DEKALB COUNTY, GA (Monday, February 13, 2023)  -–  On Monday, February 13, at Georgetown University, DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry will join an impressive group of fellow County elected officials from across the country to launch Counties for a Guaranteed Income (CGI). This roundtable and subsequent kick-off for CGI is an expansion of the success of the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), which began in June 2020. 

Currently, MGI has grown to represent more than 29 million and has provided more than $210 million in relief to Americans. CGI aims to expand that, driven by a commitment to advancing a federal guaranteed income – direct, recurring cash payments to the poor and middle class.

“It is a bold idea and will spark conversation about the future of work, the challenges faced by the working poor, and the sad realities of the welfare system in America,” Commissioner Terry said. “I am honored to not only represent DeKalb but also to be the only participant from the entire state of Georgia. It is imperative that we as leaders come together from across state lines to discuss real solutions for all.” 

Like MGI, Counties for Guaranteed Income will consolidate key learning from the pilots taking place in CGI member Counties to address knowledge gaps and allow the organization to layer data with anecdotal evidence through rigorous experimentation and narrative methods.

Participants of the roundtable included MGI Founder Michael Tubbs and CGI Founders: 

DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry

Durham Commissioner Nida Allam

President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Susan Ellenberg 

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Lindsey Horvath

Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando

Ramsey Commissioner Rena Moran 

President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners Toni Preckwinkle 

Founding members include:

Durham Commissioner Nida Allam 

President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Susan Ellenberg

Harris Commissioner Rodney Ellis

Hennepin Board Chair Irene Fernando

Caddo Commissioner Stormy Gage-Watts

Hennepin Commissioner Marion Greene               

Los Angeles Supervisor Lindsey Horvath

Durham Board Chair Brenda Howerton

Santa Fe Commissioner Hank Hughes 

Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando

Multnomah Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Ramsey Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo

Pierce Council Chair Ryan Mello

Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Holly Mitchell

Ramsey Commissioner Rena Moran

Dane County Executive Joseph Parisi

President of the Cook Board of Commissioners Toni Preckwinkle

DeKalb Commissioner Ted Terry

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay

Commissioner Ted Terry on Cop City

Atlanta and DeKalb County officials announced plans to move forward with building a $90 million Atlanta Public Safety Training Center at the site of a former Georgia state prison farm. Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry, who represents constituents where the facility is expected to be built, is calling for more transparency. He talks with Rose about the path forward.


DEKALB COUNTY, GA (December 28th, 2022)  -– Decatur Presbyterian Church-Threshold Ministries will extend financial assistance to those in need after receiving a $100,000 American Rescue Plan grant from DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry. Threshold is the church’s outreach ministry to the homeless and those suffering other effects of poverty. With this funding, the organization will be able to provide aid to approved applicants in need of housing, transportation and other supportive services, primarily those impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The focus of this specific grant will be on those whose life situation has been impacted by physical and/or mental health disability.

“Decatur Presbyterian Church has been an integral part of Decatur for almost 200 years,” Commissioner Ted Terry said. “The pandemic hit our communities hard, and many are still struggling to recover from its broad impact. With this grant money, we can help so many in DeKalb get back on their feet, with Threshold as a beacon of hope for those in need.”

A third of U.S. adults say they or someone in their household has been laid off or lost a job since the outbreak began in February 2020. This left and continues to leave many families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. Threshold Ministry’s purpose is to connect those in need with helpful resources and critical funds. This ARP appropriation will strengthen those efforts.

“One of the keys going forward to address poverty and homelessness will be for governments, non-profits, churches, and corporations to collaborate more readily with one another, seeking solutions that make significant, long-term impacts for individuals and for the broader community,” Reverend Todd Speed of Decatur Presbyterian Church said.

To receive assistance, those interested should submit an application that details their circumstances and demonstrates efforts to tap into community resources. Those approved can receive housing and transportation assistance, as well as financial support to assist with hardships or employment issues stemming from COVID-19. Applications will close on January 31, 2023.

