Candidate for Atlanta mayor
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What immediate actions will you take as mayor to curb the violent crime occurring in the City of Atlanta?
As Atlanta’s next Mayor, my first priority will be to halt the crime wave that has swept over our communities by implementing my SAFE STREETS ATLANTA plan. That 4-Point Plan plan is designed to reduce violent crime by 25% by the end of 2022. I’m also committed to fighting the root causes of crime – and I will invest long-term resources in job placement tools, after-school and anti-recidivism programs, while creating an environment that attracts good-paying jobs for citizens and communities that have been overlooked for far too long.
You can learn more about my plan at www.SafeStreetsAtlanta.com.
My administration will:
- Recruit new officers and fill the 400 vacant positions in APD
- Install more security cameras and license plate readers around the city
- Support APD in expanding community-based policing programs and partnerships
- Collaborate with state and federal law enforcement to remove guns and stop gangs
Will you make affordable housing a priority of your administration and continue the commitment made by Mayor Bottoms to invest $1 billion in the effort by 2026?
I am proud to have led on affordable housing, both in policy and in practice. I passed two affordable housing bonds totalling $140M, authored the Beltline Inclusionary Zoning ordinance that requires new rental developments to provide affordable housing units, launched the Beltline senior housing rehab program that helps legacy residents make much-needed repairs to their homes, and publicly called for more cohesion between development community, policy makers, and rapidly displaced communities.
As Mayor, I will:
- Create & Scale Current Affordable Housing Development by
- Building or preserving 20,000 affordable housing units in eight years
- Incentivizing Atlanta Housing Authority to build affordable units on more than 400 acres of undeveloped land
- Lobbying the state to relax impediments to expand inclusionary zoning
- Preserve Existing Affordability by
- Expanding upon the recent $100M Housing Opportunity Bond focused on extending or permanent affordability to retain.
- Enforcing laws against predatory tactics to pressure Atlanta residents, particularly seniors, to sell their homes for less than market value.
Will transit on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor be a top priority and what will your administration do to fast-track it?
The BeltLine is the most transformative infrastructure investment Atlanta has seen since the expansion of our international airport. When I created the ATL DOT, my vision included helping the BeltLine foster balanced growth across the city, not only on the north and east sides of town. Fulfilling the BeltLine’s promise is one of the surest ways to increase economic output and cement our long-awaited goal of being recognized as a truly international city. As Mayor, I’ll insist that projects seeking funding are aligned with priorities from federal, state and other authorities. City Hall makes it much harder than it should to overlay those projects, impacted areas, and funding sources, and fixing that inefficiency will be one of my first priorities as mayor to address our infrastructure backlog.
Will your administration recommit to combating climate change and what are some steps you will take to get businesses and residents onboard?
A Dickens administration will be committed to combating climate change. There are a number of ways to fulfill that commitment, both in and outside of City Hall. I’ll instruct my cabinet to be mindful of the impact that all policies have — even those not focused on climate change — can impact our environment. Policies from planning, zoning, transportation and more have a significant impact on the environment. Housing policies may increase sprawl and result in negative environmental impacts. Lack of alternative forms of transportation increase car dependency and emissions. In order to bring businesses and residents onboard, we must consciously and consistently make climate change and the environment part of the city’s decision making process.
How will your administration address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
I will ensure that Atlanta follows CDC guidance, including mask mandates, social distancing, quarantine requirements and contact tracing as this pandemic evolves. I would reinstate hazard pay for frontline essential workers and encourage remote work wherever possible. Recognizing the virus and the vaccine have been politicized, I will work with state lawmakers to use technology and common sense when allowing companies to continue serving their customers. Finally, having overseen Hartsfield- Jackson as chair of the transportation committee, I know how important it is to stop the spread of COVID at our borders. As Mayor, I’ll set the highest safety thresholds for the world’s busiest airport while ensuring that Atlanta remains a hub for tourism and travel.