Page header picture
Page header photo

Inclusion and Diversity Steps Taken

April 2021 - Name Change for Forrest Road

At their April 13th meeting, Council voted unanimously to change the name of Forrest Road to Forest Road. This change will take effect on June 1st 2021.

Background - All the streets in Pine Lake’s residential district are named for flowers or trees with one odd exception: Forrest Road. At first glance, the name fits in with the “trees” theme, but on closer examination the spelling may indicate that it was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest a prominent leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Whether or not this is the case, the street stood as a silent yet potent reminder of the days of white supremacy. Early in 2020 the Mayor initiated, and a group of residents who undertook the task of having the name changed to “Forest Road.” Mayor Hammet and four prior mayors, representing the past 26 years of Pine Lake administrations, all signed a letter in support of the renaming.

 

March 2021 - Resolution Condemning of hate crimes against AAPI Community

After a nation-wide increase in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and a mass shooting in Atlanta in which six Asian women were killed, Council unanimously passed a resolution stating: “Be it resolved by the Mayor and Council of the City of Pine Lake, Georgia, that this governing body forcefully condemns violence and harassment of members of the AAPI community and will work to ensure that AAPI people feel safe and welcome in our city - both during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

September 2020 - Study of Public Safety and Judicial Practices

In response to community concern for social justice, council members Bordeaux and Brantley completed a study of public safety and judicial practices in the City. The resulting report, Public Safety and Judicial Practices in Pine Lake, examines traffic citation revenue as a percentage of total city revenue, racial composition of cited motorists versus all motorists, and how citations are adjudicated. The report will be used by Council to determine what adjustments can be made to the system to make it more fair and equitable.

November 2019 - New City Hall

The City opened its new City Hall, located on Allgood Road just south of Rockbridge. The selection of this site was in large part intended to move the “City Center” out of the residential area and into the commercial district, signaling the importance of the Rockbridge corridor minority-owned businesses to the city.

July 2019 - Welcoming Dekalb Neighbors to the Lake

July fourth 2019 Photo by Marie Andrade
July 4th, 2019 Photo by Marie Andrade

In 1938 the lake and surrounding lands were conveyed to the City of Pine Lake with the express condition that it be used exclusively by the residents of Pine Lake. Attempts were made to release the city from these conditions in 1960, 1980 and 2006. Finally, in 2011 the lake was opened to the public. Even with the changed policy, neighboring residents, especially those of color, hesitated to come to Pine Lake. The history was a powerful hurdle to overcome. Today the beach is enjoyed by Pine Lakers alongside surrounding community members.

April 2019 - Establishment of Rockbridge Opportunity Kick Starters (ROKS)

Our commercial development task force, Rockbridge Opportunity Kick Starters (ROKS), presented a revitalization plan to the Pine Lake City Council. This plan envisions the improvement of the aesthetics of the Rockbridge Road corridor. It sends a message of inclusion by placing a high value on the retention and support of the existing minority-owned businesses along the corridor. It also encourages recruiting new businesses that represent the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of Pine Lake and the surrounding area. 

March 2019 - Mayor and Council members atttend "Undoing Racism" training.

The mayor and four members of Council attended a weekend training, “Undoing Racism,” held by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB). We wanted to give ourselves, as leaders, a shared vocabulary to help detect unconscious bias in our work as elected officials. Mayor Melanie Hammet and council members Jean Bordeaux, Brandy Hall, Augusta Woods, and Megan Pulsts took the training together. The lessons we learned during that weekend inform how we work to move the City forward.

November 2016 - Safe Harbor Resolution

Council passed the Safe Harbor Resolution, stating that “the City Council affirms that no individual should be discriminated against by another individual or body based upon their individual sex, race, color, disability, national origin, religion, beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity.” This resolution passed unanimously, as a principled text for our leadership and our city to reference.

May 2011 - Policy Change on Use of the Lake

Council eliminated the policy of "Pine Lake residents and guests only" at the Lake and Beach, thus opening the entire lake, beach, and wetland trails area to the public. This was a long-fought battle to overcome the stipulations of the original conveyance of the Lake to the City, which specified that the Lake was for the use of residents of Pine Lake only.