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A Look Back: TSPLOST

I advocated very strongly in favor of the July 31 Transportation Referendum. It was my first time ever participating in a political campaign and what a joy it was to champion causes of taxation, infrastructure, and quality of life.

As many know, there are two words in this country that can cause a politician to lose his job and even the most peaceful of human beings to turn into chaotic rioters, "new taxes." The referendum ran contradictory to that logic, but the long-term benefits of this 1% regional sales tax was enough for many Atlantans to still vote "Yes," but unfortunately not enough to win the overall campaign.

The ugly defeat (63% voted "No") still sits in the back of my mind and with it comes many important lessons on business, government, and human behavior, as well as stories to tell my grandchildren (although stories tend to twist with each passing year, by the time I'm 60 I'm sure I'll be stating how we came from behind at the last second to win a sweet victory in the name of justice and prosperity). 

Although the side I fought on did not win the vote, we did achieve unprecedented unity among the metro Atlanta business community and a few other significant stats that I have listed below:

  • We raised nearly $9.5M for the campaign and spent 78% of that on direct voter contact
  • We made over 300,000 volunteer phone calls in the last 30 days of the campaign
  • We delivered over 4,000 points of broadcast TV, 800 points of radio, 2,000 cable spots, and placed over 100 billboards.
  • We provided speakers to over 400 events
  • We had over 125 partner organizations
  • We obtained positive endorsements: Governor Nathan Deal, Mayor Kasim Reed, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, Rep. John Lewis, Billy Payne, Clark Howard, and support of all major sports teams: Falcons, Braves, Hawks, Dream, and the Atlanta Motor Speedway

The entire campaign was pure fun. I met so many wonderful people. Being in the right place at the right time, I was a caught in a picture taken by Atlanta press that shows me listening attentively to Gov. Deal giving a speech with Mayor Reed standing at his side on the floor of the Georgia State Capitol. 

Infrastructure is now an even more urgent matter to me and I will post more entries on its importance on our modern economy.Today I read news of how new plans are being crafted that won't (and can't possibly) be quite as grandiose, but will still work to better Atlanta's roads for Atlanta's businesses and Atlanta's people. It won't be long before legislators will begin building support for those plans and regardless of taxation, the most beneficial for people and for business will have my vote.

God Bless

 
 


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