John Eaves (D) (i)
Occupation: Executive Consultant
Previous elective offices held: Chairman of the Fulton County Commission since 2007
Community service experience: Chairman, Juvenile Justice Committee; National Association of Counties (2007-present); steering committee memberr, Large Urban County Caucus, National Association of Counties (2007-present); member, C.T, Vivian Leadership Institute (2012-present)
Why should the voters choose you for this position?
I have lived a life of service. During the early part of my professional career, I worked in higher education and served as the pastor of a religious congregation. In these capacities, I worked with all realms of society, offering guidance and support in the educational and religious arenas. Later, I entered government service, working as the Regional Director of the United States Peace Corps. Through my work in the Peace Corps, I recruited Americans to devote two years of service to people living in developing countries around the world.
In 2006, I chose to divert my efforts locally and enter the political arena to serve the citizens of Fulton County. I was victorious in my effort to become Chairman of Fulton County. I won re-election in 2010. During my 8 years in office, I have provided solid leadership to my constituents and affected positive change in the lives of many. Among my achievements, I helped saved Grady Hospital from closing in 2007-08, helped developed a regional transportation/transit system for Metro Atlanta, established a Fulton County Economic Development Department, and I launched a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
What is the biggest issue facing the constituents you seek to represent?
Public Safety is one of the biggest concerns of Fulton County residents. In 2009, I established a Jail Re-entry Task Force, which brought together justice agency partners to coordinate services to reduce criminal recidivism rates The task force made recommendations, which resulted in the County being funded a $1.5 million dollar federal grant. This grant has funded a jail re-entry program. In 2013, I created a criminal justice coordinating council, which brings together law enforcement agencies, justice partners, and educators. This council will recommend county-wide policies that enhance public safety in Fulton County and the city of Atlanta.
What’s the first thing you hope to accomplish after taking office?
Strengthen the Health Care Delivery System of Fulton County. There are an estimated 200,000 residents in Fulton County, who do not have access to health care coverage. Citizens without healthcare have shorter life expectancy and a poorer quality of life. Since 2007, I have been a reliable advocate for Grady Hospital, which serves over 600,000 patients a year, of which 33% are uninsured. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I have been a leader within the Atlanta region to encourage enrollment of uninsured citizens, so that they will have access to health care coverage. Through my efforts and many others, nearly 100,000 Metro Atlanta residents have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act from October 1, 2013, through March 18, 2014. Since August, 2013, I have also hosted Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on three occasions to raise awareness and promote universal healthcare. During the first year of my third term as Chairman, I will continue my work to advocate and encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act.