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COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY


Atlanta is, at its core, a collection of neighborhoods. They are our core asset. Each has its own unmistakable character and diversity. Each has its own aspirations to grow and thrive in a way that is uniquely its own.

As your city councilwoman, I will fight everyday to make sure the identity of the Eastside remains intact. We will welcome growth, but with conditions: You will have a seat at the table. You will have a say in the evolving character of your community. You will get the resources you need to stay where you are and thrive. You will be afforded the equity and equality you deserve. You will have a representative in city government that you can be proud of.

Here’s my commitment to you:

Homes You Can Keep and Be Proud Of

Development in the Eastside must be inclusive. We cannot allow gentrification to mean the same thing as displacement. It should mean growth that we welcome because we all get to be a part of it and share the benefits.  

That’s why a commitment to affordable housing is so important. Atlanta has lost 5% of its affordable units every year since 2012. Based on projected population growth, we need to double the number of units we are building annually.

Re-Defining Affordability

  •  Lower AMI requirements. The City typically won’t go lower than 60% of an area’s median income when reviewing zoning guidelines. I believe we need to do more and go down to the 30% if we are to truly cover the needs of everyone. Through Invest Atlanta and outside partnerships we can make it happen.
  • Protect local artists, safety officers, teachers, and other individuals in need, so that it’s feasible to stay in their homes regardless of their paychecks.
  • Fight for a $15 minimum wage. Fair wages give people a fair shot to pay the rent.
  • Freeze taxes for seniors where rent is exceeding 40% of income.

Inclusionary Zoning

  • Mandate that developers to set aside a greater percentage of units as affordable in exchange for common sense incentives

Community Benefits Agreements

  • Require and enforce CBA’s at large-scale developments, which will make a major impact on the community. Particular attention will be paid to the BeltLine Overlay District.  

Blight

  • Maintain a database of at-risk housing to help stave off evictions before they happen, and to monitor potential blight in our neighborhoods
  •  Reclaim vacant properties from absentee landlords to be re-purposed for smarter development through structures like Community Development Corporations

The Homeless

  • Foster the most compassionate district in Atlanta. We have use every means at our disposal to get the homeless into supportive and temporary housing
  • Support treatment, training, and job placement programs to allow for rapid re-entry into society where possible

A Government That Deserves Your Trust

The recent indictment of the city’s former Chief Procurement Officer adds to an already embarrassing and unacceptable situation, one which is growing worse with each revelation coming out in the news. It’s time for fresh faces at City Hall, and that starts on Council. As someone who has built their career in the honest service of community organizing and counseling, you can count on me to represent your interests with integrity.

Transparency

  • Pass legislation that statutorily walls the procurement department off from opportunities to engage in “pay-to-play” practices.
  • Establish an online database where the public can go to access information on city budgets, spending, and the contract process in addition to any money flowing in or out of the government
  • Build a more robust audit structure on the back-end. That we can identify and prosecute malpractice before the federal government has to step in.

Objectivity

  • Remove incentives that facilitate unethical behavior by city employees
  • Overhaul ethics board guidelines. The board will be appointed by a third party to ensure fair, unbiased behavior.

Safe Neighborhoods

Going from one NPU to another, and one Neighborhood Association to another, I have heard time and again that people don’t feel safe. They are tired of the car break-ins that have become commonplace. They are shocked and dismayed at the number of murders we have seen in Kirkwood and elsewhere.

Police Pay

  • Install stepped increases in pay for APD that are more competitive with nearby jurisdictions. As attrition rates are currently higher than hiring rates in a city that already has too few officers, we need competitive pay to keep our officers here.
  • Find a place for our officers to live locally. I will work with the City to make sure place-based affordable housing for officers is available in the district

Police Training

  • Improve on the local community policing model to build greater trust between officers and Eastside residents
  • Improve sensitivity training around the treatment of LGBTQIA+ Atlanta. There is no place for ignorance or hatred in a city claiming to be “Too Busy To Hate”   

Lower Incarceration Rates

  • Expand pre-arrest diversion programs to steer our youth towards a happier life free from crime  
  • Continue fighting for full decriminalization of  marijuana use. City Hall has finally reclassified possession of marijuana under one ounce. This will only apply to APD. The state ultimately has the final say. Atlanta must work with the state and surrounding counties to continue the process toward full decriminalization.
  • Boost arbitration and other forms of restorative justice to improve community relations and smooth re-entry into society for former criminals
    • Reduce the school-to-prison population. We need more vocational training at the middle- and high-school level. We must grow and expand apprenticeship programs. All of this sets children up for success and a life where they don’t feel compelled to crime.

Regional Cooperation

  • Mend 911 dispatch issues. Work with the City, DeKalb County, and the City of Decatur to reduce redundancies and identify gaps in reacting to emergencies  

A Greener Atlanta

Our President refuses to lead on issues related to climate change as evidence by his decision on the Paris Climate Accord. If he won’t, I will. Atlanta will. We will be a green, sustainable city with practices that are the envy of environmentalists across the country.

Preserve our Canopy

  • Overhaul the tree ordinance. It should be easier for residents to address hazardous or diseased trees on their properties and harder for developers to clear cut land free of consequences. A comprehensive review is in order. And we must have more intentional planting to continue having a strong, thriving canopy and maintain our reputation as the City in a Forest.

Develop Sustainably

  • Incentivize developers to build using greener models.
  • Increase stormwater accountability at commercial developments. We can also steer builders towards higher utility of clean energy practices such as solar paneling.
  • Offer expanded recycling options at residential development. One idea is to implement a citywide composting system.
  • Adjust the blanket solid waste tax. Through the “pay-as-you-throw” model we can encourage resident to think about their landfill use.

Make Electric Easier

·      Install more electric vehicle charging stations at major city-owned locations such as at the Airport or along the BeltLine. The city can lead by example and light the way for the private sector to make this a more electric-friendly place to live.


A Connected Atlanta

Atlanta’s population is set to double over the next 20 years. If we don’t make efficient, aggressive investments in our transportation system, it is going to be a disaster. We have to move forward across all modes of transit to better move Atlantans in and around town. This is going to involve the spending of T-SPLOST and other tax dollars in an effective way based on research and best practices, not political expediency.

A Simpler Model

  • Establish an Atlanta Department of Transportation. To enact holistic solutions, it helps to have everyone working side-by-side. We must have better communication, and intentional, proactive planning.

Safer, Swifter Streets

  • Optimize and grow bus routes. It’s the only way we can meaningfully increase ridership.
  • Through Renew Atlanta and other dollars, grow and better maintain our sidewalks. This is critical to pedestrian and public safety. It also makes it more enjoyable to live in town.
    • Particular emphasis will be placed along DeKalb Avenue, Memorial Drive, and Moreland Avenue
  • Add more protected bike lanes. The success of the Relay Bike Share program shows that this is a city that wants to bike. We must better protect our cyclists going forward.

Zoning the Future

  • Use the city’s re-zoning as a way to drive density requirements to get federal funding for transit lines. We can do this by incentivizing transit-oriented development and minimizing parking requirements for developments along transit identified corridors