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In this issue: COVID-19 Special Update
This newsletter contains updates on the latest actions by the City to curb the spread of COVID-19, as well as reminders about voting and the Census.  For this information as well as prior updates, visit my website: www.atlantadistrict6.com.  Please share with your neighbors who may not receive this newsletter.   

* State of Georgia COVID-19 Hotline: 844-442-2681.


Although we are working remotely, Lance, Kent, Phyllis and I are here to help you and will be responding to calls and emails. Please contact me at (404) 330-6049 or jnide@atlantaga.gov if I can be of assistance.  I appreciate the opportunity to be your voice in our city government.
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In This Issue

Changes to Statewide Stay-at-Home Order


Yesterday afternoon, Governor Kemp issued an Executive Order modifying his April 2nd Shelter in Place Order and easing restrictions on a number of businesses this upcoming Friday, April 24. The business that are allowed to reopen on Friday include gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys. Governor Kemp stated at his press conference that restaurants and movie theaters will be allowed to reopen Monday the 27th, provided businesses can abide by social distancing guidelines. This move came as a surprise to City of Atlanta government, with these restrictions being lifted even before the federal guidelines of April 30th.

Our mayor was not included in the decision. Below is the statement made by Mayor Lance Bottoms following Kemp's press statement:

“It appears that the governor’s orders supersedes anything that I can do as mayor, but I certainly still have my voice that I can use. And what I’ll continue to ask Atlantans to do is to please stay at home. 

“I’m not sure what data the governor is referencing in helping him make this decision. I’ve not spoken with him. I’ve talked with the mayor of the second-most popular city in Georgia, Mayor [Hardie] Davis in Augusta. He’s not spoken with him. So we don’t know what the governor is looking at.

“What I do know is that we have more than 19,000 people who tested positive as of this evening…I’m extremely concerned about the announcement the governor made. I hope that he’s right and I’m wrong, because if he’s wrong, more people will die.”

Our office has no additional insight into the rationale behind Governor Kemp's decision. 

If you have questions or concerns about the Governor's actions, I suggest you contact the Governor's Office of Constituent Services at 404-656-1776, his Chief of Staff, Tim Fleming, at tim.fleming@georgia.gov, or his Director of Communications & Chief Deputy Executive Counsel, Candice Broce, at candice.broce@georgia.gov.  You may also want to reach out to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, at 404-657-2700 or DPH-ConstituentServices@dph.ga.gov.  

For questions regarding how the State of Georgia orders impact a particular type of business, please visit the Georgia Department of Economic Development's website, fill out an information form or call them at 404-962-4000
.

While the State's executive orders take precedence over the City's Stay At Home Order, if you have questions or concerns about city properties or enforcement, you can still email StayAtHome@AtlantaGa.gov, and a member of the Mayor's team will respond.  


The mayor and stakeholders across our city are working diligently on a timeline to reopen city government facilities and operations and provide guidance to city businesses in accordance with health guidelines. We join Mayor Bottoms in asking Atlantans and District 6 residents to maintain a stay-at-home policy beyond this Friday and remain at home until a more appropriate plan is put forth.

Solicitor's Office - How to Handle Traffic Cases

To slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the City of Atlanta Municipal Court is closed to the public. Your case will be reset if it is not payable online.  You can look up your case to check its status and whether you can pay the fine online.

You may also be able to handle your citation through the Office of the City Solicitor PreTrial Diversion (PTIT). PTIT allows you the opportunity to avoid points on your license and other negative consequences of a traffic violation. 

To learn more about PTIT, go to www.AtlantaGa.gov/PTIT
; email  PTIT@AtlantaGa.gov; or call 404.658.6618 or 404.658.6163. You will need to provide your citation number and contact information. If you have already paid your citation, this option will not be available.

MARTA Route Changes due to COVID-19

Beginning Monday, April 20, MARTA began implementing an Essential Service plan for buses that reduces the number of routes overall to allow for doubling of service on the busiest, most critical routes.  The modified schedule can be viewed here.  With the 40 routes and 1 new circulator service, MARTA will provide transportation to 17 hospitals, 22 urgent care facilities, 85 grocery stores and 16 job centers/industrial hubs. With those destinations in mind, the Essential Service routes also provide as much geographical coverage in MARTA's service territory as possible.

 

The City and MARTA understand the negative impact to bus-dependent riders, but this Essential Service plan is necessary to protect the health and safety of our customers and our employees. This plan keeps MARTA running for health care personnel and other essential workers as we continue to navigate through this public health crisis.

 

In addition to the bus route modifications, MARTA has installed seat blocking placards in all buses to prevent riders from sitting too close to each other and has established a Customer Hotline where customers can report an overcrowded bus.  Decals near the boarding door of all buses encourage customers NOT to board a bus that has no open seats and to wait for the next bus that will be coming along, in most cases, within 10 minutes. 

 

MARTA Police will also be patrolling buses and trains to ensure that patrons are abiding by the rules.  In too many instances, riders are destroying the placards and placing other customers and our employees in jeopardy.

 

There is no change in current rail service or in MARTA Mobility, our door-to-door service for approved paratransit riders.

Absentee Ballot Information

Georgia's Presidential Primary Election and the vote on the MOST referendum were pushed back from March 24 to May 19 and have now been moved to June 9 due to the COVID-19 response. Secretary of State Raffensperger announced that all Georgia voters will be mailed an absentee ballot request form to encourage voting by mail during the outbreak. Voters will need to complete the request form before receiving an actual ballot.

The voter registration deadline for the June 9, 2020 election will be May 11, 2020. Early voting will begin on May 18, 2020. The primary runoff will move to August 11, 2020. 

Per the Secretary of State, "Absentee ballot applications for the upcoming primary election will continue to be accepted and processed by counties even if the application said May 19. Once county election officials properly verify the signature on the application, the voter will be sent an absentee ballot for the primary election now to be held on June 9."

To check you precinct location, review a sample ballot, request an absentee ballot, or check the status of an absentee ballot, visit the My Voter Page

2020 Census Information

The Census Bureau is making changes to their collection efforts in order to respect the social distancing guidelines and also meet their mandate of collecting the nation's population count. The Bureau should have mailed a card to your address with a Census ID which you can use to fill out your household's information online, by phone, or by mail. It is still possible to complete the census without the ID, so even if you have not received something in the mail, you can participate! Taking the time to complete the census during quarantine will greatly help the Bureau's efforts due to the lost time from the pandemic. To fill out your census today or get the information you need, please visit their website and get counted!

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