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The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is at home with the people who live with you. If you’re hosting a small celebration, have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations. Everyone can make winter holiday celebrations safer by:

  • Wearing masks
  • Improving ventilation by choosing outdoor spaces or opening windows and doors as weather permits
  • Spacing seating at least 6 feet apart for people who don’t live together
  • Limiting the number of guests and length of the event
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

Review more tips on the CDC website.

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The City of Decatur, GA is 4.5 square miles in size with a population of 23,000 located 6 miles east of Atlanta. We are an urban city that values and is committed to equity, inclusion and diversity. We have worked closely with the Human Rights Campaign to understand and apply the standards associated with the Municipality Equality Index because we believe that LGBTQ-inclusion is critical to our commitment of being a Welcoming City. We have a high population of LGBTQ residents and business owners and they are an important part of the fabric of our community.

I am proud to announce that Decatur passed a non-discrimination ordinance in November, 2019. The ordinance prohibits local businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, age or military status. Discrimination is prohibited in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. No federal or Georgia state law expressly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

We followed in the footsteps of the city of Atlanta and four other DeKalb County cities becoming the 6th city in Georgia to adopt a non-discrimination ordinance. Decatur is committed to the values of equity, inclusion and diversity and the adoption of this Ordinance was a tangible way to demonstrate that commitment.

In addition, we passed a Resolution urging the State of Georgia to adopt a broad and comprehensive hate crimes act through prompt legislative action stating that “the Mayor and Commission believe that such hate crimes act should protect the widest range of vulnerable persons.”

We appreciate the HRC and the MEI team working in partnership with us to modify some of the language in standards geared to large cities in order to reach and include smaller municipalities who strive to ensure LGBTQ inclusion in all areas of community work, life and play. Working with HRC and the MEI team, the city of Decatur was able to identify areas to codify existing practices, pass ordinances and document our commitment and in doing so, raise our MEI score from 51 points in 2017 to 86 points in 2020. We are proud of the accomplishment!

Patti Garrett, Mayor

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The 2020 Strategic Plan update, Destination 2030, is back in full swing, and we want to hear from you! A lot has changed since Opening Night back in January, when we launched the Roundtables process in a room of 600+ people, full of hope for the new decade. Halfway through those discussions the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic put us on hold while civil rights demonstrations unfolded here and around the country, highlighting challenges and inequities that we aim to address in our emerging plans.

In September we wrapped up the remaining Roundtables. Now we’re diving into their biggest topics: Equity and Racial Justice, Climate Change, Civic Trust, Housing, Transportation, and Economic Development. You can use the QR code or short link to visit our Virtual Street Forums to submit ideas, add photos and answer a few questions about each topic.

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Summer Camp 2021 registration opens January 2 at 9 a.m. online. Look for the Camp Edition of the Playbook on the City of Decatur website on or after December 10 to plan and select your camps for Summer 2021.  Note: The City will use a new software system for camp registration in January 2021. See instructions below for how to create a new family profile in CommunityPass.

How to prepare for Summer Camp Registration:

  1. Create Your City of Decatur Family Account in CommunityPass – the City’s new software for Active Living and Children and Youth Services programs.  Visit the CommunityPass website and select “Create an Account”.
  2. Add family members to the account in the My Account > Account Information area.  Ensure all campers have been entered.
  3. Complete the Summer Camp Information and Release Form before January 2 at 9 am. The form is a pre-requisite to registering for camp so completing it ahead of time will expedite your registration.
  4. Spend some time with the Camp Playbook and map out some first and second choices for each camper in your household.  Check out pages 10-11 for week by week camp options, grades and ages, etc.

Questions about camp registration for 2021 or the new CommunityPass software?  Contact cys@decaturga.com.

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This week (December 7-11), the National Weather Service offices that cover Georgia — in conjunction with Georgia’s Emergency Management Agency – are supporting Winter Weather Preparedness Week for the state of Georgia.  

Though winter weather events can vary widely from north to south across the state, it’s important to remain aware of potential winter weather threats and impacts that can affect the state from one year to the next, including snow, ice and extreme cold (frostbite, hypothermia, etc.).

Each day will focus on a specific winter weather-related topic and the information may be found on the NWS website:

Monday, Dec. 7: Winter Weather in Georgia — learn about winter weather hazards that can impact the state of Georgia

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Winter Weather Terminology — learn about winter weather “alerts” (watches, warnings and advisories) and what they all mean
Wednesday, Dec. 9: Winter Weather Preparation Tips — learn how to best prepare for winter weather events, and put together a “Ready Kit” while making a plan before winter weather strikes
Thursday, Dec. 10: Winter Weather Driving Tips/Safety — learn “best practices” for driving (if necessary) in winter weather conditions and how to pack a mobile “Ready Kit”
Friday, Dec. 11 Winter Weather Outlook for 2019-20 season  

You should also check out the 2020-2021 City of Decatur Emergency Management Services guide for tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the pandemic and severe weather, including winter storms, on the City of Decatur website.

