Atlanta official says it was ‘startling’ to see unmasked crowds on Labor Day

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Atlanta City Council President Felicia A. Moore said she was startled to see social media posts showing crowds of young people gathering without masks over Labor Day weekend. Moore felt so strongly about what she saw that she released a statement about it. You can read her statement below.

“This Labor Day weekend, I spent time monitoring social media, indirectly observing the activities of our public safety personnel, and fielding concerns of stakeholders throughout the city. I would like to commend our police, fire, medical units, dispatch, corrections department and other personnel who labored this weekend in an effort to preserve public safety. These men and women put in countless hours responding to street car racers, off road vehicles, protests, parties, noise complaints, nightclub concerns, and the aftermath of violent crimes. 

All of these activities took place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media platforms are flooded with videos and images of hundreds of people indoors and outdoors with no masks and no social distancing. Many of those pictured appeared to be in the 18-29 years old age range, which is the group seeing the sharpest increase in COVID-19 cases. Additionally, for the Black community which has been disproportionately affected during this pandemic, it was startling to witness our youth engaging in behaviors which may ultimately affect the health of their more vulnerable family members. 

I encourage all of our youth and others who didn’t follow COVID-19 precautions this weekend to self-quarantine and get tested. Collectively, we all have a role to play in keeping our beloved community safe and healthy. 

The time has come for us to put our heads together as a city to address the myriad of public safety issues plaguing our neighborhoods and business corridors. Resources are limited, but we must collaborate with our other intergovernmental partners to devise immediate solutions.”

This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting statements by public officials called The Public Record, where we present recent quotes by public officials or candidates. You may not be able to attend every public meeting or see every occasion where your representatives speak, but you still have a right to know what your representatives and those who hope to represent you have been saying.

“Because public men and women are amenable ‘at all times’ to the people, they must conduct the public’s business out in the open.” -Charles L. Weltner Sr., former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court

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