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?
My passion for the people of Atlanta and the residents of District 10, is my motivation for running for office. For years, many of the residents in District 10, have not had a voice in City government. No one has advocated on behalf of the under-served, the poor, the unemployed, the homeless or the children. I am running because “it is time for a change”. It is time to restore, revive, and repair our communities with integrity, commitment and engagement.
2. What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
I have spent my life and my career in public service. As a career educator, I have untiringly served the community, meeting the needs of families and advocating on their behalf. I have worked with both struggling students and parents to achieve goals that many thought were unreachable. As chairman of the board of a nonprofit organization, we not only provide permanent housing for formerly homeless people; we also provide wrap around services meeting the total needs of residents, including job training.
In addition, I have a degree in Political Science, which has granted me the opportunity to be in the forefront of policy and decision-making, creating change and implementing innovative ideas in both education and business.
3. What do you think is Atlanta’s greatest strength?
One of Atlanta’s greatest strength is the ability to attract major corporations. These corporations are an asset to the growth of the City and stabilizing Economic Development.
4. What do you think is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
Atlanta’s biggest challenge is “affordable housing.”
5. How would you address what you feel is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
I would advocate to use vacant and blighted housing to assist persons in need of supportive housing. Across District 10, we find blight, damaged and boarded houses and former apartments that can easily be used to meet the needs of the poor and under-served. We could use models of other organizations to provide supportive services for people in need.
6. What are the top two or three things you plan to focus on during your term as an elected official?
Economic Development, Equity, and Education (including financial literacy and job training).
7. What is your opinion of the Atlanta Beltline? Is there anything about the project that you think should be handled differently?
The Atlanta Beltline was truly an amazing idea. It brings usefulness to formerly old infrastructure. The project should be handled in a way that people are not being misplaced and housing becomes more affordable for those who wish to continue to live in the area.
8. What is your opinion of the Atlanta Streetcar? Is there anything about the project that you thing should be handled differently?
The Atlanta Streetcar should be handled by the Department of Transportation or MARTA. The idea of the project was great, but many streets were damaged as a result, and an expansion would cause more damage and less usefulness for those who live outside of the downtown area.
9. What should the city of Atlanta do to reduce traffic suggestion in the city?
Once the city improves the infrastructure by making alternative transportation more viable, we will see a reduction in traffic. Walking, cycling, and car-pooling, and taking public transportation are ways we can reduce the traffic congestion.
10. What should the city do to increase affordable housing options for its residents?
We should support the expansion of Inclusionary Zoning efforts for all multi-family developments. We can also implement policies to protect tenants against negligent landlords, and unsuspecting rising of rents.
11. If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
Absolutely! My life and my works speak for me. I have lived a life of integrity, and will continue to live this way as a Council person for the City of Atlanta.