#ExtinguishIntolerance

Mayor Reed,

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion for all Americans, regardless of belief, and you have publicly advocated for making Atlanta “a more welcoming city for all of her citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, and religious beliefs.” In light of this, your decision to terminate Atlanta's distinguished Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran — a public servant with more than three decades of experience who has served President Obama as U.S. Fire Administrator and was unanimously confirmed as Atlanta’s fire chief —constitutes the absolute height of hypocrisy. 

Chief Cochran, exercising his legally protected rights, expressed his religious convictions in his recent book. He even cleared its contents with your own Ethics Office Director. Despite this, you chose to fire him simply because you disagree with his religious beliefs. This action is not only un-American, it constitutes intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination.

We live in a rich, diverse society. A society with differing viewpoints and beliefs, a society of open discourse in which tolerance and inclusion makes it possible for us to disagree with respect. We also live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal. People of faith – who are a significant part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity – share the same fundamental rights as all other groups.

Chief Cochran and the citizens of Atlanta should all have the right to equal application of equal protections under the law. If one group is protected for its beliefs, all groups must be protected.

By signing this petition, I join my fellow citizens in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all.

I am asking you to: 

  1. Immediately reinstate Chief Cochran.
  2. Apologize for your unjust actions against Chief Cochran.  
  3. Ensure that no person of faith in Atlanta will be singled out by your administration simply due to the expression of their religious convictions.

 

As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a holiday honoring an Atlanta native who bravely stood for equality and civil rights, I call on you to respect and honor his legacy. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

Who's signing

Susan Kim
Rance Davis
David Sexton
Frank Loyd
Kimley Hensley
Jeffery Johnson
Rob Savage Se
Chris Lile
Hoyt Williams
Shea Oakley
Lance Comer
Daniel Jackson
james clouse
Leslie Harpole
Janet OCallaghan
Carol Tubb
Rachelle Bentley
Terry Money
Mike Gibson
Daniel Freeman
Howard Heffernan
Nancy Finnila
Sherman Brand
555 SIGNATURES
GOAL: 10,000 signatures

Will you sign?


Showing 442 reactions

  • Susan Kim
  • Clifford Francis
  • Rance Davis
  • Janice Thomas
  • David Sexton
  • Frank Loyd
  • Richard Jordan
  • Kimley Hensley
  • Jeffery Johnson
  • Rob Savage Se
  • Chris Lile
  • Hoyt Williams
  • anthony cipolla
  • Melisa Yocum
  • Shea Oakley
  • Lance Comer
  • Daniel Jackson
  • james clouse
  • Leslie Harpole
  • Janet OCallaghan
  • Carol Tubb
  • Rachelle Bentley
    As a Georgian, I feel that this is unjust. Reinstate Chief Cochran
  • Terry Money
  • Mike Gibson
  • Daniel Freeman
  • Tex Owens
  • Howard Heffernan
    A supervisor in an oil company, I was reprimanded by my Manager for joining a prayer meeting in my office. But because of my Christian beliefs, I was an excellent “people person” and nearly all my staff stood by me. I would hope that Chief Cochrane’s subordinates are speaking out on his behalf.
  • Diane Faghih
  • Nancy Finnila
  • Sherman Brand