Isaac Vaughn Allen
Dr. James Gregory Flail
24 March 2008
Proposal for Mechanicsville Civic Association Newsletter
DATE SUBMITTED: March 24, 2008
Summary and Introduction
This project proposes the planning and development of a neighborhood newspaper for the
Mechanicsville district of Atlanta, GA. Mechanicsville, GA has been an integral part of
the city of Atlanta since the mid-twentieth century. Many residents have witnessed the
decline of the area from a bustling blue-collar business district to a community harboring
an increasingly disproportionate number of destitute individuals.
Residents are experiencing counter-productive changes within the community due to high
crime and vacancy rates for single family properties, gentrification, and decreased
resident activity and participation. The Neighborhood Planning Unit seeks a plan for a
responsible neighborhood publication that will allow opportunities for the inhabitants of
the community to network, meet people from diverse backgrounds, and maintain an
active voice within the community.
As a Mass Media student at Clayton State University, I am qualified to perform research,
projection, and design required by the NPU. The completion date for the research will be
July, 28 2008.
Description of the Problem
A community known for the mechanics who worked at the East Tennessee, Virginia, and
Georgia’s Pagan Rail Yard on Windsor Street, Mechanicsville, GA was established in
1882. By the 1890’s, Mechanicsville became a thriving commercial and retail center.
Boundaries have been reconfigured against the popular consent of the community.
Residents lack an accessible means by which to express their concerns. Establishing a
reputable community newsletter will assist the NPU in relating the historical value of the
community, and the project will provide a platform for residents to effectively
communicate community grievances.
Mechanicsville Neighborhood Planning Unit Newsletter Plan 1
April 9, 2008
The Atlanta Voice newspaper is located in Mechanicsville; however, the publication is
commercially motivated. The Mechanicsville newsletter should have a community feel.
In addition, the paper should, also, cover any significant political, social, or economical
changes within the surrounding metropolitan areas, which may potentially affect the
Mechanicsville communities. The newsletter will enable readers to gain an understanding
of pending issues in more informal, fundamental terms. The NPU seeks to find the most
cost-effective means by which to plan, print, and circulate a community newsletter.
I propose to develop a plan to provide the Mechanicsville, GA Neighborhood Planning
Unit with a responsible, informative newsletter. The plan will involve newsletter format,
personnel management expectations, production expenses, and distribution costs. People
quite simply need to know how to get involved in the political well-being of the
Scope of the Proposed Work
The project will include projected cost of implementation; recommendations for
newsletter staff and management; and a newsletter format and design. The economic,
social, and legal implications of the newsletter will be considered in each phase of the
formatting and recommendations.
Plan of the Proposed Work
The proposed plan of work will accomplish the following: neighborhood survey and
assessment, a literature review, a newsletter design/format, and a final plan of editorial
Project duration – 12 weeks: 05/03/08 – 08/03/08
Assessment of neighborhood residents will allow newsletter participants to determine
which issues require immediate attention. The initial assessment allows the newsletter to
quickly begin working towards feasible solutions to community problems. Surveys and
interviews are to be conducted. Collect data on homeless, unemployed, and vacancy
A literature review will provide information about start-up cost, building staff, newsletter
design, advertising, production, and circulation. This information is critical to the final
design and development of the recommendations for the newsletter.
Mechanicsville Neighborhood Planning Unit Newsletter Plan 2
April 9, 2008
The newspaper design must consider software recommendations, front page design, and
available human resources to start the newspaper.
Final Editorial Plan
The proposed final editorial plan will include newspaper format/design, anticipated start-
up costs, and neighborhood assessments. I will include an economic analysis of plan
implementation, editorial recommendations, and technical implications of plan
Qualifications and Experience
I am completing the B.A. in mass communications this fall. An important phase of my
education has required me to develop expertise in research conducting surveys and
interviews, media form and meaning, and document design. My resume, included as
Appendix A, describes my experience in these areas. During the three summers I worked
as a media intern to the Atlanta World newspaper on Auburn Avenue, we developed
several newsletter formats. After graduating from Clayton State University, I will be
employed by the Atlanta World newspaper as an assistant managing editor. Atlanta
World has hired me because of my ability and interest in solving problems such as the
one faced by the Mechanicsville Neighborhood Planning Unit and my knowledge of
issues concerning Atlanta and the metropolitan areas.
The budget for this project includes all expenses involved for completing the project by
August 3, 2008.
Table 1: Estimated Budget for Proposed Newsletter Plan
Item Time Cost
Travel, $0.50/mile 200 miles $100.00
Surveying, $25/day 5 days $125.00
Interviewing, $25/day 5 days $125.00
Laborers, $50/hour 50 hours $2,500.0
I anticipate no problem in completing the project by August 3, 2008, as proposed.
Mechanicsville Neighborhood Planning Unit Newsletter Plan 3
April 9, 2008
Assuming initiation of the project by May 3, 2008, I will send e-mail reports on the
May 24, 2008
June 14, 2008
July 7, 2008
Final report will be submitted to your office on July 28, 2008.
Date of oral briefing to be determined.
This project, as proposed, will provide a design which allows the Neighborhood Planning
Unit increase resident participation. Preliminary assessment of the problem suggests that
some traditional, basic design formats will appropriate the inaugural publication of the
newsletter. With a minimum cost for analysis and design, I can provide you a working
plan for the newsletter. All recommendations will ensure the effectiveness of newsletter
cost and design.
Mechanicsville Neighborhood Planning Unit Newsletter Plan 4
April 9, 2008