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The second of four Decatur 202 Zoom discussions– this time on housing affordability — is scheduled for 4 p.m., December 10. The sessions are part of the city’s current strategic planning efforts and drill down on the input provided during the Citizen Roundtables and the Virtual Forums.

Interested participants can get involved by registering on Zoom.

The presentation and discussion format for the two-hour 202 session is the same for all four topic meetings. If you missed the small group discussions and introductory presentations during the first 202 session, see the video under Transportation & Mobility on the Decatur 2030 website. The first 202 encouraged – and got – a vigorous conversation on how to reconcile two Decatur ambitions that aren’t always compatible: Our dependence on automobiles and the road and parking infrastructure they require and our determination to expand pedestrian, biking, and transit alternatives.

For the upcoming housing session, we’ll confront the increasing demand for housing within the reach of lower and middle income families and the fear of disrupting the character and stability of existing neighborhoods.

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-Decatur Sanitation Services and the Environmental Sustainability Board are currently working to improve the City’s recycling services by reducing contamination, educating residents on recoverable materials, and updating its recycling guidelines. Join us on December 8 at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom to learn more about what’s to come, have your questions answered, and provide your feedback. Registration is required: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6H4MazYhRsWP2zK38XctCQ

-The second of four Decatur 202 Zoom discussions– this time on housing affordability — is scheduled for 4 p.m., December 10. The sessions are part of the city’s current strategic planning efforts and drill down on the input provided during the Citizen Roundtables and the Virtual Forums. Interested participants can get involved by registering at decatur2030.com.

-Join Little Shop of Stories and the City of Decatur on Thursday, December 10, for the 2020 Virtual Tree Lighting on Zoom at 7 p.m. Grab some goodies and hot chocolate (holiday recipe included in the November Focus) and hop on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. for story time with Santa. The event is free but registration is required. To register, head to visitdecaturgeorgia.com/visit/page/2020-events!

Photo Credit: Steve Schaefer (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

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Registration is open for the Virtual Open House and Workshop for the Railroad Crossing Improvements @ Atlanta Avenue on Wednesday, December 9, from 6 pm to 8 pm. The workshop will include a main session with an overview of the project and three separate discussion group sessions focused on:

-Pedestrian/Bicyclist Priorities

-Streetscape Improvements and Landscape Amenities

-Traffic Calming and West Howard Avenue Refined

The main session should last about 30 minutes and each discussion group session will have three 30-minute segments starting on the half hour (6:30 pm, 7 pm and 7:30 pm) to provide you with the opportunity to engage in each group, if interested. You can register for the main session and any or all of the group sessions by clicking on the links below. The group sessions will begin about 30 minutes after the main session starts. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

To register for the Main Session and the Pedestrian/Bicycle Discussion Group, please use this link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7480466197829446672

To register for the Streetscape and Amenities Discussion Group, please use this link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1223539149320866316

To register for Traffic Calming and West Howard Avenue Refined Discussion Group, please use this link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6447896136782271755

The purpose of the open house and workshop is to receive your help in planning improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, traffic calming, landscape features and streetscape amenities for the project. The planning team of Landis-Evans & Partners and Atkins will build upon your contributions and the comments and ideas provided by participants in the previous workshops to make the rail crossing and intersection safe and comfortable for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. In August, 2019, the City Commission approved the concept plan for the Railroad Crossing Improvements @ Atlanta Avenue. The plan includes a new, simplified crossing at Adair Street between West Howard Avenue and West College Avenue and a modern traffic signal system at the new railroad crossing and at Olympic Place. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, planning for this important community improvement was suspended last March.

For those not able to attend or who have additional thoughts, workshop materials also will be posted at decaturga.com/cmo/page/railroad-crossing-improvements-atlanta-avenue by December 11. Comments are welcome until December 23 and can be emailed to Hugh Saxon, Deputy City Manager, at hugh.saxon@decaturga.com.

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Join Little Shop of Stories and the City of Decatur on Thursday, December 10, for the 2020 Virtual Tree Lighting on Zoom at 7 p.m. Grab some goodies and hot chocolate (holiday recipe included in the November Focus) and hop on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. for story time with Santa. The event is free but registration is required. To register, head to the Visit Decatur event page!

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Join us for the final installment in our 2020 Anti-Racism Speaker Series featuring prominent anti-racist writer and educator, Tim Wise this Thursday, December 3 at 6 p.m. Visit decaturga.com/speakerseries to make sure you’re registered for this session and to watch recordings of the previous speakers.

The Speaker Series was created to mine the knowledge and wisdom of numerous thought leaders to challenge and inspire our community to take actionable steps to instill anti-racism throughout our norms and practices.

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