Ryan Gravel, the man whose master’s thesis inspired the Atlanta BeltLine, has tendered his resignation from the board that oversees fundraising for the project.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Gravel, along with fellow-board member Nathaniel Smith, resigned from the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership on Sept. 26.
Gravel said the BeltLine has not given enough attention to housing affordability along the 22-mile trail. To read the full story, click here.
In a recent interview with Atlanta Loop, Gravel said he wants to make sure the Beltline is, “inclusive, that it benefits everyone and not just certain people – that it’s built in ways that are sustainable and healthy.”
Gravel told Atlanta Loop, “It was time [to resign] for sure, based on the lack of attention to those issues.”
“This is a struggle the Beltline has had since the beginning, in terms of our vision,” Gravel said. “Our accountability is to everybody. That’s difficult to achieve. There’s a lot of differences of opinion about how that should be done. So that’s something we’ve always struggled with. There’s just different ways to work on it. Ideally we develop a broad coalition of voices to talk about it. We need to do that. It’s not too late, but we need to do it.”
So how does leaving the Partnership’s board promote the goal of housing affordability?
“I don’t know, Gravel said. “What I’m saying is what I’ve said in the letter. I want to focus my attention and efforts on the issues. If the best way to do that is not for the board, then I’ll find some other way to do it.”
Gravel posted the full letter on his website, www.ryangravel.com. It says, in part:
The departure of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Executive Director, and the explanation offered both at the Board meeting on July 21 and in meetings since, have put us both in difficult positions between what we believe is inadequate attention to equitable outcomes and our own personal and professional commitments for the project. They have also highlighted the urgency to include the broader public in how these issues are addressed, and related to this, have helped illustrate to us an internal dissonance within the Partnership that has been present since its beginning.
To read the full letter, click here.