Thursday, October 29, 2015

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd for the Municipal General and Special Election

Residents reminded to vote at their poll site

Election Day polling locations will be open on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 7:00am – 7:00pm for eligible registered voters to cast their ballot for the 2015 Municipal General and Special Elections.

To assist residents with identifying their districts, precinct boundaries and poll locations, the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections has posted District and Poll Locator maps on the Fulton County website.

Participating municipal voters are challenged to vote early and show off their “I’m A Georgia Voter” stickers as part of the #PostThePeach Challenge. After casting their ballots, county voters are challenged to post photos of themselves wearing their state-issued “I am A Georgia Voter” peach sticker and to challenge others to #PostThePeach on social media channels.  

For more information regarding Fulton County Registration and Elections, call 404-612-7020 or visit

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fulton Commissioners to Discuss Future of Turner Field

Listening session is part of effort to engage stadium neighbors in future of region

Fulton County Commissioners plan to hear firsthand from residents about what they would like to see happen regarding the development of the area surrounding Turner Field.  That will be the primary topic of discussion at a listening session hosted by Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves along with Commissioners Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. and Bob Ellis, both members of the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority (AFCRA), the board that oversees the property.  The “Future of the Field” listening session will be held at:

Martin Street Church of God
148 Glenwood Ave, SE
Atlanta Georgia 30312
Monday, November 2, 2015 AT 6 p.m.

The listening session is part of an ongoing Fulton County commitment to neighbors in the communities surrounding Turner Field to seek their input on the future of the property once the Atlanta Braves baseball club vacates it after the conclusion of the 2016 Major League Baseball season.

At their September 2, 2015 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners formally adopted a resolution asking AFRCA to seek public comment and community input regarding the Turner Field site.  The resolution also called for the use of planning initiatives available within the Livable Centers Initiative planning process, transparency in and ongoing communication with citizens and others about redeveloping, selling, or disposing of the property, and competitive bidding for the site.

The Atlanta Braves recently informed officials they will not renew their lease at Turner Field when it expires on December 31, 2016.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Commissioner Darnell to Discuss Public Safety With Residents

Fulton County District 6 Commissioner Emma I. Darnell plans to discuss public safety with Fulton County residents at a public hearing on Monday, October 26th at 6p.m. Citizens will get an opportunity to tell leadership from government and law enforcement about their concerns about crime. The event will be held at:
Burdett Gymnasium
2945 Burdett Road
College Park, Georgia 30349
"It is clear that crime and the suppression of crime is a major concern throughout District 6. I am confident that by working together, with the neighborhoods, we can bring about safe communities," Commissioner Darnell stated.
For more information on this event you can contact the office of Commissioner Emma I. Darnell at (404) 612-8222 or visit her website:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fulton PICH Program and Community Groups Partnering to Create Healthier Communities

To commemorate Health Education Week, which runs from October 19 to October 23, and its theme of building successful partnerships to more effectively implement sustainable changes in communities, the team from the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program would like to share recent examples of the way it is working with community groups to break down silos, establish new relationships, connect people in support of common goals and collaborate.
The Fulton County PICH Program supports initiatives and activities to reduce chronic disease, improve access to healthy nutrition and physical activity, promote tobacco cessation and smoke-free environments, and create walkable and livable communities. But it can’t do it alone. The PICH Program is working in partnership with a coalition of government, school, healthcare, corporate, faith-based and non-profit organizations to address these four areas.

One recent illustration of this collaboration in action was the September 25 presentation on designing healthy communities to encourage physical activity. The event was sponsored by the Fulton County PICH Program, produced in partnership with the Fulton County Healthy Heart Coalition, Fulton Asthma Improvement & Reduction Coalition, the Diabetes Community Action Coalition of Fulton County, the Smoke Free Coalition, the Fulton Interfaith Coalition and Safe Kids, and made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mark Fenton, a recognized authority on community planning and public health, led the workshop for an audience of 32 health policymakers, public agency officials and community coalition partners. The workshop consisted of lively, interactive discussions about effective strategies for planning and implementing easy-to-launch initiatives to create walkable, bikeable and livable communities throughout the County. Fenton spent a lot of time training the participants to stop thinking and working in silos and instead to create inclusive messages and tactics. Throughout the half-day session, the atmosphere was electric as the discussion generated new ideas from participants who reimagined County neighborhoods as walkable, bikeable and livable communities.

The coalition partners, policymakers and agency leaders have taken the ideas back to their respective organizations to develop concrete ideas for transforming communities throughout Fulton County into areas where cars, bikes, pedestrians and transit all safely share the road and residents have easy, walkable access to healthier food options and pleasant outdoor spaces for physical activity.

