khalid Kamau on his recent electoral victory in South Fulton (standing in photo at left); updates from Asma Elhuni on the vicious destruction of Tent City by GSU police; inspirational words from Erin Parks about Our Revolution's local electoral work; and many other agenda items, including a straw poll in favor of leaving the Socialist International (the actual vote will take place at the convention); a motion regarding a local Confederate monument; and - last but not least - we voted to endorse Sen. Vincent Fort for Mayor of Atlanta.

We also elected a full slate of 13 delegates and 2 alternates to represent us in August at the Democratic Socialists of America's National Convention! The delegates: Jeb Boone, Adam Cardo, Scott Douglas, Anat Fintzi, Chad Floyd, Daniel Hanley, Barbara Joye,  Brad Lathem, Erin Parks, Eric Robertson, Maxwell Ruppersburg, Ron Spears, and Matthew Wolfsen, and alternates Reid Jenkins and Tom Ladendorf, will be meeting during the next couple of months to discuss the issues that they will be voting on at the convention.See y'all in Chicago! #yallidarity Report and photo: Scott Douglas

 

 

 


GSU Police Trash Tent City!

Minutes after daybreak on Friday, June 2, the Tent City ATL resistance camp at Turner Field was raided and destroyed by a task force led by GSU police. Camp protesters awoke to officers wearing rubber gloves and wielding knives as they began to slash tents from their pallets. Five protesters, including both GSU students and community allies, who had camped overnight were present as the raid began.

During the raid, one officer was overheard saying: “They should have been warned last night.” Turner Field Coalition leadership affirmed that the raid and destruction of the camp came without warning, despite GSU Police Chief Joseph Spillane reportedly having contact information for the resident leadership. This wasn’t the first encounter with GSU police during the 63-day occupation. During the raid, campus police also tried to intimidate camp members by threatening them with charges of criminal trespass; however, no arrests were made.

Residents, along with students and allies, have been holding space in front of Turner Field since April 1 in an effort to raise awareness about the lack of community involvement with the planning of upcoming developments around the Turner Field neighborhoods, including Summerhill and Peoplestown. For over three years, the Turner Field Benefits Coalition has been meeting and studying successful models for a legally binding community benefits agreement and has created a draft proposal. In fact, over the last few weeks Georgia State University and Carter Developments have been in ongoing negotiations with the Coalition. This raid and destruction of the camp clearly indicates a lack of good faith on the part of the university and illustrates their continued disrespect for the very communities of which they want to be a part. GSU student activists and allies are now calling for the removal of GSU President Mark Becker. While next steps for the Coalition are still being determined, the fight against gentrification and displacement of these neighborhoods is far from over. 

For more information on how to get involved follow Housing Justice League on Facebook or visit the Coalition website at turnerfieldcoalition.org.

Report and photo: Reagan Cooper 


Reagan is All Smiles After Canvassing for Sen. Fort

Reagan Cooper posted on FB: "This card-carrying socialist just finished canvassing Grant Park for my man, Sen. Vincent Fort for mayor!"


MADSA Members Fight for Homeless in 4th Ward

Members Marshall Rancifer (Justice for All Coalition), Johnny Martinez(GA Beer Garden), and friend of DSA Amy Mei Willis (National Lawyers Guild) expose businesses' discrimination against Atlanta's homeless population, despite the progressive and hip trappings of Atlanta's rapidly gentrifying Edgewood Avenue corridor, in a report by Creative Loafing"The Fight for Edgewood Avenue." (Check out Marshall's buttons in the photo.) Thanks to Daniel Hanley for bringing this to our attention!

 


MADSA Joins May Day/International Workers Day Actions

We joined Atlanta Jobs With Justice and the Georgia AFL/CIO in Rev. James Orange Park April 30, to commemorate Workers' Memorial Day honoring workers killed or injured on the job and build for the next day's May Day rally and action at City Hall. 

Here, MADSA's Ian Fletcher, people's historian, recalls for us the origins of May Day/International Workers' Day. Background, center: MADSA chair Milt Tambor. Wearing signs: Three of the MADSA members and friends who brought to life heroes and heroines of U.S. labor history (left to right): Cesar Chavez (Adrian Bernal), Albert Parsons (David Christian), and Lucy Parsons (Jaira Burke). Others not shown portrayed Big Bill Haywood (Michael Lavender), Mother Jones (Heather Gray), Joe Hill (Georgia Slim, a.k.a Cullen Brown, of the band I Want Whiskey), Eugene Victor Debs (Walter Reeves), A. Phillip Randolph (Edward Young), and Dorothy Bolden (Pat Sauls). At right, blue shirt: Barbara Joye coordinated the history project. Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins

Our contingent enthusiastically joined many other organizations at the May 1 rally led by Atl. JwJ and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, to call for a minimum of $15/hr for Atlanta city workers, sanctuary for immigrants, a Community Benefits Agreement for the Turner Field neighborhoods, and other demands for dignity and human rights. After the rally we swarmed into the City Council meeting, where dozens of us spoke out in the "public comment" section of the agenda. Photos: Barbara Joye, Reid Freeman Jenkins

 


All Out for Int'l Workers Day - April 30, May 1

MADSA member Ian Fletcher will kick off the April 30 event with a brief history of May Day, followed by MADSA members and friends bringing to life "Heroes and Heroines of U.S. Labor History" and much more. For details: bit.ly/MAYDAYATL2017PREP. May 1 will be a day of action at City Hall, with the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Atlanta Jobs with Justice, and many others. For details: bit.ly/MAYDAYATL2017  


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