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Doug's plans for atlanta

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PUBLIC SAFETY

The top issue for this race is public safety.

Nothing works well if you don't feel safe in your homes and offices. And, as I've traveled the city for this campaign, you've made it clear to me Atlanta must do more to make you feel safe. You are not satisfied with Atlanta reporting a growing number of murders each year. 

We must never forget that public safety is a symptom of the overall health of our city. We must make sure every resident has a safe and beautiful neighborhood and community to live within. That must remain the long-term work we do together.

In the near term, my plan for public safety includes more support for a fully staffed police force and relieving some burden from them by hiring specialists for mental health and domestic violence and additional community relationship building.

We need better incentives for officers with higher education to live in the city and retain veteran offices. We can improve the look and feel of the city by cracking down on things like street racing while taking better care of our unsheltered individuals. We should also invest in more cameras and better equipment and keep it in good operating condition. A new training facility is needed that doesn't harm the environment.  

 

As your next council president, I will keep public safety at the top of my plan. Join me in this campaign; let's build a better, safer city together.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Our infrastructure must improve. 

A walk around virtually anywhere in Atlanta will lead to sights like potholes, broken sidewalks, leaking water lines, damaged or missing signs, non-working street lights, and drainage problems. 

These are clear evidence to every Atlanta resident that the city has failed you, and something must change. We've allowed the mayor and city council not to do enough to make our neighborhoods attractive and work well for all of us for too long. 

We need transparency to make sure we know where funds are spent. The city remains well behind in building the things we approved in the past as part of Restore Atlanta, including complete streets, bike lanes, and streetscape improvements. We also must improve on our sustainability and resilience. 

I'm offering my service to you as our city council president because I care that this city serves everyone and brings everyone together. As a three-time CEO and a community activist, I know the kind of leadership we need to drive change that benefits us all. I'm committed to bringing everyone together to find solutions to all the big issues. We can do this together, Atlanta.

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DISPLACEMENT

As Atlanta grows, it can't keep pushing out existing residents who want to call this city home. 

Too often, we've seen neighborhoods like Kirkwood, East Atlanta, and Capitol View get discovered by investors, and in a few years, home sales prices have soared. 

While increased home values are great for the city, often, they can mean that rents and taxes rise just as fast. When they do, our long-term neighbors can get pushed out. 

There's a lot the city and the city council under my leadership as city council president can do to help. We must make sure we have much more aggressive anti-displacement policies.

For owners, the council must debate increased tax abatements, programs to assist with property upkeep, and potentially providing support to multi-generational households. 

For renters, we should consider greater usage of land trust models, programs to upgrade residences, and, potentially, sharing equity with long-term residential renters. 

These ideas are just the beginning. The debate is overdue on keeping Atlanta affordable and still allow it to grow and prosper for everyone. Join my campaign. Together we can solve this and continue to build a better city.

 

AFFORDABILITY

Atlanta can't afford to become unaffordable.

 

To continue to be a great city, Atlanta must offer housing not just for the well-off but workforce housing for teachers, firefighters, and plumbers. It must also allow Clark-Atlanta and Georgia Tech students to live off-campus while attending school and find a permanent home in Atlanta once they graduate. At the same time, we can't price longtime residents out whether they are tenants or owners. 

There are some common sense things the city can do to create more affordable housing. The council can support the Atlanta Housing Authority by building more units, encouraging development on city-owned properties, and working with faith communities as developers of affordable projects. There are ways to increase incentives for the rehabilitation of older properties to keep those projects affordable. Long-term issues include working with the state to lengthen tax incentive time frames for more affordability on new projects. The city can even invest in transit, including Beltline transit, to decrease families' total cost of living.

There's a lot we do to make Atlanta a city where everyone can find their place. As your next council president, I will help lead these efforts. Join me by clicking here.

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TRANSPARENCY

It's easy for politicians, and even those running for office, to lose sight of one crucial point; it's not our government. It's yours. 

The data we collect, the work we do, the documents we create, they all belong to you, the people. In my more than 20 years in Atlanta, I've seen that happen time and time again. 

