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 am running for office to provide my unique skillsets from 30 years in the commercial real estate industry as well as Board leadership with organizations such as Invest Atlanta, Jerusalem House, Actor’s Express Theater and numerous professional groups.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
Deep experience and skills that give me a better understanding of how to work within Atlanta city government. Also, much more adept at understanding the difference between development and smart development.
3) What do you think is Atlanta’s greatest strength?
It’s fiscal health as a City. Few cities have a AA credit rating. We must preserve and improve the health while making sure we provide the best services with quality employees.
4) What do you think is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
Equity. As a council member I will work hard to offer more opportunity to the South and Westside of Atlanta while finding better ways to provide and protect affordable housing. We must partner with the Atlanta Public Schools to “lift” education with supportive services and 0-3 education programs. Education is the key to long term Equity.
5) How would you address what you feel is Atlanta’s biggest challenge?
Provide incentive based mechanisms to the development community to embrace inclusionary zoning with a minimum of 15% affordability on all new developments exceeding 8 units. I would also push policy that would freeze taxes at age 68 so we do not continue to push Seniors out of long term homes. I would also support job training of all types to help put out of work individuals back into the workforce with repositioned skills.
6) What are the top two or three things you plan to focus on during your term as an elected official?
Affordable Housing, Public Safety and Homelessness
7) What is your opinion of the Atlanta Beltline? Is there anything about the project that you think should be handled differently?
I think it is a huge success with some missed opportunities. We need to complete the Beltline with light rail as quickly as possible with direct tie-ins to MARTA rail stations. We must also rethink affordable housing goals increasing them to make sure that the Beltline corridor is designed for all and not just a wealthy few. We need to also target Murphy’s Crossing as an Arts and Theater District.
8) What is your opinion of the Atlanta Streetcar? Is there anything about the project that you think should be handled differently?
I know currently it is not well thought of but I think it will be wildly popular once the Beltline is completed and it travels to great destinations; connecting some amazing neighborhoods in a beautiful way.
9) What should the city of Atlanta do to reduce traffic congestion in the city?
Support MARTA expansion, light rail on the Beltline and “spokes” connecting the interior of the Beltline, implementation of smart traffic technology such as smart lights, support and lead the country in the use of safe autonomous vehicles and protect rush hour from blocked lanes due to deliveries and construction.
10) What should the city do to increase affordable housing options for its residents?
Inclusionary zoning based on incentives, higher mandated affordable units for TOD’s associated with MARTA and Beltline areas and protect seniors from property tax increases.
11) If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
Absolutely! And admonish and remove those who don’t in an expedient manner!