After several months of paused utility disconnections, the City of East Point began disconnecting residents utilities on March 1, 2021. Many East Point residents are now left with months of accumulated utility debt—some upwards of $2,000. Thousands of East Point residents continue to suffer from the mass layoffs that began during the pandemic, as well as the government's gross mismanagement of the pandemic that has resulted in over 600,000 deaths nationally. Stopping the shutoffs and canceling accumulated utility debt would provide much needed relief to residents of East Point.
No one should be prevented from washing their hands, taking a shower, or cooking a meal at home—especially during a worldwide health crisis. Despite Governor Kemp and other officials' push to re-open businesses, millions of Georgians continue to suffer from COVID-19 and the economic recession. Only 35% of Georgians have been fully vaccinated, and hundreds of new cases are recorded every day. Over 4 million Georgians filed for unemployment in the last year since the pandemic began and many have lost not only their jobs but also health insurance and stable housing.
In addition, East Point residents are already dealing with a city that's notorious for astronomical utility rates over the past decade. This year includes some electric rates as high as $600/month for a single person household.
The East Point City Council has the power and the responsibility to defend the health of its residents. Restarting utility disconnections demonstrates the city council's protection of profits over people's basic needs.
Water, heat, and light are a right! PSL Atlanta is collecting signatures in support of the demands, organizing protests, and mobilizing the community to action.
* The City of East Point immediately stop utility shutoffs for non-payment during the pandemic.
* The City of East Point cancel residents' accumulated utility debt.
* The City of East Point and the State of Georgia enact an immediate moratorium on utility shutoffs.