“Cop City” and the language of protest

Illustration of a protest sign, a molotov cocktail and a bullhorn cycling between two quotation marks.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Last month, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr chided local media for its characterization of activists protesting Atlanta's planned $90 million public safety complex.

  • Carr urged media outlets to "stop calling these people protesters," arguing that "rioters" was more fitting for the activists, some of whom broke windows and set a police car on fire during the downtown demonstration.
  • The now-national, largely leaderless movement against the complex in southwest DeKalb County has sparked a debate about the language used to describe the people trying to halt the project.

Why Atlanta should host the DNC — not Chicago

Jesse Jackson and Michael Dukakis

Our last Democratic National Convention. The Rev. Jesse Jackson with nominee Michael Dukakis on July 18, 1988. Photo: Karen Engstrom/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee is reportedly close to making a decision on the host city for the 2024 convention.

  • Last week, the DNC told Houston the city was out of the running, and sources tell us that Atlanta and Chicago are the frontrunners.
Thomas Wheatley
Jan 31, 2023 - News

Georgia industries want higher weight limits on commercial trucks

Illustration of an anvil with tires like a 5-axle truck driving down the street, cracking the pavement.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Georgia companies that use big commercial trucks and the local governments who maintain roads are facing off yet again over the amount of weight those trucks can haul.

Why it matters: The seemingly annual — and very wonky — battle at the Georgia Capitol has big effects on infrastructure, safety and the finances of some of Georgia’s biggest employers.

Emma Hurt
Jan 27, 2023 - Politics

UGA poll: 99% of Georgia voters saw no issues in 2022

Illustration of an elephant trunk and a donkey hoof reaching for a peach.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

A post-election survey of 2022 Georgia voters by the University of Georgia shows a bit of good news in this polarized political environment: The vast majority of voters polled were pleased with how voting went in November.

Why it matters: After years of debate over voting policy, allegations of voter suppression and of voter fraud, more than 90% of Georgia voters surveyed strongly/somewhat agreed that it was easy to cast a ballot here.

Thomas Wheatley
Jan 26, 2023 - News

Gov. Kemp declares state of emergency over "Cop City" protests

A crowd of people carrying banners march in the streets of Atlanta as smoke rises from the crowd

Demonstrators protest the death of environmental activist Tortuguita on Saturday in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Gov. Brian Kemp authorized the use of up to 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops during a 15-day state of emergency.

State of play: The declaration went into effect Thursday afternoon. It comes after a weekend protest in Downtown over the shooting death of an activist at Atlanta's proposed police and fire academy turned destructive, with protesters breaking windows and setting fire to a police cruiser.

Emma Hurt
Jan 26, 2023 - Politics

An early look at Kemp's second-term agenda

Brian Kemp waves to a crowded state House

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp arrives for the State of the State address on the House floor of the State Capitol Wednesday. Photo: Alex Slitz/AP

This year, Gov. Brian Kemp is suddenly the most experienced leader at the state Capitol. He's fresh off a resounding victory and a record-high approval rating.

Why it matters: As lobbyists and lawmakers get to know a new Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and new House Speaker Jon Burns, Kemp is the familiar face with an experienced policy team — and therefore an agenda to pay attention to.

Emma Hurt
Jan 18, 2023 - News

Gov. Brian Kemp pitches Georgia at Davos

Panel discussion at Davos

Gov. Brian Kemp (third from the left) wears cowboy boots to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP

Gov. Brian Kemp appeared Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland alongside other American officials, including Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Az.) and fellow Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.).

Why it matters: Kemp's participation indicates how his own prominence has risen in four years. (The panel's Norwegian moderator Børge Brende introduced him with: "We know you well. We've seen you a lot on TV all over the world.")

  • It's also an indicator of his push to land even more international economic development projects in Georgia.

What he's saying: Kemp made a direct appeal to companies in the audience as other panelists discussed the recent Speaker election saga on Capitol Hill: "If there's gridlock in Washington, D.C., one thing you can count on is stability and a great economy, a great business environment in the state of Georgia. We're going to keep rocking and rolling."

Yes, and: Earlier in the day, Kemp told state lawmakers that he was going to Davos because it's "a great opportunity for me to be out here to share Georgia's success story with people from around the world. Because I believe they can certainly learn a thing or two from us."

  • "I'm very proud of my conservative values. I'm also not afraid to stand up and share them and how good they are and what our state's been doing with others around the country or others around the world — even when I may be surrounded by a few people that disagree with us," he added.
  • "Bring home some more jobs," Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) told Kemp via video call.

Of note: Kemp did maintain his standard aesthetic in Davos — as the sole panelist wearing cowboy boots.

Emma Hurt
Jan 18, 2023 - Politics

The state of Georgia's economy, post-pandemic

Illustration of the Georgia State Capitol with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Georgia's pandemic-era revenue hot streak is over, but things don't look dire. That's the high level from state economist Jeffrey Dorfman, who spoke to state lawmakers Tuesday.

Why it matters: Dorfman’s revenue estimates drive the size of the state budget each year.


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