If recent headlines are any indication, it’s been a rough year already for Buckhead City secessionist efforts.

But don’t tell that to the roughly 300 people who attended a sold-out fundraiser event at Bistro Niko on Monday night, chanting “Let us vote!” during a standing ovation for Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White, the movement’s boisterous spearhead. Tickets cost a minimum $250 donation per head, and the crowd was said to include state representatives and senators alongside volunteers, donors, and neighbors itching to break free from the City of Atlanta.  

A sovereign Buckhead City could impact every strata of daily life across Atlanta—for the better, cityhood proponents argue, though many powerful opponents disagree.

At the rollicking fundraiser this week, White announced his committee on February 1 will launch a new PAC—or Political Action Committee, designed to bolster pro-cityhood elected officials and allow citizens to vote on the matter—that’s backed by $1 million in donations.  

Not allowing Buckhead residents to vote on the cityhood issue on November ballots, according to White, would be another form of voter suppression. He recently made that statement via footage posted on Twitter and shared the results of BCC internal polling that found more than 72 percent of voters support a cityhood vote on ballots this year.

Cityhood supporters at October's HQ unveiling. via Buckhead City Committee/Facebook

That November 2022 referendum, if a cityhood bill should pass through the Georgia General Assembly, would ask Buckhead residents to decide whether their upscale district should de-annex from Atlanta, and then incorporate as “Buckhead City.” (The name “Buckhead, Georgia” was taken a century ago by a Morgan County town between Atlanta and Augusta.)

The BCC’s polling, however, appears to contrast another poll from the Committee for a United Atlanta (but compiled by a GOP pollster this month) that shows support for the sovereign Buckhead idea slipping. One major factor, according to those polled, is a higher approval rating for Atlanta’s new mayor, Andre Dickens.

According to the AJC, among the 400 Buckhead voters polled, 51 percent now oppose the idea of splitting from Atlanta. That indicates a change from a North Star poll in June that showed a majority of Buckhead residents favored breaking away.

The cityhood movement has been roundly criticized by prominent Buckhead voices, including Democratic legislators and former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell and Jim Durrett, head of the Buckhead Coalition and CID. A study funded by cityhood opponents found removing tax-rich Buckhead from city coffers could financially devastate Atlanta and cast its school system into chaos, with $232 million subtracted from APS’ annual net revenues.

The BCC, meanwhile, feels the “divorce” from Atlanta is justified by crime spikes and their own financial study, completed in September, that shows the split is not only feasible—but likely beneficial for Atlanta.  

On Halloween, the BCC established a physical presence with a new headquarters at 3002 Peachtree Road, the former home of Three Dollar Café during Buckhead Village’s nightlife heyday. More recently, Dickens and Atlanta Police Department leaders announced that a new police precinct is under construction a couple of blocks from the BCC headquarters, also across the street from Buckhead Village.  

In any case, in spite of recent Gold Dome developments that could make Buckhead’s cityhood push a more uphill battle, the sovereignty supporters clearly remain avid, and the situation is as fluid as ever.

Which means it’s time to conduct our own in-house poll, using recently compiled polling technologies, to take the temperature of Atlantans at-large when it comes to Buckhead’s cityhood crusade.

Please, take a second, see the poll below, and have your opinion counted.