Activists unveil government watchdog website

A coalition of self-described troublemakers announced Tuesday the creation of a website they say will help ordinary Georgian pry into the dealings of their local governments.

“If we are going to have good government, it’s going to have to start with the taxpayers of each county,” said Viola Davis, a DeKalb County activist and a member of the Georgia Watchdogs coalition.

Representatives from about 20 local watchdog groups in the metro area have signed onto the effort in an attempt to pressure government officials to be more open, particularly when it comes to spending taxpayer money on development schemes. The coalition has a decidedly tea party flavor but includes more liberal groups such as the Cobb County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Michael Opitz, an activist with Citizens for Government Transparency in Cobb County, itself a coalition built around opposition to the planned Braves baseball stadium there, decried what he called “massive corruption” at all levels of government. He and others urged Georgians to work to force their elected officials to be more open.

“If we don’t, we’re going to pay a terrible price,” he said.

The website is The website has instructions on filing open records requests, contact information for government officials and links to government resources.

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