That's why, as a new voice, a voice of change, I'm promising to operate differently. I'm pledging to make transparency a fundamental part of my service as your next council president. I know how frustrating it can be to reach out to the government and get rebuffed, not be heard, or feel things are hidden from you.

Transparency has always been important to me. It was a crucial part of my leadership when I served as the National Center for Human Rights founding CEO and dealt with public funds building the facility. I am committed to being an "explainer in chief" and personally using data, an office newsletter, social media, and my voice to provide insights you need to understand what your government is doing. 

My campaign has set that bar high. We have disclosed every single donor- well above what is required. I want you to be able to see who is supporting me. I HAVE ALREADY posted my tax returns to add yet another layer of transparency to my candidacy. 

City hall is the people's house. I'll never forget that. As your council president, I will help all residents connect to the government that serves them.  Please help me make that happen by supporting my campaign.

 

CITY SERVICES

Walking around the city recently, you see bags of yard waste that have been there for months, broken sidewalks, and overflowing trash cans along our paths. People constantly complain to me about residential trash pickup and problems reaching out via 311 to report issues.

This is where we can and must do better. Our residents and business owners have to feel confident that the city delivers quality services for the tax dollars they pay. I'm running for council president to bring a new voice and fresh perspective to these issues. As a three-time CEO and a natural collaborator, I know I can get the council together to improve essential services.

I'd like to see the city council expand the council's budget and legal analysis resources. We could use clear and straightforward public infographics and dashboards to improve public understanding of the reality of city service delivery. At the same time, the city council must ensure budgets are correctly developed and spent so that strong delivery of services is possible. This means regular reviews of technology investments, processes, and staffing levels. The use of reviews, hearings, and audits should be used to highlight improvements and areas of need, and these on the record initiatives can restore trust.

The city's failure to deliver city services efficiently hinders our ability to serve everyone even and adequately attract new businesses to the city. Let's do this together.

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SUSTAINABILITY

We know our city is getting hotter and seeing more severe weather due to climate change. As the city's footprint and population grow, so does the need for water, power, transportation, and other services. 

I will use my role as council president to help guide the conversation about how we can make Atlanta one of the nation's most sustainable, resilient cities.

The city has done a lot to improve how it consumes energy and water, operates and builds buildings, and serves its residents and businesses. I know the city can do better, and so can our citizenry. We must. The world our children will live in depends on the choices we make. The council can help by tying economic incentives to better sustainability - encouraging new buildings to have solar panels, water conservation devices, and energy-efficient design and operation. We must protect our tree canopy to make our city stronger and better absorb rain and heat. We should build parks that reduce flooding and provide shade. The city must continue to invest in green energy and water conservation, not only in public facilities but across our city, including tying economic incentives to sustainability investments.

Let's show the region and the country how a city can make sustainability a way of life as we grow.  

 
 

Zoning

A better Atlanta must continue to grow and welcome new people, add housing options, and find ways to include all kinds of people in this great city.
 
But the zoning proposals currently offered go too far too fast. I do not support them. We need to sync our zoning and tree canopy discussions to map the best future for our neighborhoods and overall city. I also do not support eliminating single-family zoning across the city-- while not explicitly offered, I do not believe this approach makes sense for Atlanta.
 
The policies offered are too “one size fits all” and too blunt to be a good policy. There’s not been enough community engagement for such important issues, and we haven’t found the right balance between growth and preservation. 
 
As a resident of the Old Fourth Ward, I know these are complex issues that merit a thoughtful conversation. For example, the city shouldn’t abolish off-street parking requirements in every neighborhood. What works on one street or in one community might not be suitable for another.  
 
The same is true for any conversation around mass up-zoning of lots in single-family neighborhoods. While the city must build more housing and pursue various housing types, making this a right across large parts of the city seems an overly broad approach. 
 
Throughout this conversation about Atlanta’s future, we must also balance housing choices and options and population growth with protecting the environment. We can make a city that can handle our growing population without harming our water, land, air, or tree canopy. There’s room to balance all these interests and build a city that can welcome new people and new housing options. 
 
We are all knitted together in the fabric of this city. As your next council president, my goal is to help us find common ground and move into this future together.

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