Category Archives: Announcements

Summary of NPU M Retreat, February 1, 2014 — involvement, engagement, volunteering, committees

Thank you all for sharing your time, your passion, and your ideas! You made Saturday’s retreat a resounding success for Neighborhood Planning Unit M! About 50 neighbors came out from all over our NPU, several from surrounding NPUs (X, V, and Z), an at-large council member took part (Andre Dickens, Post 3), Jay Tribby came from our District 2 council member’s (Kwanza Hall) office, and our District 4 council member (Cleta Winslow) gave $200 to defray costs for the retreat. Several seniors came, several millennials, lots of us in between them in age, and one committee ended with hugs all round between some excited millennials and seniors.

Structure: Each committee discussed possible priorities for the coming year, and the flip charts from those conversations are attached here. Committees will always be open to your input, just like the General Body meetings. Each neighborhood will have one vote on each committee, but any resident, business owner, or organization representative within the NPU M boundary will be heard. The committees will be reporting to and advising the General Body and Executive Committee on issues brought to them by neighbors and the representatives appointed by each neighborhood association. They’ll also be following issues and legislation pending before their respective City Council committees and reporting back to us. Committees will choose their officers soon, and will have a chair, vice chair, and secretary. For more information on our committee structure and operation, our bylaws and rules can be downloaded here.  Scroll down for summaries of each committee’s work from the retreat.

How to get involved and stay informed: Contact for more information on how you can get involved — it’s not all just meetings, there’s lots of ways to be part of making NPU M and our neighborhoods even better. We’ll continue to be in touch by email, our website (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter (@NPU_M). And be sure to check back here and come to our monthly meetings for more information, too! The fourth Monday of each month, at 6:30 PM, we meet as a General Body of the entire membership — at Helene Mills Center, 515 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312.
Don’t hesitate to contact us! You can sign up to get our email updates using the tool on our webpage.


Matthew Jones, Vice Chair

NEXT STEPS and committee discussion summaries:

Next meeting: February 25, 5pm at Cosby Spear highrise – 4th Wednesday

  • Reduce energy usage by turning light poles off during the day
  • Areas of interest
    • Airport
    • Street Abandonment

Next meeting: February 12, 7pm at Condesa Coffee

  • Title I Funding on Day 1 of school year.
  • Hope Hill Playground – Phase I – City Park Playground II & III – APS property
  • Superintendent Search
  • Allocation of resources – Budgeting
  • Centennial Conversion from Public to Charter
  • Inman Middle & Grady capacity issues and solutions
  • Mentor Program / Parent Involvement
  • Elementary School Partnerships i.e. Hope Hill Elementary and Morningside
  • Access to APS facilities not in use
    • Howard Gym
    • Howard Field
    • Walden Field
  • Meetings with Board of Education Members
    • Leslie Grant
    • Courtney English
    • Cynthia Briscoe-Brown
    • John Esteves
    • Matt Westmoreland

CD / HR (Community Development and Human Resources)
Next meeting: February 16, 3pm at TBD location

  • Temporary shelter for homeless
  • Codify process of when to open
  • Warming centers
  • Atlanta Workforce Development (quarterly reporting)
  • Invest Atlanta (quarterly reporting)
  • For funding of economic development
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Jobs!
  • National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum
  • Atlanta Housing Authority
  • BeltLine

Next meeting: February 25, 5pm at Cosby Spear highrise – 4th Wednesday

  • Street Usage
  • Movement of vehicles
  • Parking
  • Road Safety / Pedestrian Sidewalks / ADA Compliance
  • Repair of Sidewalks
  • City streets vs. State routes
  • The Gulch / MMPT (Multi-modal Passenger Terminal) – Infrastructure of viaducts
    • Transit connections (MARTA / suburban coaches)
    • Transit economic stimulus (Streetcar / port of Savannah)
  • Bicycle paths
    • BeltLine cycle tracks

