President Donald Trump backed an effort to form a new city in Atlanta, Georgia.
Buckhead, the affluent neighborhood north of the city, had considered separating on several occasions when the movement gained new energy in March of 2021.
Residents of Buckhead pushed to separate from the city of Atlanta after a surge in crime that the movement’s leaders attributed to policies established by the local government.
“What is happening in the City of Atlanta is nothing short of disgraceful. It’s national news and a regional embarrassment,” Trump said in a Feb. 26 statement. “The good people of Buckhead don’t want to be a part of defunding the police and the high crime that’s plaguing their communities.”
“RINOs like Governor Brian Kemp, the man responsible, along with his puppet master Mitch McConnell, for the loss of two Senate Seats and 2020 Presidential Vote, Lt. Governor Jeff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, and State Senators Butch Miller, Jeff Mullis, and John Albers always talk a big game but they don’t deliver,” he added.
“What good is having Republican leaders if they are unwilling to fight for what they campaigned on? Every RINO must go!” Trump said. “Let the voters decide on the very popular City of Buckhead proposal!”
Critics claim the movement was racially motivated, as the area’s roughly 90,000 person population is mostly white. Atlanta as a whole is 51% black.
Additionally, KB Advisory Group found that “losing the affluent swath of north Atlanta neighborhoods would cost City Hall as much as $116 million and Atlanta Public Schools $232 million in recurring tax revenue.”
The residents were warned that their children would not be allowed to attend Atlanta Public School because their water bills could rise by 36%, per Axios.
Buckhead was annexed by the city of Atlanta in 1952.
The effort’s leader Bill White, a business consultant and former fundraiser for President Trump, was accused of being a carpetbagger who was creating unnecessary conflict.
White and his husband, Bryan Eure, moved to Buckhead from New York City in 2018. White became the Chairman and CEO of Buckhead City Committee in May of 2021, advocating for hiring more police and stronger punishments for criminals.
Buckhead City supporters were seeking to have the secession effort put to a vote during a referendum in November.
Ultimately, the Georgia legislation moved on Feb. 11 to give Altlanta Mayor Andre Dickens one year to reduce crime rates.
Buckhead’s State Representative Betsy Holland stated afterward, “I applaud the leadership of both Lt. Gov. Duncan and Speaker Ralston for giving our new mayor time to fix some of our problems before rushing into such a drastic solution.”
“Although there seems to be an obsession, truly, that this is about one person … it is not,” White said in a Feb 16 statement. “It is about 80,000 legally registered voters who want and who deserve to vote this year.”
The Buckhead City Committee has affirmed its intention to continue pursuing cityhood.