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Arts advocate Betty Blondeau enters race for Decatur City Commission

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Arts advocate Betty Blondeau enters race for Decatur City Commission


Betty Blondeau. Photo provided to Decaturish

Betty Blondeau, a champion of the arts who supports sustainable development, has joined the race for Decatur City Commission District 1.

She joins candidates Tim MartinMelissa Manrow, and Kelly Walsh. All four are seeking to replace outgoing commissioner Fred Boykin who decided not to run again after 15 years of service.

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So what does Blondeau bring to the table? According to her campaign, it’s a passion for the arts and experience in zoning issues.

The Decatur native has been involved with Downtown Decatur Neighbors, Civic Association Network, the Mary Gay House Endowment Board, Good Growth DeKalb, and Woodlands Garden.

“Betty was a high school English teacher before finding a career in fundraising as Director of Development at the Alliance Theatre and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company,” her website says. “She remains active in the arts, attending theatre as often as possible. She is a mother and grandmother. In her free time she practices Tai Chi and Yoga, and enjoys membership in two book clubs.”

Blondeau said she has “been an integral part of the development and success of the arts across metro Atlanta.”

“In her roles as President of Georgia Citizens for the Arts, and Community Arts Chair of the DeKalb Junior League, she was a regular face around the Capitol in lobbying efforts to keep the arts funded at the state level,” her campaign announcement says. “She has served as a panelist for the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, and the State of Georgia, as well as with various arts groups. Preserving and promoting good growth in Decatur is a natural next step.”

On that front, she says she has experience with zoning and planning issues from her time serving on DeKalb’s Community Council. She says she has been a leader in updating DeKalb’s zoning code and an advocate for greenspace in downtown Decatur. She co-chaired the Woodlands Garden Capital campaign, raising $1 million to buy additional land for the garden.

“My experience on the DeKalb County Zoning Code Update and my involvement with Good Growth DeKalb has allowed me to work with neighborhood groups, developers, and staff to look at issues where creative, collaborative thinking can bring the best solutions for smart growth,” Blondeau said in her announcement. “Over and over I hear from the community the need for development that respects neighborhood concerns: traffic concerns that impact us all; a commitment to code enforcement on pedestrian safety and walkability; greenspace in downtown Decatur, as well as in the newly acquired Methodist Children’s Home property; and a stronger tree ordinance, preserving our vital tree canopy.”

She also pledged to work “effectively” with the Decatur School Board.

“Decatur schools remain at the center of a young family’s decision to choose Decatur as their home,” she said. “I know that we must work effectively with the school board to assure that this amazing education system has the resources it needs to continue to provide the best learning environment for our children.”

Her campaign website is www.bettyfordecatur.com.

Qualifying for the Nov. 7 election begins Aug. 21 and ends Aug. 23. The qualifying fee for City Commission is $144 and the fee for the Board of Education is $35. Registration for the Nov. 7 election ends on Oct. 10 and early voting begins Oct. 16 and ends Oct. 31.

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