Committee on Council
Next Meeting: February 24, 5:30pm at Condessa Coffee Shop – 4th Monday

  • ½ of committee attending APAB Leadership Training
  • “Watchdog” + “Oversight” of council
  • Personal passions as a focus
  • Meet + Greet with Mary Norwood
  • Keep track of council agenda and documentation (disseminate to NPU M committees)
  • Recruit from 4th & SAND and Marietta Street Artery

Land Use / Zoning
Next meeting: February 10, 6pm at Atlanta Medical Center Pavilion

  • New monthly meeting time TBD (proposed 4th Thursday)
  • Events
    / Festivals & Permits (back up from city on apps)
  • New Zoning Ordinance Process
  • Process / Relationships with applicants
  • Ordinances on zoning from council
  • Set back variances
  • Members

Public Safety
Next meeting: February 6, 6:30pm at Helene Mills Senior Center

  • Sub commitee that does strategy
  • Less than 50% of the meeting will be devoted to what has happened in the pass
  • Mini task forces – example add camera’s to APD systems
  • Analysis and prioritizes social media and compare to APD report ( for example the person’s who home in Auburn area…we should have reached out that person and gotten them a face to face with APD)
  • Coordinate and create a relationship with private patrols in NPUM
  • Bring all video stream into private to identify who are our offenders
  • Fire safety – identify seniors and others that need smoke alarms and batteries – Volunteer outing for time change with Fire Department
  • Boulevard and Ralph Mc Gill – kids have to walk around the street to get to school (look at maybe having a patrol to assist)
  • Code enforcement – each neighborhood create their own list
  • Topic Meeting – Business
  • Know your neighbors
  • Public Safety around public feeding (code and other violations)
  • Connect Land Use to add a list of neighborhood issues and add safety

National Park Foundation Grants Available

Active Trails

The Active Trails program promotes healthy living by literally getting people out and active on the trails — whether hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, or volunteering to help improve existing trails or to build new ones. This NPF signature program grants parks the opportunity to develop a community engagement platform through restoration work, recreational activities, and large-scale kickoff and celebration events. Among other goals, the program aligns with “Healthy Parks/Healthy Living” initiatives and, with the goals of the National Trails System leading up to the 50th anniversary in 2018, which encompass increasing public awareness, building and enhancing trails, and enhancing management capacity by Federal agencies. The 2014 Active Trails program is being made possible through the generous support of Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola Foundation

To apply for a grant click here
Grant applications due: Friday, March 7, 2014
Questions: Contact Carolyn Hill, at 202-354-6471 or by email at

Park Stewards

The Park Stewards program launched in 2009. The program gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore the relevance of national parks to their lives, and enables them to become civically engaged stewards of their national parks. Through the program model, high school teachers and park rangers team up to develop curriculum and service-learning activities that tie to the national park and applicable state standards. The curriculum and service-learning activities are then implemented throughout the year with the high school students and revised through the fall and spring semesters. Through the service-learning activities, the students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills (in addition to physical skills as appropriate) to address genuine needs of the park. The 2014-2015 Park Stewards program is being made possible through the generous support of the University of Phoenix and the National Park Foundation.

To apply for a grant click here.
Grant applications due: Friday, March 14, 2014
Questions: Contact Carolyn Hill, at 202-354-6471 or by email at

 America’s Best Idea

Now entering its sixth year, the America’s Best Idea grants program is an NPF signature program meant to engage diverse audiences in meaningful and relevant ways with national parks and inspire participants to become stewards of our national park system. The original goal of the program was to capitalize on the 2009, 12-hour Ken Burns film, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, as a catalyst for connecting under-represented audiences with their national parks. This program has evolved into a successful model for national parks to engage multi-cultural, multi-ethnic groups of all ages, and to inspire their future stewardship of our national parks. At its core, it is a community engagement program with an emphasis on underserved youth.

