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Contributors

Maria Saporta, Founder and Contributor

Maria is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state. Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

David Pendered, Editor and Contributor

David is an Atlanta journalist with 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

Lance Russell, Stories of Atlanta Contributor

is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to the heart of the matter, Lance’s instincts are tailor-made for today’s “media bite” culture. Brief, poignant and always entertaining, Lance’s current passion is bringing Atlanta’s colorful and inspiring past to life with his “rest of the story” style video series, Stories of Atlanta. “History’s best communicators,” says Lance, “have always been storytellers. It’s in our DNA. ‘Once upon a time’ is how we got to where we are now.”

Tom Baxter, Political Contributor

Tom has written about politics and the South for more than four decades. He was national editor and chief political correspondent at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and later edited The Southern Political Report, an online publication, for four years. Tom was the consultant for the 2008 election night coverage sponsored jointly by Current TV, Digg and Twitter, and a 2011 fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He recently surveyed the impact of Georgia’s immigration law in a report for the Center for American Progress. Tom and his wife, Lili, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Maggie Lee, General Assignment Contributor

Maggie has been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008, contributing over the years to The Telegraph (Macon), Patch, Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism, Creative Loafing and others. Maggie had her first SaportaReport byline in 2017. Find her on Twitter talking about #gapol and #atlpol

Sonam Vashi, Contributor

Sonam is a freelance reporter in Atlanta who is contributing coverage of affordable housing for Saporta Report. Her reporting, which usually focuses on criminal justice, equity, and the South, has also appeared with CNN, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Case Project, among others. Previously, she was a data reporter and a researcher at CNN. She is the vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, and she grew up in Gwinnett County. sonamvashi.com

King Williams, Contributor

King is a multimedia documentary film director and author based in Atlanta, Georgia. A former intern, turned assistant of film director Spike Lee; Williams has now focused his attention to his upcoming directorial debut ‘The Atlanta Way: A Documentary on Gentrification’ this fall.

Also, Williams is an Associate Producer on the upcoming Sara Burns (the daughter of famed documentarian Ken Burns)/Dave McMahon’s late 2018/19 documentary ‘East Lake’ on East Lake Meadows.

In addition, Williams has given lectures at several universities including Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgia Tech, University of Alabama School of Journalism and Emory University. Williams has also given lectures for Teach For America, C5 Georgia Youth Foundation, Atlanta Beltline and for the TEDx brand. Williams is also the co-host, ‘The Neighborhood Watch Podcast’ a podcast on gentrification, urbanism and culture with Dr. Renee Skeete of the CDC.

He is currently working on two novels ‘What To Do When Approaching’, A novel within a novel on finding your path and artistic voice in media and ‘The Gentrification Handbook’ a study guide for gentrification, both books are illustrated by Sara Vogt.

Eleanor Ringel Cater, Movie Critic

Eleanor was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly’s Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kelly Jordan, Photojournalist

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Guest Columnists

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