Demand Athens For Everyone tell the truth with their report card.

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In February 2018, activist group Athens For Everyone (A4E) released an assessment in the form of a  report card scoring Athens-Clarke County elected officials and candidates for office on several issues. Candidates were given scores of Champion, Support, Good, Oppose or Poor.  This report card was distributed widely and covered by the local media.

As supporters of Harry Sims for Mayor, we believe Commissioner Sims words and actions were deliberately omitted or incorrectly characterized in a way manner to create a false impression of the Commissioner’s positions. We believe that the A4E report card fails to disclose relevant information, lacks important disclosures of what criteria were used and does not disclose any conflicts of interests that might exist between the group and the candidates/officials that were evaluated.

 Some of the most grievous points are detailed below:

 Transit expansion- A4E Rating: Oppose

On the issue of transit expansion, A4E gave Commissioner Sims a poor rating. This rating fundamentally ignored Harry’s long track record of advocating for transit to extend to underserved parts of the county- most notably, the extension of routes to Pinewood estates and down Spring Valley Road.

 Free bus fare: A4E Rating: Oppose

A4E’s report card fully ignores that fact that Harry Sims was and remains the chairman of the Athens-Clarke Youth Development Partnership, the very committee that brought the issue of free bus fare for youth to the commission and recommended adoption of the practice. Additionally, Commissioner Sims voted for passage of the measure and has supported it continuously.

 Anti discrimination: A4E Rating: Oppose

As a native Athenian, a resident over six decades and the only minority on the Athens-Clarke County Commission for several periods of his long service, Commissioner Sims is fully cognizant of the practices and effects of discrimination. He has voted for the creation of an Anti-discrimination ordinance and has lent expertise from his long and challenging experiences as a black man growing up in the South during the civil rights movement.

Marijuana opposition: A4E Rating: Oppose

Commissioner Sims has cast no votes on the regulation of marijuana. He remains open to discussion in the context of intents, results and the complexities created by the multiple law enforcement agencies, laws and governing entities that have jurisdiction in Athens-Clarke County.

Housing policy: A4E Rating: Oppose

Commissioner Sims has long supported affordable housing including investments in home acquisition, education and the redevelopment of neighborhoods as a mechanism for community revitalization. Commissioner Sims led the charge for the revitalization of Triangle Plaza- a development that now houses small business, public safety, and youth development resources.

Early Learning: A4E Rating: Oppose

As an educator and classroom teacher for nearly three decades, Commissioner Sims brings a highly qualified perspective to the needs of educating children. As the current Chairman of the Athens Clarke Youth Development Partnership, Commissioner Sims is a tireless advocate for youth education and his long record of service has helped him navigate the roles local government can play in the success of young learners.

 Support us in demanding A4E tell the truth.

Therefore, for the reasons stated above, we demand that A4E immediately disclose the above facts as well as similar relevant information and disclosures on other candidates that were evaluated.  We demand that the report card be revised to include the missing disclosures and that these edits and retractions be communicated to their membership and the media in a similar method in which the original report card was published.

We are asking all candidates for office to support our call for A4E to uphold a standard of truth, integrity, transparency and ability to admit fault when it occurs- worthy of our great city and county. Please join us.

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