Doug Williams

Candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5


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

Our immediate focus should be on targeting the areas with highest increases in murder and assault, and increase resources for rape and domestic violence. Half the murder rate increase has been around 2 club districts, increased presence is absolutely needed in these areas. We need to increase community policing as we restaff to help the police better understand the communities they work in.

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?

I want to ensure we have housing available for all income levels  below the Average Median Income (AMI) of Atlanta citizens. There are two specific tactics we can use to improve affordable housing. 

1) Increase density options for housing within 1/2 Mile of Transit routes with a mandate for affordable housing in exchange for increased density. The market can provide affordable housing in the 60 to 80% of AMI range using this approach.

2) For housing at or below 50% AMI, we need to use all tax breaks and incentives with local, state and federal resources to subsidize the cost of low-income housing. Affordable housing should be required along major transit routes, at a minimum % proportional to income levels of residents and the workforce in a given area.

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

We need to create an immediate funding stream for mass transit and regular street, sidewalk, and bikeway infrastructure to be funded with a gasoline tax sufficient to meet the funding needs.

What can the council do prioritize combating climate change? 

We need to improve mass transit, walking and biking options, and increase the tree canopy for the city. We also need to incentive greater energy efficiency and use of green technology in construction.

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

Safety, Shelter, and Services for our community. 

Safety) As City Council Member, I will work to repair the relationship between our community, police, and city hall. We can rebuild that relationship by bringing the community groups and law enforcement together in partnership and humanizing our relationship with each other. We can have professionalism and accountability to restore trust and honor to law enforcement, and I will work to build that relationship and build a safer Atlanta.

Shelter) As representative, I’ll work to make sure Atlanta has affordable housing for everyone, regardless of income. Currently over half of our residents cannot afford housing within 30% of their income. We can be a city where our people can afford to live, with affordable housing, and a protected tree canopy for all.

Services for ALL) As our community advocate, I will make sure we care for those who have been left behind by careless development, particularly our seniors, youth, and the disabled. We can give tax breaks for seniors and help them with sidewalk repairs, create job training opportunities and a greater role in our community for our youth, and provide more resources for those with physical and mental disabilities. We can be a city that works for EVERYONE if we care to plan. 

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.