April 2020
We Need Your Help: Ask Governor Kemp to Stop Evictions and Foreclosures

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an economic crisis putting many Georgians out of work.  We have responded by advocating for a temporary halt to evictions and foreclosures  to ensure stable housing for children and families and to protect public health.

More than  135 partners joined us in a letter to Governor Kemp  asking him to stop all evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis.

Unfortunately, this has not yet happened. In fact, landlords across the state are filing new eviction actions every day and threatening to put tenants out of their homes. A factory worker in Carroll County told us that he fell behind on his April rent this month because of a COVID-19-related furlough. His landlord is threatening eviction and demanding $300 in late and administrative fees and that the tenant, his wife, and three children leave immediately. They have lived in the home for 6 years and fear homelessness.

Now we need your help. Please ask Governor Kemp to halt evictions and foreclosures during this crisis . Homelessness is growing and will continue to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic without the moratorium. Your voice matters.

Contact Governor Kemp:

 
Innovating Justice...with Your Help

The annual Good Apple event is Georgia Appleseed’s premier fundraiser. We always look forward to hosting hundreds of guests to celebrate those in our community pursuing justice. It is disappointing that we will not be able to have the 2020 event due to COVID-19.
 
One component of the annual event is a closer look into a Georgia Appleseed area of focus. Last year we highlighted school climate. Looking back—Wow—none of us could have envisioned a circumstance that would require a statewide closure of schools . But we innovate to seek justice as always and are finding new ways to tackle old problems as well the new ones that have come with this crisis , including our recent leadership to advocate for a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
 
Without our typical fund-the-mission portion of the event, we need your help to raise another $50,000 by June 30. Will you help us continue this good work, in a time when it is more critical than ever?   Please consider a donation today. 

We are so grateful for those sponsors who have stepped up to support Georgia Appleseed:
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Join Us on May 6 for a Free Online Training: Advocating for Your Child During a Pandemic

Title:  "Advocating for Your Child During a Pandemic: Practical Tips and Resources to Support Your Child's Learning"  

Date and Time:  May 6, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The last half hour will be reserved for Q&A.

Description:  The widespread impact of COVID-19 has drastically changed how Georgia's schoolchildren access learning. Join us to learn about community resources, tools, and tips that can help you be the best advocate for your child during this unusual time.  

Cost : Free!

Registration Link:  https://bit.ly/AdvocateMay6
Welcome New Board Members!

In the past few months, Georgia Appleseed has welcomed the following members to the Board of Directors:

Micah Moon is senior counsel (antitrust) at Georgia-Pacific, LLC. Prior to joining Georgia-Pacific, he practiced law at Alston & Bird for about seven years. He serves on the Georgia Appleseed board in his capacity as President of the Executive Committee for Georgia Appleseed’s Young Professionals Council (YPC).

Adam Ozgo was a longtime member of Georgia Appleseed's YPC before joining the board last month. He is a senior manager in EY’s Forensic & Integrity Services practice based in Atlanta. His focus is on fraud investigations, including occupational and financial statement frauds, as well as proactive fraud detection and prevention services and pre acquisition FCPA due diligence.

Carrie Zhou is a partner of business valuation in the Transaction Advisory Services group at Aprio. Carrie has been performing professional valuations since 2004, and she has provided a wide range of valuation services to clients in a broad range of industries, including but not limited to technology, distribution and manufacturing, construction, pharmaceutical, and professional services.

Welcome, Micah, Adam, and Carrie!
Coming Together for Children

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, Georgia Appleseed has been concerned, first and foremost, with the safety and wellness of our state's children, especially those who are being hit hardest by the effects of school closures, lost family income, and insecure housing.

As the coordinator of the statewide Georgia Education Climate Coalition ( GECC), Georgia Appleseed is hosting weekly calls with coalition members--which include the Georgia Department of Education, Voices for Georgia's Children, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and many more--to coordinate efforts to respond to the challenges caused by COVID-19.

These calls have allowed coalition members to share resources, identify greatest needs, and report successes. For example, Georgia Appleseed contacted an internet provider following reports of families being unable to access their free internet program. Shortly after, the provider changed their policy to forgive outstanding balances, allowing more low-income families to connect to schools and other needed services.

If you have questions about GECC, contact Lashawnda Woods-Roberts at lwroberts@gaappleseed.org .
Looking Back: Film Screening and Discussion on Housing Discrimination and Gentrification

It's hard to believe it was only last month when we joined Working Films, Georgia Justice Project, and Auburn Avenue Research Library for a screening of Priced Out , a documentary about housing discrimination and gentrification.

Following the screening, WABE's Rose Scott moderated a panel discussion with Leonard Adams, President & CEO of Quest Communities; Courtney Anderson, Associate Professor at Georgia State University Law School; Dominque Madison, Equal Justice Works Georgia Housing Corps Organizer/Advocate for Georgia Justice Project; and Councilman Matt Westmoreland, Post 2 At-Large member of the Atlanta City Council.

When we're able to gather again, Georgia Appleseed looks forward to working with partners to bring the same spirit and momentum to future events.
Shining the Pro Bono Light on Muna Claxton, Esq.

Georgia Appleseed recognizes Muna Claxton of the Claxton Law Group as a Georgia Appleseed outstanding pro bono volunteer. Muna recently represented a child in foster care facing significant challenges and criminal charges, and was able to protect this child's access to education. Her stellar representation also led to increased education and health services thus reducing the chances of future exclusionary discipline. Muna's commitment to the Student Tribunal Project made the world of difference in this child's life. 

Georgia Appleseed pro bono projects support Georgia children struggling against poverty, disability, and systemic bias and racism. The COVID-19 pandemic magnifies these challenges. Children have lost critical access to education and safe school environments. The threat of eviction, unsafe housing, and homelessness grows every day as the pandemic puts their parents out of work.

If you are interested in supporting our projects through pro bono work , please fill out this short form and we will be in touch. Questions? Contact Caroline Durham at cdurham@gaappleseed.org .
Additional Resources

In recognition of the incredible impact COVID-19 is having on our lives and throughout our communities, we are continuing to share resources on our social media channels and our website . Below are a handful of resource lists gathered by trusted partners, which we hope will help connect people to the resources they need at this time:

  • GECC— Visit our Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC) page for information about partner organization's upcoming webinars and trainings.
  • 211—Calling 211 or searching the website can provide assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing childcare and more.
  • Atlanta Legal Aid—This resource list includes information about court closings, emergency food help, and more.
  • Georgia Department of Education—This DOE site includes links to school closure information and online learning resources.
  • Voices for Georgia’s Children—Voices has put together a robust list of news and resources around COVID-19, including financial resources, food assistance, closures, guidance on talking to children about the pandemic, and more.

We'd also like to share additional links that are helping us think about this unprecedented event: