Ralph Long

Candidate for Atlanta City Council Post 3 At-Large

Website: https://ralphlongiii.com/

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What immediate actions can city council take to aid in curbing the violent crime occurring in Atlanta?

The City Council has got to look to the root causes of crime in our city and make a real effort to address them. Crime is at least partially a result of the drastic income inequality across Atlanta. For too many Atlantans, particularly Atlanta children and teens coming from homes that are trapped in intergenerational poverty, the dream of Atlanta simply does not work.

One step for addressing crime would be for the City Council to establish a Youth Ambassador Program that works directly with the “Water Boys” as young entrepreneurs and provides business licenses, training and an infrastructure for these young people to make money and meet their needs.

Additionally, the City Council should partner with Atlanta Public Schools to establish a entrepreneurial pathway for high school students interested in starting businesses as they earn their diploma.

Will you make affordable housing a priority of your term on the council, and what actions need to be taking to insure meeting the goal of 20,000 affordable homes by 2026?

Yes, affordable housing is and will be one of my priorities. We should work collaboratively with residents to change zoning laws in order to increase the density of housing in areas of the city that can sustain and want it.

Will transit on the Atlanta BeltLine corridor be a top priority and how will you work fast-track it?

Yes, transit on the Atlanta BeltLine is a priority of mine. Atlantans were promised BeltLine transit at the inception of the project and our city government should make this a reality. As City Councilperson Post 3 at-Large, I will call on MARTA to begin implementation of the BeltLine transit plan that best reflects the wishes of Atlanta residents.

What can the council do prioritize combating climate change?

The City Council should establish a committee on environmental sustainability and climate change. That committee would be charged with examining all city initiatives, including zoning, development and transportation for their impact on the environment.

As a member of the City Council, I will encourage new residential development over a certain size to deemphasize car parking spots in favor of bicycle storage and incentives for residents to use public transit.

What are three issues specifically affecting your district that you plan to address while on council?

As the City Councilmember for the Post 3 At-Large seat, I will focus on the following issues of concern to every part of Atlanta:
• Fighting to improve city infrastructure, including by expanding sidewalk coverage and providing more shareable streets
• Fighting for senior citizens by increasing funding for grants to seniors for home repairs and expanding senior housing choices to include market-rate senior housing appropriate for retirees whose income makes them ineligible for affordable senior housing
• Fighting for small business owners by addressing inefficiencies within the city permitting process

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.