Best Local Rabble-Rouser

John Woodham

Staff Pick

Don’t get us wrong: We’re all for the Beltline. So it might come as a surprise that we’re honoring JOHN WOODHAM with this award. The 42-year-old, notoriously media-shy Buckhead resident and lawyer aimed his sights a few years back on the Beltline, filing a lawsuit against the $2.8 billion, 22-mile proposed loop of parks, trails and transit that would circle Atlanta. He argued that the Beltline’s largest source of funding – using school taxes to build the infrastructure for the project – was unconstitutional. After months of fighting, his case climbed its way to the state Supreme Court, where the justices unanimously ruled in his favor. The Beltline’s now reeling and keeping its fingers crossed that a November referendum will return some of the sorely needed funds. Yes, the Beltline would be a step forward for Atlanta, and anti-tax advocates sometimes hamper badly needed public projects. But we admire people who have the conviction and determination to pursue their ideals. Woodham is one of those guys.

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