Three days later, on September 28, some 40 representatives of a diverse group of community organizations attended a PICH-sponsored daylong training presented by the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) in developing policies, strategies and interventions to lower the incidence of chronic health problems and to promote physical activity and healthy eating for children, teens, adults, seniors and families in their communities. The public health professionals, policymakers, educators, neighborhood activists and faith-based organization leaders learned how to define social and health problems and to identify like-minded individuals and stakeholder groups who could join them in analyzing problems, developing policy solutions and influencing change.

There’s much work to do in order to make it all a reality, but participants in these events now realize that collaboration will be the key. Said one participant: “We can no long afford to watch other areas of Georgia walk more, eat healthier, and live better. In real-time, in our own communities, we truly want to become a safer, walkable, bike-friendly, healthier eating and overall healthier place to live, work and play. Together, we can do it, and together we will.”

Watch a video about both events here.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fulton County Voters Challenged to Vote Early and #PostThePeach

Early voting for Municipal General and Special Election begin Monday, October 12th

Eligible Fulton County Voters are challenged to vote early and show off their “I’m A Georgia Voter” stickers as part of the #PostThePeach Challenge, for the Municipal General and Special Election. After casting their ballots, county voters are challenged to post photos of themselves wearing their state-issued “I am Georgia Voter” peach sticker and to challenge others to #PostThePeach on social media channels. 

Early voting across Georgia begins on Monday, October 12, 2015. Early voting saves time and is more convenient for voters with busy, modern lifestyles. But even more important, it allows for time for a voter to correct any unforeseen problem that may occur at the polls.
Voters will have three weeks to vote early prior to the November 3, 2015 elections. In addition, voters can cast their ballots by mail and on Election Day.

First launched in 2014, the nonpartisan #PostThePeach Challenge encourages Georgia voters to participate in upcoming municipal and special elections, especially during the early voting period.  The Challenge is supported through a coalition of county election officials, civic engagement organizations and individual voters.

To find your polling location and the early voting hours and locations, please log on to or the Georgia My Voter Page at

Saturday, October 10, 2015

AFCEMA to Hold Public Meeting to Inform Residents of the Hazard Mitigation Planning Process

The Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency (AFCEMA) will hold a public meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2015.   Attendees will receive an overview of the hazard mitigation planning process and will have the opportunity to offer recommendations. The meeting will be held at the Alpharetta Public Library located at 10 Park Plaza Alpharetta, Georgia 30009.  

AFCEMA is currently working on updating the Fulton County Multijurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan in partnership with local municipalities.   One of the program mandates is to solicit comments and suggestions from our citizens  in the form of three (3) community meetings.

The Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency is responsible for providing management and coordination of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities for all municipalities within Fulton County. This is accomplished via hazard mitigation as well as preparation and response planning done in partnership with City and County agencies, regional and state level partners, non-profit entities, schools and the private sector.

The final plan will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (AFCEMA) for approval.  

For imore nformation about AFCEMA, please visit  or call (404) 612-5660.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Board of Commissioners to Adjust Public Comment Process

On September 16, the Board of Commissioners adopted changes to public comment that will take effect with the October 7 meeting. These new changes will maximize opportunities for public comment at Commission meetings. As of this week’s meeting, on Wednesday October 7, speakers can no longer yield or donate time to another participant. Speakers will be granted up to two minutes apiece. “We hope that change in policy will open the floor to more constituents hoping to have commissioners hear their concerns,” says District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris, the lead sponsor of the resolution. “Under these new rules, more people will get the time to have their say.” The change also expands the public comment period from 15 minutes to 30 minutes at Regular meetings, and maintains 30 minute public comment period at the Recess meeting. The Board of Commissioners has the opportunity to waive the 30 minute period to allow more citizens to participate in the public comment period. If the topic of the comment involves an immediate issue to be resolved, citizens can contact first the County Manager’s office to refer the issue to the relevant county department head to rectify the issue or they can reach out to the office of a County Commissioner to ask to have the item put on an upcoming board agenda.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Fulton Offers a Full Array of Women’s Services in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

In observance of the 30th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fulton County Health Services is reminding women to take advantage of the preventive services available in our Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.  Breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States and in Georgia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC says early detection—through health screenings—can lower the death rate of breast and cervical cancers.  The agency recommends more women should avail themselves of preventive screenings.   

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers breast and cervical screenings and other diagnostic procedures.  The program will cover the cost of a mammogram as medically indicated to uninsured Fulton residents who meet the program criteria.  CDC statistics also show cancer deaths disproportionately affect women who are uninsured or underinsured.

