Around Atlanta, Georgia, many communities are pursuing cityhood. : Planet Money There's a movement underway in Georgia. More and more communities around Atlanta are choosing to keep their tax dollars very local, and become their own cities. It's a story about equity and exclusion – and also potholes. | Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at

A tale of two cityhoods

A tale of two cityhoods

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 04: A view of an empty John Lewis Freedom Parkway into downtown Atlanta from Jackson Street Bridge on April 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the last 20 years, at least ten communities around Atlanta, Georgia decided to become their own cities. And more have attempted cityhood. They all want more say over local rules, and to keep more of their tax dollars for themselves.

One version of this movement's history starts with Oliver Porter, a retired telecom executive who led his own community of Sandy Springs to cityhood in 2005 and now advises others on how to do it. But the idea of splitting off and becoming a separate city – it actually dates back to the 1960s and has segregationist roots.

On today's show, a mostly Black and brown community tries to use cityhood for its own ends.

Music: Moody Pop Guitars, Sailing Past, and Star Alignment

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