Open letter to Mayor Welch

Pictured above, Black pastors announced their endorsement of the Sugar Hill Community Partners last May.

Dear Mayor Welch,

The purpose of this letter is to restate our unwavering support of Sugar Hill Community Partners as the organization selected to complete the Gas Plant Redevelopment Project. The reason for our support is a response to a few pivotal questions.

  • Which group has maintained a constant presence in this city, soliciting input and support from all community members?
  • Which group has declared its intention to respect and correct the history of exclusion and unfair treatment of the more than 4,000 citizens of the Gas Plant and Laurel Park communities, including locating and creating a gravesite for those who were callously paved over by disrespectful developers within the development area, aided and abetted by city officials?
  • Which group has, from the inception of this process, valued diversity on every level of its team, including small and minority contractors?
  • Who has, from the beginning, proposed more than 2,500 affordable and workforce housing opportunities within the development proposal, assuring that all residents participate in this historic redevelopment and its benefits?
  • Which group, from its beginning, provided opportunities for ownership in the development and its profits and pledged one million dollars to nonprofits yearly?

Sugar Hill Community Partners demonstrated that each of these vital components are included in their proposal but are integral to its values during this more than two-year period. Their commitment is unmatched.

The benefit to our community is without equal. The opportunity for inclusion in the development and long-term job creation from entry level upwards, undergirds our decision to support Sugar Hill as the right choice.

Therefore we, the undersigned pastors, leaders, and shepherds of this community, reaffirm our support and encourage the community to align with us in this historic endeavor.


Pastor Brian Brown

Pastor Clarence Williams

Bishop Manuel L. Sykes

Pastor Louis Murphy Sr.

Rev. Dr. Wayne G. Thompson

Pastor Frank Peterman

Pastor Basha P. Jordan Jr.

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