To qualify for Fulton County’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program’s diagnostic services, a woman must:

  • Be a  Fulton County resident
  • Uninsured
  • Income eligible
  • 40 to 64 years of age
  • Have had last mammogram more than a year ago
Breast and Cervical Cancer Program services are available at these three Fulton County health centers: Adamsville Regional, College Park Regional, and North Fulton Regional Health Centers.

To schedule an appointment, call the Fulton County Health and Wellness Women's Health program at 404-612-1649 or visit to find the health center nearest you. 

Fulton County Voters Can Request an Absentee Ballot through October 30, 2015

Some Fulton County voters may prefer to vote absentee by mail. To request an absentee ballot, registered voters may fax or mail a written request or go online to request an absentee ballot application. Voters can vote absentee by mail for any reason. Citizens can retrieve an absentee ballot through Friday, October 30, 2015. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

A request letter should include the name and date of the election, the voter’s name, address as registered, date of birth and the voter’s signature. The letter can be faxed to (404) 730-8839 or mailed to Fulton County Voter Registration, Attn: Absentee Ballot, 130 Peachtree St., SW, Suite 2186, Atlanta, GA 30303. Absentee ballots may also be 
requested in person at one of the three Fulton County Government centers:
  • North Fulton Service Center - Room 232, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
  • South Fulton Service Center- 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Room 108, College Park, GA 30349
  • Fulton County Government Center -130 Peachtree Street, Suite 2186, Atlanta, GA 30303
All absentee ballots must be received in the Registration & Elections Office by 7:00 pm on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3rd). Photo identification is not necessary when voting by mail (except for first time registered voters in Georgia who register by mail that have not already satisfied this requirement).

For more information about absentee voting, voter registration and the upcoming 2015 November Municipal General and Special Election, log on or (404) 730-7072.

Fulton County Public Works and General Services Transportation Division to Hold Final Public Information Open House Meeting on Cascade Road at I-285 Interchange

The Fulton County Public Works and General Services, Transportation Division will host a public information meeting on the Cascade Road and I-285 Interchange Study to present and discuss the preferred alternative on Cascade Road and I-285 Interchange area. 

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Southwest Arts Center located at 915 New Hope Road Atlanta, Georgia 30349.

To date the consultant and County staff have:

• Held two stakeholders meetings (6/23/2015 and 9/22/2015), one public meeting on (07/28/2015) and another meeting with the Georgia Department of Transportation’s engineering staff on (08/21/2015)

• Analyzed three separate alternatives: A conventional diamond interchange, a conventional diamond interchange with roundabouts, and a diverging diamond interchange

• Performed traffic analysis for current and future levels of service within the study area

• Set up a study webpage - for citizens to view or download documents and the schedule

• Solicited and are addressing citizens’ comments on the proposed recommendations

Please contact Antonio Valenzuela at (404) 612-0520 for questions or if you require additional information. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Keeping kids safe from fire

U.S. Fire Administration has collaborated once again with Sesame Workshop to update the Sesame Street® Fire Safety Program for preschool kids. The program shows educators how to empower children ages 3–5 with essential fire safety information and skills that can make a big difference in case of an emergency.

More than half of child fire deaths are among children age 4 and younger - making them an important audience for fire prevention and education.

For more information, visit

Fulton Health PICH Partner Urges Intensified Efforts to Curb Georgia’s Obesity Problem

Anyway you view it, obesity is a problem in Georgia.

It ranks as the 19th most obese state in the U.S., according to The State of Obesity 2015 report released last month by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Within the state, the research shows, 16.5% of 10-17 year olds, 13.2% of low-income 2-4 year olds, and 30.5% of adults are obese. Read the report here:

The statistics are based on self-reported information obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System dataset. The 2014 data, plotted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, is shown below.

In a recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dr. Rodney Lyn, associate professor at the Georgia State University School of Public Health—a Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program partner—notes that the latest figures are a slight improvement over previous years in a few areas, most notably in the obesity rates among preschoolers from low-income families. But there’s still far more work to do. Dr. Lyn lists the chronic health consequences Georgia faces if current obesity trends continue unabated, including higher heart disease and adult-onset diabetes. To curb these trends, he prescribes “a more far-reaching, evidence-based, statewide obesity prevention campaign that reaches all citizens, young and old.” Read the op-ed here:

The Fulton County PICH Program is working with Georgia State University School of Public Health and other partners to build skills, develop strategies and implement programs that prevent and reduce obesity, asthma, lung disease and other chronic ailments among County residents. The PICH Program is made possible by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement #IU58 DP005568-01.  For more information, please email us at

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fulton Health Officials Discuss Emergency Preparedness with West African Delegation

With the 2014 Ebola outbreak serving as a real-life global scenario, Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness recently met with 14 public health policy makers and public health communications officers from West Africa for a professional and cultural exchange.  As part of a U.S. State Department educational program, delegation members traveled to the U.S. from the nations of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone to share real-life experiences and discuss best communications practices to use during public health emergencies.

