Since the creation of this newsletter, I have tried my best to steer clear of announcing my support of different candidates and sharing my political beliefs. But as Atlanta prepares to elect a new mayor, I feel that I cannot in good conscience remain silent regarding the future of my hometown.
Andre Dickens must be elected the next mayor of Atlanta.
It’s no secret that Atlanta is at a turning point. Rising crime rates have many residents on edge, and a portion of the city has started a movement to break away from Atlanta. The city’s economy is still in the process of emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the cost of living has become unsustainable for many.
Andre Dickens is the only candidate with the experience, knowledge and determination to tackle these issues head-on. He was raised in the west side. He is a product of Atlanta Public Schools. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Georgia Tech and his masters at Georgia State. He is a deacon and an engineer who has represented the entire city on the city council for eight years. But above all else, Andre is a father. He understands that the future of this city depends on responsible leaders. Because one day, it will be time to pass that torch down to younger generations.
Like many of us, Andre is concerned about the rise in violent crime. And he has several plans to combat it. On day one, Andre will seek to repair the strained relationship between city hall and the Atlanta Police Department. His SAFE Streets plan will bring in more than 200 new police officers in his first year as mayor. It will also go after gang leaders and create a law enforcement task force. He plans to increase support for after school and mentorship programs so that our youth will have strong support systems that they may not have at home.
It’s no secret that Atlanta is becoming an expensive city to live in. In recent years, some residents have relocated to nearby suburbs to escape the high cost of living. Andre has been working on housing plans since he was elected to the city council. As mayor, he plans to preserve 20,000 affordable housing units in eight years. He also plans to appoint a new Chief House Officer, freeze property taxes for seniors and expand the Inclusionary Zoning Policy to lower the percentage of affordability.
Corruption investigations have dominated city hall for the better part of the last decade. These investigations have caused many voters to lose trust in city government, and understandably so. Andre is committed to being transparent with the public, which is why he has posted copies of his tax returns on his campaign website. If elected, he will work closely with the City Ethics Office to make sure that the city’s hard-earned tax dollars are not spent frivolously.
Look, I can go on about why Andre is the right choice to lead this great city. But if I was unable to convince you, take it from these local leaders who have endorsed him:
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Former Mayor Shirley Franklin
Former Mayor Andrew Young
U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams
Councilwoman Jennifer Ide
Councilwoman Carla Smith
Councilwoman Andrea Boone
Councilman Michael Julian Bond
Councilman Matt Westmoreland
State Sen. Nan Orrock
Former State Sen. Vincent Fort
Former State Sen. Jason Carter
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis
Former Chief Justice Harold Melton
Atlanta School Board Chair Jason Esteves
Andre was made for this moment. Dozens of local leaders agree that he is the right choice to lead this city out of these dark times. I encourage every Atlanta resident to get out there and vote for Andre on Tuesday. The most overlooked elections are the ones that have a direct impact on our day to day lives, such as this one. So please do not forget to vote.
I wish both candidates the best of luck heading into Tuesday’s runoff election. No matter the outcome, thank you for outlining your visions for this great city.