A Shameful Juxtaposition

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8 May 2007

A letter I sent to the local newspaper yesterday morning:

Consider these two stories on the front of the paper today: “Public defenders’ jobs cut” and “Sotheby’s enters Atlanta market.” A prestige name in auctions and real estate enters our burgeoning market for luxury homes – a very good thing – and yet the state can’t afford attorneys to protect the rights of indigents. Remember as well that the recent legislative session couldn’t find the money for PeachCare health insurance for poor children, either.

I love that this great city and this great state can support such economic growth. It makes me proud. At the same time, it’s shameful that we claim we cannot afford to provide essential legal and medical support for those who cannot afford it.

I’ll bet you can guess which party is in charge of both the legislature and the governor’s office in this great state.

Update: An hour after I sent the letter, an editor called and said they’d try, other news allowing, to print it on Wednesday, and asked if it was okay to change the end of the first paragraph to say “couldn’t find enough money for PeachCare,” since the legislature did appropriate some money for it. I said sure. I looked this morning, and they published it online, at least.