Allison Wright


ACC Commissioner, District 4
Represents UGA, 5-Points, and Oak Street areas.allison
706-549-3518
allison.wright@athensclarkecounty.com

 

Professional and Civic Experience
Certified Medical Illustrator – self employed
Clarke County School District Board of Education (2005-2012)
Clarke County School District SPLOST Citizens Oversight Committee
PTAs at Cleveland Road Elementary School, Barrow Elementary School, and Clarke Middle School

Education
MS, Medical College of Georgia, Medical Illustration
BS, University of Kentucky, Animal Science

Party Affiliation
Primary Ballots: Very often takes Democratic primary ballots.
Donations: Donated to John Barrow (D) in 2006.

Inferred Party: Democrat

 

red x  Issues: Affordable Housing

Voted YES on re-zoning Mitchell Street without using the county’s leverage to ask for some affordable units in the new development.

question-p  Issues: Living Wages

Where does she stand?

green check1  Issues: Fare-Free Transit for K-12 students

“It was costing more in time and effort to collect from the few students who did pay for [school] lunch, it’s all free in the school district now. Students are using this [Athens Transit] because there aren’t barriers like that. I think it’s important and we should keep going forward with it.”

Allison Wright, July 19th, 2016 Agenda-Setting Session

 

Voting Record

  • 2017
    Moratorium on Downtown Development: YES
    Progress on Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan: absent
    TSPLOST project list and referendum: YES
    Re-zoning Mitchell Street: YES
    (More information about 2017 votes)

  • 2016
    Apply for ‘Go Transit’ grant funding: YES
    Complete Streets Improvements for Chase: NO
    Allow Sale of Growlers in Brewpubs: YES
    Fare-Free Bus Rides for K-12 Students: YES
    Bar Admittance and Civil Rights Committee: YES
    (More information about 2016 votes)

  • 2015
    Pro-Chicken: YES
    FY 2016 Budget: YES
    Removing Wetland Buffers: NO
    Delay repaving of Chase Street: absent
    Adopt Securus Tech Contract: YES
    Allow Food Trucks: YES
    Keep Domestic Partnership Benefits: YES
    (More information about 2015 votes)

  •  

    Questionnaire Responses

    An upcoming T-SPLOST program is projected to yield millions of dollars of additional revenue for ACC transportation infrastructure over the next five years. How do you believe we should prioritize the allocation of this revenue, assuming the measure passes?

    “I believe that the T-SPLOST process involves a committee for projects lists and priority. I think we should start with the list of projects developed for the Regional T-SPLOST that ACC passed but it failed due to other county opposition. Projects for ACC within that list should be a starting point for the new committee. I think Public safety is a key way to prioritize transportation improvements. Recently we had areas identified for improvements for pedestrian safety and to decrease vehicle to pedestrian and bike (scooters need to be addressed as well) collisions. Most were related to high volume UGA student areas for obvious reasons. I will ask for and support prioritizing improvements on our residential streets where traffic calming and sidewalk installation and repairs can provide preventative safety improvements and address issues similar to improvements other communities without high volume college traffic implement.”

    How will you act to implement complete streets in Athens? Which areas of town do you feel are most in need of infrastructure improvements for pedestrians and cyclists?

    “I think areas to improve should be addressed to complete gaps in our existing sidewalk inventory. And give higher priority to the well worn pedestrian dirt paths scattered about our community. Our TPWs department can implement about $300K of sidewalks a year. We have nearly $2MIL in sidewalk SPLOST moneys, but the current rate of building them is stifling. We should address the need for contractor installation even though it will cost more and produce less sidewalk length. Additionally, for the past 3 years the TPW crews were focused on Sewer/Stormwater projects of urgent repair needs and our sidewalk implementation occurred at a significantly lower rate. The LCR committee is currently studying the ranking criteria for sidewalks. One area to study and that I have been talking about for 3 years is to make sure one side of a street has a sidewalk prior to creating the second side. This will allow more sidewalks through out the county. Criteria and best practices should be used for knowing when its safer on multiple lane roads to have both sides verses residential streets. Additionally, Areas across our entire county should be considered for Complete Street infrastructure improvements.”

    Water buffers were narrowly voted down last summer and the proposed Green Building Ordinance has sat untouched for years. What role, if any, do you think the ACC government should play in protecting the environment, addressing climate change, or promoting sustainability? Are there any specific policies or programs you would like to implement in 2016?

    “We are working toward a better system to learn what is currently being done with our ACCUG departments so that the M&C have a better understanding of what is being addressed toward environmental protection and sustainability. Budget wise we need to maintain our current projects like the CHaRM facility, energy conservation for ACCUG buildings, support our Environmental Specialist and his recommendations which can address the disappointing water buffer vote. Currently we will be voting on a Resolution for Renewable Energy Resolution, which is always a strong step toward making our intentions and priorities for a topic clear. A Resolution document is a guiding force for staff and administration. It starts with the following statement:

    WHEREAS, the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County strives to be a leader in environmental stewardship while fostering a positive climate for economic development and a vibrant community for personal growth;

    A recent study has shown that there is a shortage of affordable housing needed by our workforce in Athens. What changes to our local code or other incentives will you advocate for in ACC? Would you consider an inclusionary zoning ordinance?