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (Tuesday, December 20)  -– At 2022’s final Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, December 20, DeKalb County’s Board approved a resolution that unwaveringly declares the county’s support for women and those who can bear children to have safe access to all reproductive healthcare needs, including abortion. The resolution was first introduced by Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry over the summer in response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade on June 24. The overturning of this landmark case made Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act enforceable, which bans abortions after about 6 weeks of pregnancy and limits access to other reproductive care services.   

“Fundamental rights have been taken away from hundreds of thousands of our residents,” Commissioner Terry, said. “In DeKalb County, we want to protect the right to choose and access vital reproductive healthcare services. This is not a decision that a politician should make. It’s a personal decision between the one carrying the child, family and their healthcare provider.”

In light of the overturn of Roe V. Wade and the now-enforceable LIFE Act, there is growing concern that those seeking or providing abortion services could be subject to investigation, arrest and prosecution. Commissioner Terry believes this to be a waste of law enforcement resources, especially as constituents and officers themselves want to see more emphasis put on stopping more violent offenses. 

“We know in DeKalb that violent crime is a top priority. We don’t need to be spending police resources investigating our own citizens, our own communities, our healthcare providers,” Commissioner Terry said. “This is not a priority for our law enforcement or to our community.”

In addition to supporting safe access to abortions, the resolution would also encourage the administration to add verbiage to the county employee benefits system that includes access to vital reproductive healthcare resources.

“I’m proud of the support this has received from my fellow Commissioners, and that DeKalb is willing to take a stand and protect our women and child-bearing individuals,” Terry said.

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (Sept. 13, 2022)  -– Roughly 6,000 DeKalb County employees can now receive four hours of paid time off to vote in any primary, general or run-off election, either on Election Day or to cast ballots in advance. The resolution was introduced by Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry back in May and received unanimous approval during Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioner Terry said introducing the VOTE resolution was an easy decision as it aims to support an increase in voter turnout. 

“Our goal should always be to make sure voting is accessible to all,” Commissioner Terry said. “By giving our workers designated time off to cast their ballot, we’re eliminating an obstacle that could keep them from the polls. This resolution also expands language equity and access for future elections.”

DeKalb County joins a growing movement of local governments and businesses who have mandated time off to vote on or close to Election Day, which is not currently recognized as a federal holiday. In Georgia, DeKalb is now one of few governments that offer PTO to vote. Others include the City of Clarkston, where Commissioner Terry once served as mayor, and South Fulton County. The new policy will be in effect by Election Day, November 8, 2022.

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (August 2022)  -– Tekton Career Training, a DeKalb County-based business that focuses on training refugees in trade careers, is extending and expanding its Empower Clarkston program after receiving a combined $375,000 from DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry and the City of Clarkston. Commissioner Terry awarded Tekton $250,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant funding, and The City of Clarkston provided Tekton with $125,000 in ARP grant funding.

A press conference will be held detailing more about this announcement: 

When: Wednesday, September 7, 10 a.m.

Where: Tekton Training Facilities, 3529 Church St Suite D, Clarkston, GA 30021

Attending: DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry, City of Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks, City of Clarkston Councilmember YT Bell, Tekton Career Training representatives

Empower Clarkston, one of many training programs Tekton offers, is a two-week, paid course that teaches participants how to renovate and incorporate energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes, apartments and other residences. This includes installing window and door sealants that reduce heat and air leaks, repairing structural damage and ensuring air ducts are sealed properly. Upgrades are free to homeowners. Participants in last year’s program saw a 35 percent decrease in their energy and electricity bills.

“Empower Clarkston benefits a broad range of people. Refugees seeking employment can get paid to learn necessary trades, and often can graduate with a job offer. Homeowners, especially those in need, can also get money-saving upgrades to their residences free of charge,” Alyson Luzetsky, program manager at Tekton, said. “With this funding, we’ll be able to continue to offer this program for at least an additional two years.”

The new Empower Clarkston program is currently accepting applications for trainees and homeowners. The first training class starts on September 19.

