Deborah Silcox

State Rep. Deborah Silcox.

Occupation: I am an attorney by training, but have closed my practice to fully dedicate my time to serving as our state representative.

Previous elected offices held: I was elected as State Representative in 2016.

Other community service experience: In the past, I have been extremely active in the community, having served on the boards of: The Junior League of Atlanta, The Atlanta Speech School, The Chastain Park Conservancy, Hands On Georgia, The North Harbor Homeowners’ Association and The Westminster Catbackers. While serving House District 52 is my top priority, I am still active in the following community organizations: The Sandy Springs Society, The Chastain Park Conservancy Advisory Board, The Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, The Chastain Park Civic Association and The Junior League of Atlanta.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I am running for this seat because it has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of my hometown of Sandy Springs and the citizens of Atlanta, and I want to continue the important work I have started. I have been extremely effective in my first term in office. I passed more legislation than any other freshman legislator in the General Assembly. As a lifelong resident of Sandy Springs, I deeply understand the character of our district and have represented and advocated for our needs and desires in a way that is reflective of our district.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it?

The biggest issue facing our district is traffic congestion. I fought hard for the passage of House Bill 930 in 2018 that creates the new “ATL” or the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority for the 13-county metro Atlanta region. This legislation seeks to improve the coordination, integration and efficiency of transit in the Atlanta region in an effort to promote a seamless, high-quality transit system. The voters of this region will soon decide if they want to pay additional sales tax of up to 1 percent for the next 30 years to fund this effort.

After the new “ATL” regional transit authority forms, what local transit priorities would you advocate, if any?

I am not a traffic engineer, so I called Steve Dickerson, a retired Georgia Tech professor and transit expert. Steve suggested that we should ask the Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) to conduct traffic studies that would identify patterns that could serve as part-time routes for small buses or large vans. For example, the studies might identify groups of people that travel from Buckhead to the Perimeter area and back home for work every day. This could be a part-time route for those individuals and could take multiple cars off the road.

What is your position on reducing or eliminating the state income tax and why?

Georgia is one of the few states that has maintained their AAA bond rating for over 20 years, so we pay the lowest interest rates possible on our debt. One of the main factors in that rating is the stability brought by having a state income tax. I supported House Bill 918, which provides for the largest income tax cut in Georgia history, saving taxpayers over $5 billion, and I believe this legislation was prudent given the federal tax cuts. I am in favor of potentially cutting our state income tax. I do not believe we should eliminate it.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.