Editor's note: The East Lake Neighbors Community Association issued its response to the demographers' redistricting options to Atlanta Public Schools officials last week. Kat Lindholm, ELNCA's president, shared with East Atlanta Patch the letter and position statement submitted to APS superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.
Dear Superintendent Davis,
As the president of the East Lake Neighbors Community Association and proud East Lake resident for the past 7 years I write to you in hopes that you will hear the concerns of my community. I am deeply concerned of the appearance of a systematic disregard of our community by the Atlanta Public School System. Both current redistricting plans recently presented will do irrevocable damage to our children and our community’s future. In every plan it appears that the guiding principles you put forth to facilitate this process have been pushed aside when it has come to the children of East Lake. With these concerns comes a call to action. We as concerned neighbors have come together with a position statement and plan to address the glaring inequities to our children's' education and Atlanta Public Schools obligation to provide them something better.
I have attached our position statement and I believe that you will find that while we are expressing our concerns and demands that we come to you with solutions. The top demand is that East Lake must remain in the Grady cluster. Taking our children out of Grady would be an additional blow to a community that continues to ask the children to sacrifice our schools so that others may prosper. It is not acceptable any longer to treat the children of less affluent areas with such disregard. The second demand is that we need APS commitment to help East Lake, Kirkwood, Edgewood and all other neighboring communities reconstitute Sammy E. Coan Middle School. The commitment is here on our side, we need APS to do their part with funding, proper staff, and a strong, respected leader at the helm. Finally, with the proposed closure of East Lake Elementary, it only makes common sense that all of our children would attend school with the one neighborhood that we share a border, Kirkwood. It is unconscionable that we would ask our small, elementary school children to cross over major state highways and Interstate 20 to go to school. That is neither walkable nor workable. We know you want better for our children and we have a plan and a position to help you get there.
I implore you to review our plan and ask that you give us the opportunity to discuss with you further.
President, East Lake Neighbors Community Association