Georgia's top politicians don't see eye-to-eye with inside-the-Perimeter Atlantans and don't seem to much care about it, either. Maybe it's time for us to turn the tables. Maybe it's time to declare our independence.

What will be the final straw that makes Atlanta realize the enemy lives in the state Capitol hallways? Maybe it came last month when state Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, a Savannah Republican, declared it might be OK if Grady Hospital failed.

Despite transforming the state into a Southeastern power, our town is the Rodney Dangerfield of Georgia cities. We get no respect. Nor do we get much help in solving critical problems, whether it's transportation or Grady Hospital, our schools or the imminent drying up of our water supplies. You name a challenge Atlanta faces, and the state is sure to ignore it, belittle it or even to make it worse.

The division isn't really surprising: Atlanta's great experiment is in large part based on overcoming old divisions, and advancing diversity to the point where racial and ethnic differences no longer divide us. Our state leaders, meanwhile, would prefer that old times not be forgotten. When it comes to unavoidable issues, such as immigration, Georgia's elected officials are staying put in the 20th century. When it comes to voting rights, they seem bent on driving us back to the 1800s.

We've tried and we've tried to be a loyal part of Georgia. Maybe the solution, though, is to set ourselves apart. To secede – at least in spirit, if not in body. Raise the bold banner of rebellion.

Of course, the two questions are: What are our grievances? And how can we go it alone?

Creative Loafing asked a selection of local leaders – political, business and community – to offer their thoughts on a few degrees of separation. While not advocating building ramparts to keep out folks from elsewhere in Georgia, they offer innovative ideas on Atlanta being responsible for Atlanta.

We are all Atlanta
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There has always been a love-hate relationship between the Atlanta region and the rest of Georgia....
State punts, locals can protect their own consumers
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In 2004, Gov. Sonny Perdue signed into law a statewide ban on payday lending, making it a felony to...
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For all the talk of traffic meltdown in metro Atlanta, there are positive transportation trends with...
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Could Atlanta survive as a state? Sure. If it were just Fulton and DeKalb counties, the state of Atl...
Demand fairness from state leaders
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Most thoughtful people recognize cities are the hearts of states. A healthy body cannot exist withou...
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The "A" in Atlanta may as well stand for "asthma." After all, our city was named...
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This dispatch just in from the Capitol: The Atlanta Home Guard has expelled the occupying majority f...
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Friend-to-friend, girl, you gotta take care of yourself now
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Cities are the most important and recognizable brands in the world. More than consumer brands, state...
Cover Story
When it comes to water, metro Atlanta has already seceded from the rest of Georgia -- and state lead...

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