"I come from a proud family that has been involved with public service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you, not the county. We need to fix our streets and water/flooding problems, improve youth and senior services, and make public safety a top priority. With decades of experience in philanthropy and nonprofits, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."
WHAT WE NEED TO DO
Prioritize Infrastructure/Manage Growth
DeKalb has a water problem, a flooding and erosion problem, an old pipes and not enough storm water mitigation problem. It's not sexy, but it needs to be fixed. I'm ready to get the stakeholders to the table, have them listen to the concerns of my neighbors, and prioritize fixing DeKalb's infrastructure.
The communities of District 2 including Decatur, Brookhaven, Atlanta, and West DeKalb have experienced significant growth over the last decade. We need policies that focus on improving our quality of life and preventing unneeded sprawl that burdens our infrastructure. We need a comprehensive transit program that includes bike lanes, public transit and finding creative ways to reduce gridlock.
Work with Cities to Strengthen Our Communities
Over half of the population in District 2 resides in a municipality. We need to stop knocking heads with our cities and start putting our heads together to achieve meaningful change. When elected, I will immediately begin to reach out to our cities in District 2 and build bridges so we can work together to tackle challenges such as public safety, infrastructure, housing and development.
And let’s be clear: the government can only do so much. The strongest communities ACTIVELY engage with the non-profit sector who are already providing much-needed services. As a non-profit leader, I know how critical the work these organizations do is to our county, and I also know the challenges that these groups face. I want to ensure that DeKalb County government is an effective partner with community institutions and non-profits groups as we work to solve challenges like poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, literacy, public health, and education, senior services and our environment.
It's too expensive. District 2 includes Brookhaven and Decatur, two of the most expensive cities in the county (and the state). Our teachers and police officers can't afford to live here, families and young professionals struggle to find housing that is suitable for their needs . This is a problem nationwide that has to be tackled on a city, county, state and federal level. It takes all of us working together to come up with creative solutions to our housing crisis.
Protect DeKalb's Youth
Every child in DeKalb deserves the opportunity to thrive, no matter what part of DeKalb they live in. I want to make sure we identify programs that are performing well and share those models with the entire community. We should have top notch parks, libraries, and enrichment/mentor programs for all to enjoy. I will exercise all the levers of government to make children’s well-being a priority.
Keep DeKalb Safe
People are understandably concerned about the rise in crime in DeKalb (and all over Metro Atlanta). In District 2, we have multiple police departments that serve our residents. As a commissioner, my duties extend to funding and oversight of DeKalb County’s police department. I want to make sure they have the funds needed and are working cooperatively with the municipal police departments because as we all know, crime travels all the way down Briarcliff from Decatur to Brookhaven, respecting no department boundaries. Effective public safety in District 2 means strong partnerships between County and local government partners to keep our communities safe from crime.
One of the biggest challenges facing our police departments is staffing. Given limited resources, I would rather law enforcement focus on violent and serious crimes and not spend time on petty offenses like parking tickets. But really, my role is to listen to the experts in public safety and the concerns of my neighbors and ensure we are always pushing for new solutions. And let’s get rid of the street racing, please!
Improve Ethics and Transparency
DeKalb County has an unfortunate track record when it comes to ethics and transparency in county government. We need to have leaders and government officials who obey and respect the law and are transparent in their conduct and decision making. We also need to fully confront the past and work tirelessly to earn the trust of our residents. This takes time and patience and a skillful facilitator.
It’s time to elect someone from outside the system who can bring real changes and hold those who operate outside the law accountable. I will work with anyone who is committed to a clean, well run, and honest government in DeKalb and work to protect taxpayers and citizens from the harm that corruption causes towards trust in government and county services.