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Robo Calls Coming? Here's How to Handle Them

Many of our Save Tucker! residents have been asking about what they should do if they receive a "Robo Call" from a political "think tank" such as Rosetta Stone, a local group that is known to be working on behalf of the LaVisa Hills (Lakeside) group.   There are many people who live in Central DeKalb County who have fought against their inclusion on the Lakeside (Lavista Hills) map and they are receiving some of these automated calls right now.  

While the tendency may be to take the call and answer the questions, first consider the following:

1.)  Who is behind the call and/or research?   If they are not identified in the call up front, then the call is illegal.  Hang up.  If you have caller ID, you can report the number to the FCC by filing a simple complaint.  The link for the form is at the bottom of this article for your ease and convenience. 

2.)   What will the researcher do with the results?  If you have any concerns about how your response may be used, you are under no obligation to participate.  For example, when the legislature was still deciding whether or not to hold a referendum, these polls could have been a useful way to give them data about what the people in the area think about the idea of new cities.  But, that time is past.  They already voted.  The decision is now in the hands of the voters whenever the city question pops up on a ballot.  The best way to influence individual voting decisions is by getting out and talking to other people whom you feel will be affected by the outcome.  Your neighbors and friends will likely be more supportive of your position on the subject by hearing from you, not reading about the results of a poll taken by some outside organization.  So, if it can't help your cause, why offer up your input?

3.)  Can there be any harm to come from answering the call?   Well, that depends.  Sen. Fran Millar has already stated that there is still tweaking that can be done to the Lavista Hills map between now and the time of a vote.   Since he has already been known to pull some last minute stunts with regard to how the lines are drawn, it is not impossible to imagine that he or someone else could determine that the map "tweaks" should be made based on the results of some private polling survey.  So, even if you wanted to vote "No" on the city, you could end up drawn out before the voting takes place.  Of course, they could always annex you back later when you learn that you are surrounded by incorporated areas on all sides, so your removal from the voting area was just a temporary state to help them get the voter approval they need in this very tight and controversial issue .  

Of course we are not advocating for anyone to vote in such a poll in a dishonest manner.  We actually believe you should exercise your right to use your own free will, which means you may vote  however  you wish to vote at the time or you can simply choose to hang up or not answer at all.  

But, consider who is asking before you "talk to strangers" about a subject that is so personal to so many people who actually live here. 

We got some great advice from a former judge who has worked recently with the Blueprint DeKalb group to help bring reforms to our county, Patricia Killingsworth.  Here's what she says, 
 
Received more info on robo calls. They are illegal unless the caller identifies him/herself and gives a number to call that will get the caller to a live person. The sending number needs to be legitimate. There are very steep fines from the FCC for violations. Their website has the details for filing a complaint. That information is always good for people to know, and can be sent out in newsletters and the like. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/unwanted-telephone-marketing-calls

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