Group members were particularly interested in working to improve their emergency preparedness and rapid response protocols in the event of another public health emergency such as Ebola. 

The representatives shared their experiences of managing the Ebola pandemic, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claimed thousands of lives along Africa’s west coast and caused worldwide concern about travel to and from West Africa. While travel restrictions have recently been lowered, people planning to travel between the U.S. and West Africa should contact the CDC at or the U.S. State Department for up-to-date travel health advisories at

Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency Director Matthew Kallmyer highlighted the success and complexities of emergency preparedness in metro Atlanta’s multi-jurisdiction that includes Fulton County, the city of Atlanta and parts of DeKalb County.

Members of the delegation cited a common challenge in their respective nations that was also faced by U.S. emergency management officials--calming fears and dispelling stigmas and myths surrounding Ebola. 

The delegation was part of the International Visitor Leadership Program, which is under the auspices of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Serving as a professional and cultural exchange, the program brings 5,000 foreign nationals from all over the world to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to experience America first hand.

The Georgia Council for International Visitors in conjunction with the Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID) hosted the African delegation.

Fulton County Is Asking For Your Help, Your Opinion

County seeks constituent feedback on its “First in Three” Strategic Planning Process

In an effort to be first in efficiency, service, and impact, Fulton County is asking for residents’ feedback in a citizen survey that is part of its “Fulton County First in Three” strategic planning process.  Fulton County is committed to making sure that management activity focuses on a series of priorities to ensure employees and county residents are working toward common goals for the betterment of the county.

The initiative is designed around three key steps:
  • Select citizen-focused indicators to monitor the County’s progress towards achieving its six strategic priorities.
  • Identify and “map” the key evidence-based factors that lead to those outcomes.
  • Choose the proven/promising strategies that to County should pursue to achieve those outcomes.

Fulton County has identified six priorities: all people are healthy, all people are safe, all people are self-sufficient, all people have economic opportunities, all people are culturally and recreationally enriched, all people trust government is efficient, and financially sound.  The county seeks to address each of these priorities with the help of citizen input.

All residents who are interested in telling the county how they truly feel about its’ services are asked to complete a survey available on the Fulton County Government website at The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete.

"We want to make sure that we hear from the people we serve,” says County Manager Dick Anderson. “It’s important that residents know that their input matters to us.”

For more information on this initiative, you can contact the External Affairs Department at (404) 612-8300.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Metro Atlanta Justice Mental Health Symposium

What: Metro Atlanta Justice Mental Health Symposium (MAJMHS)
When: Thursday, October 29, 2015 & Friday, October 30, 2015
Place: Atlanta Metropolitan State College Easley Pavilion Conference Center
1630 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
Host: The Superior Court of Fulton County

Each year, there are an estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses admitted to jails across the nation. Almost three-quarters of these adults also have drug and alcohol use problems. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and upon release are at a higher risk of returning to incarceration than those without these illnesses. The human toll of this problem-and its cost to taxpayers-is staggering. Jails spend two to three times more money on adults with mental illnesses that require intervention than on those without those needs, yet often do not see improvements to public safety or these individuals' health. Although counties have made tremendous efforts to address this problem, they are often thwarted by significant obstacles, including operating with minimal resources and needing better coordination between criminal justice, mental health, substance use treatment, and other agencies. Without change, large numbers of people with mental illnesses will continue to cycle through the criminal justice system, often resulting in tragic outcomes for these individuals and their families, missed opportunities for connections to treatment, inefficient use of funding, and a failure to improve public safety.

The MAJMHS is a one and a half day conference slated to bring together stakeholders from the judicial branch, law enforcement community, county and state officials, the legal and social services communities to facilitate training and collaborative efforts to improve outcomes for individuals with mental illness who are involved in the criminal and civil justice system. The Symposium will host up to 250 guests from the surrounding counties of Atlanta. Those guests will include a mix of law enforcement, city and county officials, members of the respective judicial circuits, and social service providers. By bringing together this multi-faceted group, we hope to make an impact on the way citizens with behavioral health concerns are addressed within the criminal justice system.

Media Resources Available: Chief Judge Gail Tusan, District Court Administrator Yolanda L. Lewis, Commissioners John Eaves and Joan Garner (on program) & local symposium speakers can be made available for Public Service Announcements, pre-event interviews, and on-site event interviews.