Madeleine Simmons

Madeleine Simmons.

Occupation: Equity partner, attorney, Morgan & Morgan

Previous elected offices held: None.

Other community service experience: I served as a city of Brookhaven Planning Commissioner from January 2017 to July 2019. Currently, I am the treasurer of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and a board member of Georgia’s Civil Justice Political Action Committee. Each year I volunteer with various groups including CHOA, Atlanta Food Bank, and Noah’s Ark. For the last seven years, I have organized a clothing drive for Atlanta’s homeless shelters during the holiday season. I graduated from Georgia State Law with high pro bono distinction, meaning I spent more than 100 hours volunteering throughout law school.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

We need a councilmember who is willing to listen to our neighbors and lead our community in the direction that the residents envision. I’ve knocked on more than 1,000 doors since I started my campaign to be District 3’s next councilmember. Repeatedly, neighbors have expressed their need for a representative who will be accountable, work collaboratively with other councilmembers and tackle the issues: green space, traffic, sidewalks and smart planning. It is crucial that we have a councilmember with the background and experience to ensure Brookhaven continues to be the best place to live, work and raise our families.

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

District 3 includes several different neighborhoods with unique issues. However, the redevelopment of the Brookhaven-Oglethorpe MARTA Station will affect us all. The intersections of Peachtree Road and North Druid Hills, and Peachtree Road and Dresden Drive, border this development and are two of the worst traffic intersections in the city. Residents of District 3 deserve to be engaged every step of the way during the MARTA redevelopment because our district will be the most impacted. Any project proposed must meet the residents’ criteria for traffic mitigation, density, green space and sewer infrastructure improvements.

What is the best way to address the issue of commuter traffic cutting through the district’s neighborhoods?

This concern is a priority because it affects all areas of our district. Earmarking city funding and securing the necessary funding from state and federal agencies for road and signaling improvements recommended in the 2019 North Druid Hills Road Traffic study and for the remaining projects identified in the 2014 Brookhaven Heights Traffic study would be a good start. I will work with neighbors who wish to petition the city to initiate traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps and turn restrictions on their streets, and will ensure that the process is followed in a timely and effective manner.

What is the best way to resolve some tensions over uses and facilities in Brookhaven Park, such as off-leash dog play and the possibility of a DeKalb County branch library?

Brookhaven now has one of the area’s largest off-leash dog parks. Despite this amenity, many visitors still use the field outside of the dog park to run their dogs off-leash. Enforcement is key to correcting this issue. Directional signage to the dog park would also be helpful. The library is a service of DeKalb County. There needs to be a public engagement process with residents on the best place for the library’s location in Brookhaven. I am committed to engaging neighbors and ensuring that their voices are heard by the county.