Candidate for Atlanta City Council President
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What immediate actions should Atlanta take to curb violent crime occurring in the city?
Foremost, we must immediately fill vacancies on the police force and ensure new recruits and veteran officers receive proper training and continuing education. We can also increase vigilance by mandating cameras at gas stations, an initiative I’m currently work on, and add additional streetlights in high-risk neighborhood. A long-term strategy to combat crime must include a shift towards community policing and partnering with social service agencies to break the cycle of poverty and crime. I would also empanel a public safety liaison, a position I created in my district office, to bridge the gap between community and police and provide the city real-time data on crime and policing.
Will affordable housing be a top priority of the council?
Yes. Having secured more than $200 million in bond revenue for the creation of affordable housing, I will be an active advocate for additional funding for affordability programs as Council President. One of my top priorities is developing a dedicated stream of revenue for affordable housing through a private bond placement or quarter penny sales tax. The Council should also provide more funds for down payments assistance, the development of workforce housing and owner occupied rehab programs.
Will transit on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor be a top priority and what can the council and administration do to fast-track it?
Transit along the Beltline corridor and expanding connectivity in Atlanta is a top priority. Foremost, the City Council Transportation Committee must require MARTA to make quarterly reports that provide information on their existing budgets, projects that are underway, and any proposed changes in bus routes. Further, the City Council should demand that MARTA establish a public-facing dashboard that provides real-time information on expansion projects and MORE MARTA projects. Increased accountability in project delivery will ensure transportation and infrastructure programs are executed it a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Will you recommit to combatting climate change and what are some steps the city can take to get businesses and residents onboard?
I am, and have always been, committed to curtailing human-created climate change. I was proud to introduce legislation urging the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and am very pleased President Biden rejoined that important agreement. I am also a committed supporter of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) and the 2017 Clean Energy Plan which provides a framework for an equitable transition to an Atlanta running on 100% clean energy. As Council President, I will work to ensure the goals of that framework are met.
How will the council and administration address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
The city’s priority must always be ensuring the health and safety of its residents. I continue to support a city-wide mask mandate and hope that the state will follow suit. I disagree with the Governor’s ban on local jurisdictions’ from enforcing public health safety ordinances on private businesses and will continue to be a vocal opponent of this abuse of power. I continue to support banning special events on city property and will advocate for additional ordinances allowable under the authority granted to the City under Home Rule. As Council President, I will ensure the city remains vigilant and respects the guidance of the CDC and other public health experts. Our policies must be in line with science.