Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Atlanta City Council Member, District 4

The councilmember proposes bills, holds votes, and passes laws to help govern the city.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • MR Adassa

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    Christopher Brown Marketing Consulting

  • Dan Burroughs

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    Jason Dozier Nonprofit Director

  • Nick Hess

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    Kimberly Parmer real estate/development/environmental planning

  • Shawn Walton

  • Jonathan R. Whitfield

  • Elizabeth Whitmore

  • DeBorah "Sister" Williams

  • Cleta Winslow

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What experience do you bring to the job to set policy for your city and what is your motivation to serve?

What, in your opinion, is the biggest budget issue facing your city and how, if elected would you propose to address it?

How should your city address the issues of lobbyist gifts, ethical behavior, and transparency in government?

Legal Permanent Residents and naturalized citizens contribute over a billion dollars in state and local taxes each year. How will you help ensure your city is a welcoming place for foreign born entrepreneurs and their families?

Cities across the country are embracing aggressive goals to reduce carbon pollution. What do you believe your municipality should do to support cleaner air?

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Campaign Phone (404) 908-7324
I am a firm believer that great change is only possible when people are given the power to organize, mobilize, and actualize their own collective goals. This is how communities are built and remain strong over time. For the last eleven years I has served the community in various capacities such as NPU Ambassador for the City of Atlanta Department of Public Works and as an effective union leader where I established relationships with neighborhood leaders and officials from federal, state and local government. I have extensive knowledge of City of Atlanta policy, procedures, and operations along with and operations along with fresh ideas and a working knowledge of the city current needs.

My experience as a labor organizer and representative for the employees of the City of Atlanta has prepared me for the real work of connecting with community members. I believe in getting them the tools and information needed to achieve real policy results.
We have to be creative in strategies we use to address major issues such as affordable housing.

Public/Private Partnership – Incentives that promote investment into communities, community groups, and non-profits that administer housing programs designed for affordable housing.

Intervention/Reentry – administer and promote a program for citizens returning home from incarceration that will provide labor, skilled trade, and community service to developers, contractors, and investment aimed at affordable housing. This program addresses education and job disparities to assist with intervention and diversion, job creation, community revitalization, housing and addresses a number of issues from a holistic perspective with housing and stability at its forefront.

Housing initiatives aimed at employers. Some agencies offer some form of a housing assistance program for its employees. Incentives for affordable housing units within the city limits with employers and government agenciey
The rules and laws have been set in my municipality that governs gifts and ethical behavior. In terms of transparency, I believe the city should go to a web-based reporting for budget spending and expense review.
The Atlanta City Council has passed two resolutions opposing a decision to end a program that has protected young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, despite warnings it could jeopardize the city's access to state and federal funding. As a councilman, I will continue to promote and support a culture of inclusiveness will help ensure that Atlanta is a welcoming place for foreign-born entrepreneurs and their families.
The municipality should support hybrid incentives for affordable housing units within the city limits with collaborative partners which will reduce transportation cost, traffic congestion and commute which supports cleaner air. We should support policies that promote alternative transportation, share ride, green / sustainable initiatives and infrastructure.
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Campaign Phone (404) 913-6419
I am an Atlanta native, a public school graduate, a United States Army combat veteran, a community activist, a daily bicycle, bus, and train commuter, and a director at a $7 million/year national nonprofit organization. Because of these diverse experiences, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to take Atlanta’s challenges head-on.

I’m running to build a vision of Atlanta that recognizes the importance of our communities in our city’s decision-making process. Valuing our communities encourages Atlanta to aggressively champion our neighborhoods, our historic institutions, and our working families. We must preserve Atlanta’s position as a center of culture, heritage, and history, and that preservation can only happen when our city’s residents and institutions can afford to remain in the city. An aggressive community-based agenda would work to preserve this legacy.
Atlanta’s stormwater infrastructure is long overdue for maintenance and repair. While our consent decree has forced the city to relook at how it handles the management of our sewer systems, the effects of climate change have reduced the effectiveness of our existing infrastructure. Our combined sewer overflow system exacerbates flooding in residents homes when the system is overwhelmed during major stormwater events. And these major events are becoming more frequent due to the effects of climate change. However, the high water bills and sales taxes which are used to finance the update and repair our systems are too burdensome for low-income residents and do too little to restore natural watersheds which are degraded from frequent sewage overflows.

