DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis utilized his 2012 State of the County Address to key business leaders as a call for a unified ONE DeKalb, a pledge to champion the Regional Transportation Referendum, and to define the role of morality in local government in the 21st century. Speaking to an audience of more than 500 business and civic leaders at the Thalia N. Carlos Hellenic Community Center in Atlanta, recently, Ellis announced the new collaborative initiatives of ONE DeKalb Volunteers and ONE DeKalb Votes. “We must do a better job of getting our citizens registered and out to vote. Not only do we have much at stake in the Transportation Referendum in July, but we must re-elect our president in November,” said Ellis. “In line with our ONE DeKalb Votes initiative, I will venture into every community in this county to discuss the importance of voting and registering new voters. He also called for collaboration with state lawmakers to change the laws that govern the creation of new cities. “Under the current law, cityhood not only drives up the cost to those citizens who embrace this option, it also places an undue tax burden on those who are outside of arbitrarily-drawn boundaries and have no say in the process,” he said. Ellis reflected that the moral role of present-day local government is to prioritize services to those who most need protection, including the young, the old, the sick, and the handicapped.