In an effort to help voters prepare for the Nov. 7 elections, Atlanta Loop sent questions to candidates running for Atlanta City Council, Atlanta Mayor and Atlanta School Board. Early voting begins Oct. 16. To see district maps, click here.
1) Why are you running for office in the city of Atlanta?
I’m running because this is the most critical time in our community’s history. Equitable economic development on all sides of the district and the City of Atlanta is what becomes possible if I am elected.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
I have a community engagement strategy for neighborhood, community, faith, and small business leaders. My opponents have a strategy for special interest stakeholders that are disconnected from our neighborhoods.
3) What do you think is Atlanta’s greatest strength?
Atlanta’s greatest strength is the connection between our neighborhoods and the history of justice and fairness for all. The history of social integration has built a city like no other.
4) What do you think is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
Atanta’s biggest challenge is the digital divide that locks our communities out of the mainstream of technology. Workforce development and job skills development for the least of these is critical. This cannot happen without affordable housing.
5) How would you address what you feel is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
How I will address Atlanta’s biggest challenge will be in serving all of the people’s needs in my district, and ensuring public policy is in place to serve all of the people in District 9. This will include holding fast when lobbyists, special interest groups, and corporations attempt to stronghold our public servants.
I plan to usher in a series of community benefit agreements that will shape public policy that includes disadvantaged communities and will not leave them behind.
6) What are the top two or three things you plan to focus on during your term as an elected official?
I plan to establish a workforce development initiative, a community-oriented policing initiative, and a below-market value affordable housing initiative. I will also improve the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway small business corridor and support and strengthen the small businesses along the corridor.
7) What is your opinion of the Atlanta Beltline? Is there anything about the project that you think should be handled differently?
Excellent idea in theory, but we lost our way in its implementation.
The project is not focused on community interest stakeholders. The Beltline has to do a better job of connecting its strategic planning process to disadvantaged communities, and dramatically increasing the amount of affordable housing. The Beltline is currently failing to protect existing, long-standing residents and homeowners in the area of affordable housing.
8) What is your opinion of the Atlanta Streetcar? Is there anything about the project that you think should be handled differently?
Now that it’s here, we have to do a better job of community engagement and involvement in how to make it work best for all of Atlanta’s citizens and businesses, including route and speed improvements.
9) What should the city of Atlanta do to reduce traffic congestion in the city?
Traffic congestion in the city can be reduced by increasing all transit options — rail, bus, carpooling, bike, walking, and intown affordable housing — all of which will enhance the ease of people using cars less. A systematic series of transportation vans would provide a type of carpooling that could move people to jobs, events, and hospitality venues.
10) What should the city do to increase affordable housing options for its residents?
We need to do a full and complete inventory of vacant and abandoned properties and assess next steps for utilizing the inventory with both small and large developers, whose primary focus is on affordable housing for all income levels: very low, low, and middle class.
We also need to create long-term, binding community benefits agreements that work for all community residents.
Finally, we must establish a 21st century community land trust as the primary strategy for affordable housing.
11) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?