Willoughby Mariano

Willoughby Mariano is on the AJC's watchdog team and an expert on housing and criminal justice issues. Contact her at wmariano@ajc.com.

Latest from Willoughby Mariano

Black double-consciousness: Du Bois’ century-plus concept still valid
 As black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois told it, the story of one of the most revolutionary concepts in American life began more than 100 years ago in a wooden New England schoolhouse. That era’s schoolyard craze was to exchange “visiting cards,” which grownups gave to announce they had dropped by for a visit. A white girl refused...

Posted: 7 days ago

As black scholar W. E. B. Du Bois told it, the story of one of the most revolutionary concepts in American life began more than 100 years ago in a wooden New England schoolhouse. That era’s schoolyard craze was to exchange “visiting cards,” which grownups gave to announce they had dropped by for a visit. A white girl refused...
Group questions Atlanta’s treatment of homeless ahead of Super Bowl
 Atlanta officials are locked in a dispute with one of the South’s leading civil rights groups over whether they are unconstitutionally warehousing homeless residents in the city’s jail to clear streets for the Super Bowl. The Southern Center for Human Rights said there are strong signs that a recent crackdown on encampments and...

Posted: 20 days ago

Atlanta officials are locked in a dispute with one of the South’s leading civil rights groups over whether they are unconstitutionally warehousing homeless residents in the city’s jail to clear streets for the Super Bowl. The Southern Center for Human Rights said there are strong signs that a recent crackdown on encampments and...
Shutdown now squeezing seniors, families in subsidized housing
 The partial federal shutdown struck just as Willie J. Donaldson began to believe he could save his home from foreclosure. A stroke weakened his legs and forced him from his job as a maintenance worker. Unemployment and medical bills put the Bainbridge man tens of thousands of dollars behind on his mortgage payments. Donaldson, 61, lost hope...

Posted: 29 days ago

The partial federal shutdown struck just as Willie J. Donaldson began to believe he could save his home from foreclosure. A stroke weakened his legs and forced him from his job as a maintenance worker. Unemployment and medical bills put the Bainbridge man tens of thousands of dollars behind on his mortgage payments. Donaldson, 61, lost hope...
LOOKING AHEAD: Atlanta rain settles in for the new year
 It’s raining. It’s probably going to rain again. And again. Three rounds of storms are expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain over several days across water-logged metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2 Action News, bringing high winds followed by flash flooding through the New Year. “At this point, New Year’s Eve at...

10:16 PM Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

It’s raining. It’s probably going to rain again. And again. Three rounds of storms are expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain over several days across water-logged metro Atlanta, according to Channel 2 Action News, bringing high winds followed by flash flooding through the New Year. “At this point, New Year’s Eve at...
Shortage of collard greens affects Southern dinner tables
 Supermarkets are selling out. Farmers are short. The leafy bundles that buyers can find aren’t quite right. >> Read more trending news  They’re smaller. More tender. Not the hearty green we know and trust. Gentle Southerners, brace yourselves. We have entered the Great Collard Shortage of 2018. The shortage bodes...

1:32 AM Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

Supermarkets are selling out. Farmers are short. The leafy bundles that buyers can find aren’t quite right. >> Read more trending news  They’re smaller. More tender. Not the hearty green we know and trust. Gentle Southerners, brace yourselves. We have entered the Great Collard Shortage of 2018. The shortage bodes...
Collard greens shortage impacts Southern dinner tables
 Supermarkets are selling out. Farmers are short. The leafy bundles that buyers can find aren’t quite right. They’re smaller. More tender. Not the hearty green we know and trust. Gentle southerners, brace yourselves. We have entered the Great Collard Shortage of 2018. The shortage bodes ill for 2019. With leaves the size of a dinner...

3:35 PM Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018

Supermarkets are selling out. Farmers are short. The leafy bundles that buyers can find aren’t quite right. They’re smaller. More tender. Not the hearty green we know and trust. Gentle southerners, brace yourselves. We have entered the Great Collard Shortage of 2018. The shortage bodes ill for 2019. With leaves the size of a dinner...
At New Birth megachurch, new spiritual push weighed down by old debts
 The preacher from Baltimore strode to the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church dressed in a gold tunic and promised the church would be reborn. “No matter what pit they try to throw us in, God always throws us a trampoline for us to be able to bounce back,” new Senior Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant promised in his ...

11:00 AM Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

The preacher from Baltimore strode to the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church dressed in a gold tunic and promised the church would be reborn. “No matter what pit they try to throw us in, God always throws us a trampoline for us to be able to bounce back,” new Senior Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant promised in his ...
Tenants find landlords often ignore pleas for safer apartments
 It took a prosecution, days of court testimony, three court orders, and at least tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys expenses to convince the owners of East Point’s Brookfield Apartments to make it a safer place to live. Yet when all was said and done, the security measures a judge ordered were not all that different from...

7:15 PM Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

It took a prosecution, days of court testimony, three court orders, and at least tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys expenses to convince the owners of East Point’s Brookfield Apartments to make it a safer place to live. Yet when all was said and done, the security measures a judge ordered were not all that different from...
Handling of director’s retirement points to troubled Atlanta VA culture
 After news broke that the Atlanta VA Medical Center is now one of the worst in the nation, those who oversee it downplayed the personnel changes that followed. An official public statement Oct. 18 called the changes in department heads “temporary” and said they were made out of “an abundance of caution,” but failed...

11:00 PM Friday, Nov. 09, 2018

After news broke that the Atlanta VA Medical Center is now one of the worst in the nation, those who oversee it downplayed the personnel changes that followed. An official public statement Oct. 18 called the changes in department heads “temporary” and said they were made out of “an abundance of caution,” but failed...
No help for tenants sickened by mold in their homes
 Water poured into Madrika Gray’s apartment from a busted pipe last December, ruining her furniture and puddling onto the worn tiles. Then there was mold, which grew in dark, fine-haired blots on her furniture and made her clothes smell no matter how much she washed them. Now Gray and her children wake up with piercing headaches. A throat...

7:00 PM Friday, Nov. 02, 2018

Water poured into Madrika Gray’s apartment from a busted pipe last December, ruining her furniture and puddling onto the worn tiles. Then there was mold, which grew in dark, fine-haired blots on her furniture and made her clothes smell no matter how much she washed them. Now Gray and her children wake up with piercing headaches. A throat...
Luxury car owners dodge Ga. tax with Montana scheme
 Three reasons why state agents think Georgia is losing out on millions of tax dollars each year sat at a Cobb County mansion on a mild October morning. The first was parked in the driveway: a 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 luxury SUV that lists for as low as $92,000 — used. The second was the 2015 Cadillac Escalade alongside it, a relative...

10:00 PM Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

Three reasons why state agents think Georgia is losing out on millions of tax dollars each year sat at a Cobb County mansion on a mild October morning. The first was parked in the driveway: a 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 luxury SUV that lists for as low as $92,000 — used. The second was the 2015 Cadillac Escalade alongside it, a relative...