    “I need to study the inclusionary zoning ordinance details before I can speak to that. Our shortage of affordable housing options can help us as we work on the Comprehensive Plan for 2018. The high prices for land in Athens is causing it to be a challenge for affordable housing options. I believe we should address the square footage minimum of houses, accessory building details, and lot size change as well as improved ability to have residential areas of our county where land prices are less expensive.”

    While the movement grows around the country to raise the minimum wage and many municipalities are setting higher standards (as much as $15/hr by 2020), Georgia has a law prohibiting localities from setting their own minimum wage. Do you see low wages as a problem in Athens? If so, how will you support working class Athenians in light of such barriers from the State legislature?

    “Low wages are a problem that affects self confidence of the worker and also causes household stresses with the need for family members to work multiple jobs to keep up with the cost of living. This causes problems of households with children since parents are hindered in the area of involvement with a child’s school, after school activities and day to day family affairs because of multiple work shifts and often working 7 days a week. The State legislature is a barrier that needs to be addressed.”

    Sexual assault is a serious problem in Athens as it is around the country, and the problem isn’t only on campus. What will you do to help build a culture of consent in our community?

    “I agree it is a serious problem nation wide and for our community. I will continue to be supportive of informative and educational preventive programs related to sexual predators as well as for potential victims. For the upcoming generation a culture of a different kind of sex education has been implimented in our Public schools in Athens Clarke County. The program and various topics of Sex education are age appropriate for from Pre-K through high school. It covers topics such as ‘Good touch Bad touch’ in elementary schools to programs on self confidence,bullying, and No means No in Middle schools to discussions regarding the variety of complex high school situations including but not limited to healthy verses abusive relationships, peer pressure and sexually transimitted diseases. Support for parent discussions and additional support for these courses is available and it can serve as the beginning of very important conversations through all ages and many stages of life for members of our community. Our continued support for area programs for prevention, victim support, and advocates are all areas of addressing this serous issue.”

    The county officially cut the ribbon on our expanded jail (priced at $77 million) in October. What will you do to reduce the number of people spending time in our county jail each year?

    “Spending time in jail for a crime that a person has done is part of the punishment for the crime. Effective and efficient use of our judicial system should minimize the time an innocent person spends in jail. Our Diversion center is an additional resource that is supported to assist in less jail time for the appropriate person. Additionally, continued support for drug and alcohol abuse solutions and resources for addiction can be helpful.”

    Do you support the creation of a Human Relations Commission to hear, review, and make recommendations on discrimination complaints in Athens?

    “I do not support creating a group of citizens that would be responsible to “hear, review, and make recommendations on discrimination complaints”.”

    What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem facing Athens and how will you address it in 2016?

    “Alcohol and Other Substance Addiction and Abuse.

    I will continue to support programs and initiatives that can help end the cycle of Alcohol and Other Substance Addition and Abuse and that help those who suffer from it find successful treatment options. Additional, I will remain supportive of programs and initiatives that help the victims of Alcohol and Other Substance Addiction and Abuse’s surrounding issues.”

    What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time in local government?

    Allison served on the Clarke County Board of Education for seven years and as County Commissioner for three.

    “1. I was on the CCSD Sex Education Committee that studied and changed out District Policy so that CCSD school site personal could discuss contraception with students. CCSD was the 1st school district in GA to allow this. Before school personnel were ‘forbidden’ to discuss the topic of contraception will students. Our County’s teen pregnancy rate has decreased since that policy change. Additionally programs are in place of age appropriate discussions for sex education and related topics.

    2. Designating Elementary School attendance zones was another important accomplishment of our school district and I was a strong supporter of this change.

    It was challenging and emotionally charged process that took many years to complete. When my sons were unable to attend Pre-K at our neighborhood elementary school I was motivated to get involved beyond PTA and this led me to be on the school board. Our home was less than half a mile from our neighborhood elementary school and we were assigned to a school 14 miles away with a 45 minute bus ride – one way.

    3. Hiring a superintendent for our school district that became the Georgia and National Superintendent of the year in 2015. It is a reflection of all the ongoing hard work and progressive programs and initiatives executed by our teachers for students and district leadership.

    Audit committee work to address Leisure Services internal audit and funding support of external vendor to assist with this undertaking.

    Facilitating progress and implementation of School Crossing guards at the Five Points intersection.

    Current work for Sidewalk matrix improvements through LRC. Taxi stands in Downtown for ACC cabs only. Support for improved goals and objective process.

    All my committee assignments, KACCB, Community Tree Council, Legislative Review Committee, Audit Committee, economic development implementation committee, CCSD Citizens Oversight Committee. Downtown Master Plan Implementation.

    Taking 66 hours of continuing Education with Association of County Commissioners of Georgia to become a certified Commissioner, 2015.

    Completing the Georgia Academy for Economic Development’s Regional Economic and Leadership Development program, 2015.”