Erick Allen

Erick Allen

Occupation: Consultant, Health Services Cornerstone

Previous elected offices held: None

Other community service experience: Chair of Technology Association of Georgia – Talent Tech; Advisory Board – Golf for the Kids (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta); Volunteer – American Red Cross; Board Member – Georgia LEARNS

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I am running to be the state representative for District 40 because I have the passion and experience needed to make our state government more efficient and effective. I was formally a director for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, where I saw firsthand how our legislature can make progress very difficult for everyone in our state, especially the vulnerable. If elected, I will be one of the only legislators that has worked as a leader in one of our state’s largest agencies.

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

Education – Cobb County Schools have a rich history of being one of the more successful districts in the state.  However, the state cuts in K-12 funding has put Cobb and Fulton county schools in a position that compromises the quality of education they can receive. I propose to rewrite the QBE formula to reflect the 21 century classroom and require the state to fund it at 100 percent.

Access to quality healthcare –I propose to not only expand Medicaid, but to commission a study on our “safety net” programs for whole health and mandating more interdepartmental cooperation and coordination.

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

More accessible bus routes from south Cobb County directly to Atlanta (Arts Center) and Perimeter (Dunwoody/North Springs). I would also like to see more connectivity along the Cobb Parkway corridor from Cumberland to Kennesaw.

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

Last year, the Legislature completed the largest tax cut in history, and I fully support that move. At this time, I do not see a need to further reduce taxes in the coming session, and I am not in favor of eliminating the state income tax.

John Ruch

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