Emily Halevy

Emily Halevy.


Occupation: National Accounts Manager, Preserve South

Previous elected offices held: none

Other community service experience: Founder & Board Member, Coalition for a Diverse DeKalb; Board Member, Project Community Connections, Inc (PCCI); Founder, Friends of Avondale-Dunaire Park; Past Board Member, The Museum School Foundation; 2018 Auction Chair, The Museum School; Neighborhood Watch Block Captain; Call Center, Georgia Public Broadcasting; Mentor, Year Up; Event/Fundraising Volunteer, DeKalb Rape Crisis Center

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I’m passionate about improving the lives of all DeKalb residents. For years, I’ve been fighting for affordable housing, smart development and transit options at the county level and have gotten results that have improved our neighborhoods. I’ve seen firsthand how our communities are our county’s greatest strength. I’m running to be your voice, to address the many specific challenges to our neighborhoods as well as work collaboratively with local, regional and federal partners to tackle our county-wide problems. I want to put my business acumen to work creating policies to increase efficiencies, promote economic development and ensure taxpayer value.

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

We need to implement smart development policies that address affordable housing, commercial development and sustainability and create thriving, walkable communities, regardless of your ZIP code. I’ll tackle this by implementing inclusionary zoning policies where they make sense, along with trails and sidewalks to connect neighborhoods with city centers safely. Growing our communities depends on jobs, good schools, access to healthy food options and supporting small business owners. As Super District 6 commissioner, I will continue to work proactively with residents to ensure policies and practices are in place and will recruit the necessary departments, businesses and developers to fulfill these plans.

What strengths and weaknesses have the coronavirus pandemic crisis revealed in DeKalb County government?

The federal and state governments’ failure to immediately act at the onset of this crisis made it difficult for local governments to protect their citizens. I commend DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond’s leadership to work in concert with neighboring counties, communicate openly with residents, institutions and faith leaders, and for forming the COVID-19 Task Force. This task force should continue after this crisis, preparing emergency protocols, communication standards and community resources when we face another public health emergency. Actionable intergovernmental plans should also be implemented to keep our first responders safe, organized and adequately equipped during these difficult times.

John Ruch

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