“By funding Empower Clarkston, we can ensure better workforce training, provide energy-efficient improvements for vulnerable residents and strengthen our county’s fight against climate change,” Commissioner Ted Terry said. “I’m thrilled to see this fantastic program continue to spread good throughout our county.”

Commissioner Terry recognized the need to expand this program and its benefits, encouraging Tekton to apply for grant funding last year. He said it’s vital to support businesses and organizations that give back to the county in such multi-faceted ways. Through this and other Tekton programs, refugees are able to secure stable jobs, giving them solid ground to lay roots in their new communities. At the same time, homeowners and renters benefit from lower bills and more energy-efficient, green homes.

Clarkston City Councilwoman YT Bell also saw the community benefit from supporting this programming. Councilwoman Bell advocated for Tekton to receive its grant from the city, introducing the organization’s mission to fellow councilmembers, who later unanimously voted to support Empower Clarkston.

“I’m so excited about this investment in our community, our economy, and supporting residents with burdens that will save residents money monthly,” Councilmember Bell said. “(Through Empower Clarkston), we can provide water and energy efficiency services to reduce cost burdens to residents by the City of Clarkston, while supporting efforts to invest in our workforce and talent pool in our city and meeting the needs of our community.” 

Learn more about Empower Clarkston, here:

ABOUT Tekton

ABOUT City of Clarkston

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DeKalb County District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry Tests Positive for COVID-19

DEKALB COUNTY, GA (Date)  -– On Friday, August 19, DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner tested positive for COVID-19 while out of state on a family vacation. According to Commissioner Terry, he began experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and promptly took an at-home rapid test, which came back positive for the respiratory illness. After a telemedicine visit with his Kaiser Permanente physician, the recommended treatment is over-the-counter medication, hydration, and a 5-day isolation. Because of his mild symptoms and age, Commissioner Terry is not eligible for anti-viral tablets. 

Commissioner Terry is fully vaccinated and boosted. He is currently experiencing a mild sore throat, congestion, and a low-grade fever and is isolating for the immediate future (5 days). He is expected to make a swift recovery and looks forward to continuing his work to better DeKalb as soon as possible. For immediate comments and concerns, please contact Commissioner Terry’s Chief of Staff Kelly Cato,

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CPACS Statement

The Center for Pan Asian Community Services has been a vital asset to our community for 40 years. I have been proud to work alongside the organization many times throughout my career. Most notably, I had the honor of partnering with them when drafting last year’s resolution condemning AAPI violence, xenophobia and hate following March 2021’s tragic shootings. I am saddened to learn of these recent developments. I hope the staff and board can weather this storm, but I am most concerned about the people who depend on CPACS services. I encourage our community to rally together during this difficult time, supporting each other and helping to fill the gaps as CPACS determines what I’m sure will be a brighter, better future. 

Environmental impact of police training facility questioned by DeKalb commissioner

Originally published in The Champion

A stakeholder committee has helped shape the proposed police training facility on City of Atlanta-owned property in southwest DeKalb, but DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry said he wants more research and information on the property’s history and the environmental implications of the proposed development.

Terry recently presented proposed legislation to the DeKalb Board of Commissioners requesting an environmental impact study of the proposed development. The resolution was referred to the Planning, Economic Development, and Community Services committee, which tabled the resolution for 30 days at its July 26 meeting.

Terry said his proposed legislation would examine environmental implications to Intrenchment Creek and South River, noise issues, and other issues that have been discussed by protestors and local environmental activists.

Studies such as a phase two environmental analysis could reveal if there are environmental problems that could slow the development or cost taxpayers and investors more money, according to Terry.

The resolution states that the phase two study “would provide a more diligent review of potential environmental hazards that might yet be unknown, such as possible site contaminants, buried debris, and significant data gaps.”

“If you look at the areas where the prison farm was abandoned, to me it’s clear that there are more underlying environmental issues that deserve a deeper review,” said Terry. “I’d also like a little more effort to acknowledge the long history of the area.”

Terry said it’s important to do the research now because the development is already expected to cost $90 million. He added that the project is one government jurisdiction working in another government jurisdiction, so the development hasn’t been subject to the same regulations as a private development. A private development, according to Terry, would have more impact studies done and a more thorough community input process.

