At the recent “virtual” Atlanta Regional Commission’s annual State of the Region “breakfast” meeting, I noted some take away messages that I wanted to share. This year’s theme was “Finding Our Courage” and as we look forward to 2021, we realize that the challenges and fatigue that we are experiencing are going to continue for now. Each year as part of the event, ARC presents “ Atlanta Metro Speaks” and the top 3 issues confronting the region this year identified by survey participants are: Public Health; Racial Inequality; and the Economy. I cannot ever remember a time when Public Health even made the top 5.

So as we all continue to “Find our Courage”, I hope you will continue to stay safe, wear a mask and wash hands. Our collective community depends on our individual actions. My hope is that you and your families have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, even though it may be at a distance this year.

Congressional District 5 Special Election Runoff Between Kwanza Hall and Robert Franklin
Early voting for the special election runoff began on Monday, November 9th and concludes Wednesday, November 25th and is available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., with Saturday voting on November 21st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This special election is only for voters residing in Georgia’s 5th Congressional District and will ultimately decide the immediate person to serve the remainder (about 30 days) of the late Congressman John Lewis’ term.

Voters can cast their ballots in person, by mail or by drop boxes in and around the district during the designated early voting period. (There is a drop box in front of Decatur City Hall that is available for this election and the January 5 Run-off elections.) 

The runoff election is December 1st. The only designated early voting location for the special election is the DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections office, located at 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur. To request an absentee ballot for the 5th Congressional District Special Election Runoff, visit

US Senate Run-off elections

Public Service Commissioners Run-off election

Who are the candidates?

There are two different U.S. Senate races. You can vote for one candidate in each race.

Voter Registration Deadline: You must be registered to vote by December 7th, 2020 to participate in this runoff.

In Person Early Voting Period: Begins December 14th, 2020. More details to come.

Election Day: January 5th, 2021. If you vote on election day, you will vote at your election day polling location.

Voting Absentee: You can request an absentee ballot now using the state’s absentee ballot request portal at You must have a valid GA Driver’s License or State ID to use the portal. If you are physically disabled or over 65 and claimed an exemption when you applied for an absentee ballot earlier this year, a new ballot will automatically be sent to you. 

Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes: Check back later for details.

Who can vote in this runoff? Anyone in Georgia registered to vote by December 7th, 2020, who will be 18 years or older on January 5th, 2021.

Participate in the “202’s” and dig deeper into the topics identified in the Roundtables held earlier this year. All events will take place on zoom and will be recorded. Speakers will be announced closer to event dates and more information can be found at:

Put these important meeting/topic dates on your calendar:

Mobility:  Thursday, Nov. 19, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Housing: Thursday, Dec. 10, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Equity & Racial Justice:  Thursday, Jan. 14, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Climate Change:  February 2021, Date TBD

Season of Giving/Christmas Decatur works through the volunteer spirit of neighbors helping neighbors to ensure that our community’s children and seniors in need experience the joy of the holidays with gifts matched to their wishes.

Because present concerns over health and safety make shopping and delivery of physical gifts difficult, A Season of Giving/Christmas Decatur will be exercising its mission this year through a one-time modified program.

Give to Those in Need

In the past, donors have purchased gifts from an individual wish list specific to a child (through 8th grade) or senior citizen. This year will be virtual, wherein monetary donations will fund either gift cards for parents to buy presents for their children or gifts for seniors purchased online by designated volunteers and sent directly to recipients’ homes.

This year, perhaps more than ever, please show your support by donating.

November 18; 7pm

Speaker, Dr. Rebecca Philipsborn

Speaker, Tim Wise

Wise is the author of eight books, including his forthcoming Dispatches from the Race War (December 2020 from City Lights Books). Named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, Wise has contributed chapters or essays to over 25 additional books and his writing are taught in colleges and universities across the nation.

FAB Fridays continue on November 20; December 4, 11, 18 from 4-9pm

Remember to wear your mask!

Most Decatur businesses also have on-line platforms for ordering – support local businesses from home!

City of Decatur and Trees Atlanta Start Front Yard Tree Program

The City of Decatur is partnering with Trees Atlanta to establish a front yard tree program. Residents pay a $25 application fee and Trees Atlanta will plant a tree in their front yard and maintain the tree for 2 years. This is a great way to replace canopy lost from recent storms. Homeowners will be able to choose from a list of trees suitable for our area. Please visit the Front Yard Tree page at Trees Atlanta to apply. There are a limited number of trees in the first year of the program and it will be first come, first served.

The Decatur City Commission passed a temporary Weekend Open Container Ordinance that allows restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages in open containers within the boundaries of the five business districts including Decatur Downtown Business District, Old Depot District, West Ponce Business District, East College Business District and Oakhurst Business District. The temporary Ordinance goes into effect on Friday, October 30 at 4 p.m. and expires Sunday, January 3 at 1 a.m. The Ordinance allows the sales on Fridays from 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. every week.

For more information:

City Hall remains closed to the public.

City Commission Meetings

Monday, November 16; 7:30 pm

Work Session – Storm Water Master Plan; 5:30-7pm

Monday, December 7; 7:30pm

Monday, December 21; 7:30pm

Access Instructions

There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend. Members of the public may access the meeting in one of two ways:

  1. View the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at
  2. Register in advance to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting at After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Contact Patti

Patti.Garrett(at) 770.364.9192

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