The Right Experience, Passion, and Politics to make Athens a Better CommunityOvita Thornton has 35-plus years of public service to the Athens community, a strong platform advocating for all Athenians and a proven track record of progressive politics on the CCSD Board of Education. Athens for Everyone is proud to endorse her for ACC District 9 Commissioner.
The deep connections throughout the Athens community that Ovita has spent decades fostering, combined with her commitment to fundamental change to the structures and policies that keep Athens unequal and unjust, make her uniquely capable of bringing together disparate parts of our community in a unified movement for transformation. On the Commission, she’ll be a conduit for Athenians who have long been alienated from political power to be connected to, and involved in, decision-making. Critically, she’ll make sure that this connection isn’t just symbolic, but turns into urgently needed policy change. Black Athenians deserve both representation and action, and no one is better positioned than Ovita to deliver on both counts.
Her work in the school system — as a mentor, as a Board of Education member, and as an advocate for those navigating complex and imposing systems — is only one way in which she has worked to address inequality. Her focus on addressing the racist application of our criminal justice system through proposals like record expungement, bail reform and marijuana decriminalization shows the kind of tangible response to systems of oppression that we believe is needed on the Commission. Likewise, her stance that low-income housing developments need built-in social services if they are to help their residents succeed demonstrates her keen understanding of the immediate and varied needs of Athens’ residents.
Ovita knows her town and her community. As a result, she knows that crafting policies to transform Athens will take constant collaboration between the people and their government. She believes in listening and community-informed solutions, so she’ll bring the voice of the people she has served for years to City Hall and amplify it on the Commission in a more public way than ever, pushing for the concrete changes outlined in her platform and responses to A4E’s Questionnaire. Crucially, that platform demonstrates a clear focus on community building, criminal justice reform, affordable housing, expanding quality childcare, investing in public transit and combating discrimination.
Ovita’s opponent, Tommy Valentine, should be commended for his bold progressive platform. We appreciate his advocacy for many issues critical to Athens’ future, including fare-free bus service, living wage jobs, a permanent Civil Rights Committee, and marijuana decriminalization. Tommy will undoubtedly continue to be an important part of progress in Athens, whether or not he wins on May 22. But it’s Ovita’s long time engagement with the residents of District 9, coupled with her strong platform, that presents the best opportunity to build the movement for transformative change in Athens. This will be a community that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful, and electing Ovita to the Commission will help us get there.
Athens for Everyone
April 23, 2018