1) Why are you running for office in the city of Atlanta?
I am running for re-election because I am well-qualified for this position, and I enjoy serving the citizens of Council District 5 in particular and the citizens of Atlanta in general. I look forward to continuing my efforts to make Memorial Drive safer and more pedestrian-friendly. In addition, I want to continue working with my constituents relative to quality of life issues such as: property tax relief, traffic congestion, affordable housing (including addressing the homelessness crisis), and the efficient and cost-effective delivery of city services. I also am very passionate about addressing storm water management issues across our city.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
I am more experienced than my opponent. Over the past 16 years, I have served as a member of the Atlanta City Council. In addition to serving as a member of every committee on the city council, I am currently serving as the Chair of the Community Development/Human Services Committee, and representing the city council on the following boards: Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Beltline, Inc., and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. During my tenure, I have secured over 10 acres of greenspace for Council District 5, helped bring the Edgewood Retail District to the Edgewood neighborhood, secured funding for 2 new fire stations in the district, and funding for streetscape improvements in East Atlanta and Kirkwood. Additionally, I secured funding for the purchase of the Cabbagetown Community Center, and funding for park improvements across the District. I am the chief architect of Imagine Memorial, and many other initiatives that have resulted in sidewalk improvements, traffic calming measures, and safer routes to school. By way of background, I am a product of the Atlanta Public Schools, having graduated from East Atlanta High School. After receiving my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I received my law degree from the University of Georgia. As a practicing attorney, I understand and appreciate the complexities of the legislative process. I also have a deeper understanding of the benefit and value of community involvement as the result of my experience working as a community organizer for The Atlanta Project. In that capacity, the communities I served were located within Council District 5. Following that experience, I worked as the Executive Director of the Dekalb Initiative for Children. Later, I founded and served as the president of the East Atlanta Business Association for 3 consecutive years. I have been and remain active in my local neighborhood association, and have served as the neighborhood representative to NPU-W. By the time I was elected to represent the citizens of Council District 5, I had already established a proven track record of strong leadership, inclusiveness and effectiveness. My opponent has not been involved at the community leadership level.
3) What do you think is Atlanta’s greatest strength?
Atlanta’s greatest strength is its people. From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Ivan Allen to Mayors Hartsfield and Jackson, Atlanta is the reflection of the vision and investment of these and many other legendary leaders. Today, we have strong neighborhood organizations, a vibrant NPU system and a number of boards and commissions that work to make Atlanta innovative, relevant, and inclusive.