The city of Decatur removed a statue of Thomas Jefferson from Decatur Square almost immediately after county crews took down an obelisk memorializing the Confederacy less than 500 feet away.
The ruling, which came in response to a formal complaint filed by the city of Decatur, paved the way for Thursday’s activities — the culmination of a years-long effort to take the divisive pillar down.
With fresh attention on the obelisk in Decatur, city attorney Bryan Downs filed a complaint against DeKalb County, which technically owns the monument.
The order was issued in response to a complaint Decatur’s city attorney filed against DeKalb. The city argued that the 30-foot obelisk had become a threat to public safety during recent protests about racism and police violence towards African Americans. The judge's order says the monument should be placed into storage until further notice.
The city of Decatur announced that 27 businesses are receiving loans from the Emergency Small Business Loan Program the city created in April. The loans range from $5000 to $25,000, and according to data provided by Adam Schick with The Wilbert Group, the average amount delivered to loan recipients is $20,185
In Athens, some 60 miles east of Decatur, Mayor Kelly Girtz has said he’s trying to figure out how to remove a prominent monument at the heart of the city. “We want it gone and gone quickly,” he said Wednesday, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
The city of Decatur plans to allocate $50,000 to directly address racism in the community and plan a series of training sessions and town halls.
While the state of Georgia — and many large cities around the country — had pandemic response plans, Decatur, a small- to mid-sized city, decided to put one together after the 2009 swine flu pandemic, City Manager Andrea Arnold said.
City Manager Andrea Arnold has previously stated that city activities would get evaluated every 30 days during the pandemic.
Earlier this week the city commission approved Phase 1 of the Parkwood Neighborhood Traffic Calming Plan.