“The goal all along from my point of view was to replicate that citizen and stakeholder process,” said Terry.

The environmental implications related to Intrenchment Creek or South River and its watersheds could be more important than additional costs, according to Terry. Protestors have also mentioned the implications of cutting one of the largest urban forests left in the country.

“On one side, what’s concerning is if there will be additional costs associated with this … but are we making sure that if the site gets developed, that there aren’t any long-term environmental consequences of this land disturbance, understanding that there are decades and decades of history of letting that site degrade,” said Terry.

DeKalb officials said if approved, their study would investigate “a community member’s independent environmental assessment … which highlighted several areas within the entire Prison Farm site that are environmentally sensitive areas and contain vital habitat ecosystems that deserve to be considered in the overall assessment and conservation areas in the [Atlanta public safety training center] development plan.”

“We should be focusing on any development along South River or Intrenchment Creek,” said Terry. “Everything that we do there could put [the waterways] more at risk.”

The resolution adds that in the 2019 master planning process, the City of Atlanta amended its city charter to create a “South River Forest Park”, designated in an area that includes the land proposed for the development of the Atlanta public safety training center.

Terry calls for studies on the area’s history

In the original resolution, Terry also called for “the idea of housing reparations,” for neighborhoods that have fallen victim to redlining or other actions that Terry said have impacted neighborhoods around the Old Atlanta Prison Farm.

Terry said the way the property has been used and cared for over the last several decades, including with what Terry called “redlining,” and potentially discriminatory separations of groups of people, should also require research and a “history and reconciliation and reparations committee.”

According to Terry, adding gun ranges and other loud activities to the site could further damage property values if the noise isn’t contained properly.

Terry said that since the Old Atlanta Prison Farm was abandoned from its original uses, the property has been ignored by local governments and police training on the property has gone somewhat unchecked.

“If the history and recognition reveal that there were actions taken by Atlanta’s government or DeKalb’s government that made these situations worse or turned the Starlight neighborhood into a place where land values were artificially depressed through de jure segregation, then there needs to be some accounting of that,” added Terry.

Depending on what is uncovered in the research, Terry said that there is a future where the public training facility moves locations.

“[A different site] is one future scenario. What if we get six months or a year down the land disturbance process, and it’s determined that the original site plan can’t be implemented due to issues that were discovered after the fact? Or that it’s going to cost more than expected? It’s always good—especially when taxpayer money is involved—that we do everything we can do to ensure the best quality project. Not just for the immediate future but for the long-term health of this ecosystem,” said Terry.

Roe V. Wade Statement

For 50 years, rights to bodily autonomy were protected. For 50 years, though challenged countless times, the right to choose was safe. Today, the Supreme Court took us back 50 years with the overturning of Roe v Wade, the first step to advance toward a nationwide ban. No longer, per the Bench’s decision, should a woman or someone who can get pregnant have any say in their reproductive rights. In a nation where gun laws have been overturned, where Juul e-cigarettes have been labeled as a more dangerous threat than bullets, we are continuing to see the rights of our citizens stripped away, now targeting those who can get pregnant.

While we knew this decision was looming, it does not make the sting, disappointment and sadness of the overturn of this landmark case any less potent. It also does not make abortions go away, only less safe and further out of reach for the poor and marginalized communities. To those of you devastated by this news, please know that I am with you. I am with you, and I will fight for you to have a right to your bodily autonomy. Decisions over your body should not be left to the government, and the consequences of this loom large.

Now is not the time to give up, though. The court may have failed us, but there is still hope if we fight for each other. Fight by voting to expand the Senate Majority in November. Fight by supporting organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Fight by voting in our state’s gubernatorial election. We must rally together and take action to protect the rights of our fellow citizens now, and every day going forward. 

It is a dark and heartbreaking day in our country’s history. May we all come together and grieve, offer comfort to those directly affected by this decision, and keep our spark to fight alive.

–– Commissioner Ted Terry