Candidate for Commission, District 3
Athens for Everyone has endorsed his opponent, Melissa Link, in this race.
- Do you support fare-free bus service?: YES
“We have multiple bus systems in the smallest county in GA; it’s time to look at consolidation.”
- Do you support expansion of transit service (e.g. increased frequency, more locations, longer service hours)? YES
“It will take systemic change to make it happen.”
- Do you support increasing the budget for bike and pedestrian infrastructure from the general fund? YES
“ACC is way behind on funding bike/ped infrastructure. TSPLOST will help alleviate the backlog, but we need annual funding to get ahead.”
Criminal Justice Reform
- Do you support marijuana decriminalization? YES
“It costs money/resources to enforce a law that needlessly disrupts lives.”
- Do you support a statewide ban or fee on single-use plastic bags? YES
“I’d also like to explore ways to reduce consumption of other single use plastics.”
- Do you support an Athens Civil Rights Committee established through the county government? YES
“It’s obvious that we need to address discrimination locally and a Civil Rights Committee would be a good place to start to the conversation.”
- Do you believe that Athens-Clarke County should move forward with comprehensive non-discrimination legislation? YES
“The details of which I would defer to the Civil Rights Committee’s recommendations.” Q: White people still hold a hugely disproportionate amount of economic and social power in Athens-Clarke County. If elected, what will you do to help fight this structural imbalance, increase the economic security of, and ensure the equal treatment of Athenians of color; especially black Athenians who continue to be most targeted by past and present systems of oppression? A: (click to read)
- Do you support repealing the single-family ordinance? YES
“We need to examine every possible angle to increase the stock of affordable housing” Q: Rising rents and the proliferation of luxury student apartment complexes has been a major issue in town for the past several years. What will you do to promote affordable housing in Athens for its current residents? A: (click to read)
Downzoning downtown and then providing density bonuses to developers that include or fund affordable housing is one way to harness that market to serve the greater community. Beyond that we need to increase housing opportunities for Athenians, relaxing rules on “granny flats”, rehabilitating distressed properties through the Land Bank, further support for alternative models such as the Athens Land Trust and Habitat will all need to be employed. We need to provide permanent funding for our Affordable Housing Trust Fund and I support appointing a task force including commissioners, staff, local developers, Land Trust, Habitat and homeless advocates as representatives to provide momentum and focus to the issue.
Challenging Unjust State LawsQ: County Attorney Bill Berryman has recommended inaction on certain issues in order to avoid, in his view, potential conflicts with state law. These issues have included operational funding in TSPLOST, marijuana decriminalization and comprehensive non-discrimination legislation. Citing his interpretations, the Mayor and Commission have elected to take little to no action on these and similar issues. Do you support a different approach, even if it may lead to Athens-Clarke County challenging state law? A: (click to read)
The city of Clarkston, GA has shown that marijuana decriminalization can work.
We need a Civil Rights Commission with members who understand the mechanisms of discrimination within our community and any legislation that we enact should conform to the findings of that commission.
Further, as we look for a replacement after Mr. Berryman retires, I believe we should hire an attorney that, while providing sound council, understands the progressive nature of our community and supports its goals.
Childcare and Early Childhood EducationQ: Lack of funding in the CAPS program means that there is an “early learning gap” of over 2,000 children in Athens. There is also a lack of quality rated childcare providers here. Turning this situation around would be quite expensive and difficult, but also extremely important to the lives of many Athenians. Do you support policies that would expand access to childcare subsidies, encourage more childcare providers to become quality rated, and incentivize quality rated providers to accept children receiving subsidies? A: (click to read)
I am open to listening to and working for solutions that would ease the burden for our citizens.
PovertyQ: The rates of poverty and income inequality in Athens remain extraordinarily high. What will you do to specifically support low-income and low-wealth Athenians? A: (click to read)
Open-EndedQ: What is your most important policy priority for 2018? A: (click to read)