Douglas Bell


Previous offices held: None.

Other community service: Ministry to urban youth and children, 2002-2009. AYSO soccer coach and referee, 2012 through the present. Advocate for Meals on Wheels Atlanta Senior Day program.

Q: Why should the voters choose you for this position?

A: Professionally, I have been an educator and a small businessman. I took care of my dad in our home for the last four years of his life and have a good understanding of senior care.  I have spent almost my entire adult life ministering to youth from challenging environments.  From all of these different experiences, I relate to the issues that ordinary Americans face every day.  I enjoy dialoguing with people who have different views than mine and trying to come up with solutions that are fair to all.  I fear God more than anything else and therefore being honest is more important to me than anything else.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing the constituents you seek to represent? How will you address that issue?

A: The number of young men out of the workforce not only adversely affects those particular young men but also all of us in so many different ways.  I will address this issue by trying to rescind religious restrictions on employers.  I firmly believe that allowing employers to promote on-the-job spiritual training alongside on-the-job skills training will greatly give incentives for employers to reach out and try to provide jobs for many who are currently out of the workforce.  It is essentially providing freedom for employers of all sizes to use the same methodology as a non-profit such as the Atlanta Mission.  Conversations with employers confirm my experience that the primary reason people do not last on a job is due to moral issues and not a lack of the person being able to do a job from a technical standpoint.

Q: What’s the first thing you hope to accomplish after taking office next year?

A: I would like to amend the Civil Rights Act so that religious component of Title VII is removed.  If this cannot be accomplished, I would at least like to amend Title VII so that exceptions can be made for employers who provide people with jobs in certain zones.  Considering that the labor force participation rate for men has consistently dropped for the last 65 years and the vast number of negative repercussions that proceed from this statistic, I would press legislators across the political spectrum to give the current generation of people of faith a chance to do something about changing the trajectory of this statistic.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.