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Atlanta City Council Member, District 7

The councilmember proposes bills, holds votes, and passes laws to help govern the city.
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    Rebecca L. King Small Business Owner

  • Howard Shook Atlanta City Council, District 7

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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?

Campaign Phone (404) 218-5820
My engagement and visibility in the community and my service on community boards gives me the experience. People that have served with me know that I am not satisfied with the status quo of processes as I ask how processes can improve, and I want to understand the reason behind the processes. My motivation to serve is because I would like to see our city flourish. Organizations that are transparent and engage their constituency flourish. We need to see this in our city government, especially since we continue to see more evidence of corruption unfolding. Proper finance policies should be put in place to show the people of Atlanta that corruption will not be tolerated. There needs to be creative solutions offered to address our traffic congestion and I want to see proper planning for infrastructure needs where as a city we are proactive and not reactive to crisis.
The biggest budget issue is the amount that is spent on items that could cost less had there been proactive measures. From the first responders training budget line item to the money spent fighting crime, if our city is proactive the budget line items would be used to incentivize talent and retain institutional knowledge. If there was money spent adequately supporting early childhood education and Atlanta Public Schools, then most of it would hopefully, not be spent on jails and other related programs.
The Finance Committee should have policies in place that require a complete audit periodically of bids. During the bid procurement process the overall dollar amount of each bid should be provided with an executive summary of the winning bid. The bids and their executive summaries should be placed online. If it is not feasible due to cost or manpower issues, then there should be the ability to request and receive the information in the most efficient manner.
Encouraging any entrepreneur without overburdening taxes and fees should be a priority. A welcoming city would have a comprehensive transportation program that includes alternative transportation with multi-use trails, would have high caliber schools where additional immersion languages in early childhood years are provided, and would have a multicultural ambassador to connect the family to another family from the same country. If necessary having an ambassador that speaks the same language to show the new family where to shop, where to find medical services, and how to navigate government services should be a priority.
Encouraging any entrepreneur without overburdening taxes and fees should be a priority. A welcoming city would have a comprehensive transportation program that includes alternative transportation with multi-use trails, would have high caliber schools where additional immersion languages in early childhood years are provided, and would have a multicultural ambassador to connect the family to another family from the same country. If necessary having an ambassador that speaks the same language to show the new family where to shop, where to find medical services, and how to navigate government services should be a priority.
Campaign Phone (420) 213-0835
Service on all seven standing Council committees, including three as Chair of Utilities and five as Chair of Finance; a term as Council President Pro Tem; Co-Chair of the Council's Select Committee on Pensions; Chair, Atlanta Budget Commission; The Mayor's Atlanta Pension Panel; Co-Chair, Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Waste & Efficiency; Chairman, Atlanta-Fulton County Water Resources Commission. The policy 'wins' and public support keep me focused and motivated.
We will undergo a recession during the next eight years, which will severely test our financial discipline. When that happens, I will continue to fight property tax increases in favor of right-sizing Atlanta's workforce.
I have already supported the adoption of the most stringent ethics regulations in Georgia. And I will continue to press for the prosecution of those found guilty of abusing the system, as opposed to merely firing them. As Chair of the Finance Committee I made sure that the budget was posted on-line, and I support the public posting of other City financial data (including Council expenditures).
I recognize the contributions made by our foreign-born citizens, and have consistently voted in favor of having Atlanta continue America's open-door tradition.
Atlanta--with my support--is already a leader in terms of environmentally-advanced policies.

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