I support establishing a stormwater utility in the City of Atlanta--this would serve as a distinct fiscal entity which would provide a consistent source of revenue to help manage the city’s stormwater needs. Too often, the city seeks sales tax options to fund major infrastructure projects, which means that it disproportionately negatively impacts low-income residents. To ensure fairness, the utility could link the fees to the amount of stormwater runoff generated by impervious surfaces on a parcel of land. By placing a cost on this runoff, property owners would be encouraged to capture and reuse runoff before it’s emptied into the watershed. This would reduce the burden placed on our systems and provide a stable funding mechanism.
To ensure that our city’s government remains transparent and accountable, I will:

1) Champion an open, honest, and responsive government that values citizen input and community engagement. 2) Fight to maintain an independent ethics board which defends values like integrity and accountability through an active and robust oversight process. 3) Post checkbook-level spending for my District office online so that constituents can see how their needs have been prioritized, and fight to ensure that Atlanta adopts these same transparent practices citywide. 4) Commit to routine, predictable, and well-advertised town hall meetings with neighborhoods across District 4. 5) Support implementing new regulations to stop ethics abuses by commissioning an independent, external body to audit procurement procedures. 6) Update public comment rules and build a framework which allows for the submission of questions and remarks outside of the public commentary period. 7) Continue to invest in our city employees by working to provide additional training, resources, and professional development opportunities tied to a uniform code of ethics which would make it less likely that city workers would break the public trust in the first place.
Atlanta should work to maintain a welcoming community climate that embraces cultural diversity. This means ensuring our businesses, non-profits, and public agencies are the standard bearers of inclusiveness and diversity. This also means encouraging new residents to seek leadership opportunities and build communities that are well-integrated within the city, ensuring they have a seat at the table and that we don't marginalize their voices.

I believe that Atlanta must remain committed to ensuring that our city remains a beacon of tolerance and inclusion in light of the hostilities expressed towards LGBT, immigrant, and racial minority communities across our state. As state and national leaders pledge energy and resources to repeal DACA and implement RFRA and other discriminatory legislation, we must reaffirm our commitment towards non-discrimination and diversity.
Atlanta currently has a Climate Action Plan which seeks to implement 100 percent renewable energy citywide by 2035. This is an aggressive goal, and it will be difficult to achieve without investing in sustainable building standards and transportation practices. I would work to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have access to the same alternative transportation amenities as our wealthier communities. Equitable investment in safe, affordable transportation solutions is key to bringing all Atlantans together. If elected to City Council, I would work to:

1) Treat sidewalks as shared resources and commit the city to invest in fixing the backlog of sidewalk repairs while investing in new pedestrian infrastructure. 2) Expand Atlanta’s bicycle infrastructure to ensure that access and connectivity remain safe and equitable. 3) Partner with MARTA to identify opportunities to enhance existing bus stops with benches and shelters to make multi-modal transportation seamless and to make bus ridership a much more dignified experience.

By investing in sidewalks, bicycle lanes, improved bus stops, and rail stations, we could convince more residents to eliminate car ownership costs and achieve healthier quality of life outcomes.
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Campaign Phone (678) 667-1320
Part of my platform is taking action and getting results. I’ve served Atlanta and my community for many years. My knowledge and experience working with local government include recommending legislation that impacts our community. As a past Watershed Public Servant Employee, I worked with City committees and The City Council on major infrastructure projects. I’ve served as Chair for Renew Atlanta’s Bond Stakeholder Advisory Committee and NPU-T’s Zoning & Land Use Committee. I’ve also served 3 years as president of the West End Neighborhood Development.

What motivates me to serve is that Atlanta’s District 4 needs a redefined focus: a Champion that can leverage resources and partnerships that will build our communities and stabilize our neighborhoods. Also, we need to proactively prepare and implement plans for future growth but without displacing our existing residents and businesses.
Although the City’s financial credit rating has improved significantly over the years, I would like to see and support a paydown of our debt services with residual income we receive from various funding streams i.e. parking services, sale/acquisition of City owned property, etc. I would also like to see a reallocation of realized savings from municipal taxations or unused TAD monies for short and long term maintenance as well as continued investment in on-call contracts to help supplement City services.
Laws concerning lobbyist gifts should be adhered to as outlined in Atlanta’s ethics code. In light of the City’s recent bribery case being ethical and transparent is vital in the procurement process to protect against “pay to play.” To address these issues, I would support an outside audit of the current procurement process to determine the breaches that led to these alleged criminal acts. Then as a local government I do believe it’s vitally important to look at the pre-qualification requirements for these contracts.
I do advocate that legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens that contribute billions of dollars in state and local taxes each year should be welcomed and protected throughout America. As such diversity is something to be embraced, not feared in our communities. We know that as a nation, I call it the “browning” or “bronzing” of America, our country is becoming largely people of color. Here in intown Atlanta, we’re seeing an array of people representing differing religious backgrounds, sexual and gender orientation, age, and socio-economic status. My campaign is focusing more on what draws us together and how do we create the types of communities we want to live and thrive in.
Atlanta is already a supporter and part of the Paris Climate change movement through the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability department. I will continue to support these initiatives and fight for Atlanta to become a global environmental leader in the water and wastewater industry with the enforcement of policies that are compliant with state, federal and international green regulations and incorporating innovative transportation solutions that are safe, sustainable and green.
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