To apply for a grant click here.
Grant applications due: Friday, March 21, 2014
Questions: Contact Carolyn Hill, at 202-354-6471 or by email at

For more information click here.

New City Alarm Ordinance – Deadline to register is 2.1.14

City of Atlanta residents and businesses are now required to register their security and burglar alarm systems. In 2012, the Atlanta Police Department responded to 65,000 alarm system activations, 95% of which were false alarms or alarms that were cancelled in route. These calls represent more than six percent of total 911 dispatches. With every call taking an average of 20-30 minutes, the equivalent of 8-12 full-time police officers were dedicated to responding to false alarms, thereby taking away valuable public safety resources from more pressing matters.

NPU-M General Body Membership Meeting January 27, 2014

Please join your neighbors and concerned citizens at the first NPU-M meeting for 2014.  The meeting will be held Monday January 27, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Helene Mills Center located at 515 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312.

Click here to read the agenda for this meeting.

Read the minutes in the link below from the December 2013 meetings.

2013.12.09 NPU M Land UseExec, MINUTES draft, acting on behalf of cancelled General Body December meeting

Welcome to 2014!

Greetings Neighbors!

On behalf of the 2014 officers for NPU M I would like to take time to welcome you all to a new year of community service!

For those of you not familiar with our organization, Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) M is the official citizen’s voice to the City of Atlanta for people residing or working in the Old Fourth Ward, Sweet Auburn, Downtown, Castleberry Hill, and southern stretch of the Marietta Street Artery Association. The NPU system was established in 1974 to provide an opportunity for citizens to participate actively and to receive information concerning all functions of city government.  The system enables citizens to express ideas and comment on city plans and proposals while assisting the city in developing plans that best meet the needs of their communities.

2014 is poised to be a pivotal year for NPU M. With the economy recovering, the Atlanta Streetcar, Ponce City Market, the Beltline, new Falcons stadium, Multi Modal Passenger Terminal, continued growth of Georgia State, new City Council, and various other activities emanating from our vibrant neighborhoods, major change abounds like it hasn’t in a while — and with change comes opportunity.

We would love your help in maximizing community benefits from this change.

The NPU is currently looking for people to staff our 2014 committees. NPU committee work can be an experience rife with rewards personally and professionally. You can network with the movers and shakers in your community, help influence public policy by working with the City Council, collaborate with APD on matters of public safety, engage in city-wide projects with the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board, organize special events, develop and apply leadership skills, recruit new residents and businesses, or just have a good time working to improve your neighborhood with like-minded people. There is no residency requirement or minimum time commitment, if you have a pulse and ten minutes of time every now and then we can use you.

The standing NPU Committees and their responsibilities are:

Land Use and Zoning – Development and Land Use; Urban Design; Zoning Applications; Variance Requests; Special Administrative Permits; Land Bank Authority Requests; Historic Preservation.
Education – Redistricting; Use of School Facilities and Resources; Education Standards and Techniques.
Community Development/Human Resources – Tax Allocation Districts; Comprehensive Development and Master Plan.
Safety – Criminal Activity and Public Safety; Fire Prevention; Code Enforcement.
Transportation – Traffic; Parking; Transit.
Utility – Work and Construction.
Committee on Council – Legislation; City Council operations/activities.

Sound good?

Great! Just contact your neighborhood association or Matthew Jones, NPU Vice Chairman and committee coordinator, (vicechair at to let us know about your interest. You don’t need to know anything about what you would like to do. We will be recruiting new members throughout January and have a retreat on February 1st at 2pm (venue to be announced) where we will give you a primer on the pressing issues in the community and what you can do to contribute.

In the meantime, why don’t you come to our first General Body meeting of 2014? It will be at 6:30 PM on Monday January 27th 2014 at the Helene Mills Senior Center (515 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, N.E.). We hope to see you there!


Rashid Z. Muhammad

Chairman, NPU M

chair at