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Dear Decaturish – In support of Emily Halevy, candidate for DeKalb County Commission District 6

Avondale Estates campaign coverage Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL Tucker

Dear Decaturish – In support of Emily Halevy, candidate for DeKalb County Commission District 6

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Emily Halevy. Photo provided to Decaturish


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All of our election coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com

About this series: As part of our ongoing election coverage, we invited each candidate for DeKalb County Commission District 6 to submit up to two letters of support. Here are letters in support of Emily Halevy. 

This post has been updated. 

Steve Bradshaw. Photo by Rebecca Breyer

Dear Decaturish,

It is my honor to support Emily Halevy in her campaign to become the next DeKalb County Commissioner representing Super District 6. Emily was a member of my campaign re-election team before she decided to take this next step in her commitment to public service. I could not be prouder of her for doing so.

I have known Emily for several years. In that time, she has impressed me as a person of intelligence, determination and humility. These are the qualities that led me to ask her to join my team. And these are qualities that will serve her well as a member of the Board of Commissioners.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is comprised of seven people, with seven different ways of operating, seven different sets of priorities and seven different egos. But, no one vote carries more weight than anyone else’s. Therefore, getting anything of substance accomplished requires cooperation, which is driven in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Emily’s qualities will make her an excellent fit as we seek to maintain a spirit of comity among our members. I for one would gladly welcome her as my colleague with open arms.

Looking forward to 2021!!!


Steve Bradshaw

DeKalb County Commissioner, District 4

Presiding Officer


Dear Decaturish,

I first got to know Emily Halevy in the context of a crisis that impacted her immediate neighborhood in south-central DeKalb.  Residents in a near-by apartment building were facing eviction and had nowhere to go.  Emily worked tirelessly to mobilize them into an emergency assistance effort that grew to include their district Commissioner, relocation staff from county government, including workforce development and community development, and a good-hearted developer who could help refer these frightened families to decent replacement housing.  That was the first example I noted of Emily’s ability to confront a problem and help coordinate resources necessary to alleviate it.

Of related importance was a re-zoning proposal to provide 244 units of affordable housing in the community adjacent to the Kensington MARTA station, which Emily supported as a valuable means of replacing rapidly vanishing affordable housing.  While consistent with MARTA plans for including housing as a component of the large multi-use development suited to the Kensington area, it was imperative to incorporate suggestions from community groups keenly concerned with neighborhood preservation so that the scale and design of the housing proposal would not produce negative impacts.  Involved in multiple zoning hearings and plan modifications, Emily again demonstrated the ability to achieve a result (new housing units were approved with enhancements urged by opponents of the zoning request) that involved working with and listening to a variety of perspectives.

Based on these first-hand experiences of citizen organizing, Emily founded the Coalition for a Diverse DeKalb, which aims to educate and involve the public in providing options for quality housing geared to different family incomes throughout DeKalb County.  She and her husband, Matt Leatherman, formed the Friends of Avondale-Dunaire Park group, focused on community mobilization and fundraising for much needed park improvements.  Emily is also an engaged parent, helping to raise $150,000 for infrastructure projects needed to support the Museum School of Avondale Estates and has served on its foundation board. She also now serves on the board of Project Community Connections, a non-profit aimed at providing rapid rehousing and wrap around services for those experiencing homelessness.

Emily’s wide-ranging community engagement has demonstrated her commitment to reaching out to and respecting a variety of groups and working toward results that balance diverse needs.  This appreciation for diversity makes her an ideal candidate to serve constituents of Super District 6 and I hope you will join me in supporting her.


Panke Miller

Resident of the Oak Grove Community in Central DeKalb


Jonathan Elmore. Image obtained via Facebook

Dear Decaturish,

I am writing this letter in support of Emily Halevy for DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner.  My wife and I initially met Emily through her involvement with The Museum School of Avondale Estates and the Museum School Foundation.  She served on the Board of the Foundation and was passionately involved with fundraising and marketing.  Since that time, I have gotten to know Emily better through her involvement with Commissioner Steve Bradshaw’s re-election team and many conversations and meetings.

To the point, it only takes a few minutes with Emily to realize she is genuine, intelligent, and a good listener.  These are qualities we need not just in DeKalb County leaders, but in all politics.  Emily has shown her commitment to DeKalb through her foundation of the Coalition for a Diverse DeKalb, which supports affordable housing and smart development, and her service on the board of Project Community Connections, which helps the homeless find housing.  Her efforts to help create and preserve safe neighborhoods landed her the Nikki T. Randall Servant Leader Award from the Georgia Legislative Women’s Caucus.  Emily always brings great ideas to the table and always does her homework, but more importantly, she listens and works with others to find solutions that work for everyone.  I can say it is not common or easy to do both, but it is what we need in DeKalb County now and for the future.

Emily is committed to affordable housing to all in DeKalb and has thoughtful, pragmatic ideas to help that effort.  She supports MARTA expansion to better serve DeKalb residents and Transit Oriented Development around stations.  Emily also supports hiring more law enforcement officers to address the current shortage and will work to strengthen our public health and safety structure.

And speaking from my time as the Mayor of Avondale Estates (one square mile of 3300 residents), it is of the utmost importance that the cities and the county work together towards common goals that benefit all of our citizens.  If the county is strong, the cities are made stronger.  I want to work with Emily, as I have worked with Commissioner Bradshaw, to help make DeKalb a better and stronger county for everyone’s benefit.  Please vote for Emily Halevy for DeKalb County Commissioner Super District 6.


Jonathan Elmore, Mayor of Avondale Estates, GA

More information about voting in this election:

The voter registration deadline for the June 9 election is May 11.

You can look up your status by visiting the Georgia Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page.” To visit the My Voter Page, click here. You can check your status by providing basic information like your last name, birthday and the county you live in. You can also see a sample ballot.

If you find you are not registered and want to be registered in time for the next election, there are a few ways you can get back on the voter rolls.

You can register online with the Secretary of State’s Office by clicking here.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, in order to register to vote you must:

– Be a citizen of the United States

– Be a legal resident of the county where you are voting

– Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote

– Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude

– Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge

For more information about how to register, click here.

People are being encouraged to vote by mail in the upcoming election. Most people should’ve already received an application for an absentee ballot form in the mail. Absentee ballots can be requested online through the Secretary of State’s Office or the County Board of Registrations and Elections. The county board of registrar’s office is located at 4380 Memorial Drive Suite, 300, Decatur, GA 30032. Once the ballot has been requested, election officials will mail each voter the appropriate ballot.

People voting by mail will be identified using signature verification. If a signature doesn’t match, those voters will be mailed a provisional ballot and asked to return that along with a photocopy of their identification. Three people have to agree that a signature does not match before a provisional ballot is sent to a voter.

Here is the most recent election update from DeKalb County:

Update on General Primary Election and Absentee Ballots

DECATUR, Ga.– On Thursday, April 9, 2020, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger postponed the May 19, 2020, presidential preference primary, special election, general primary and general nonpartisan election to June 9, 2020.

All votes previously cast in the 2020 presidential preference primary/special election originally scheduled for March 24, 2020, will be counted on June 9, 2020.

Voters who have previously cast ballots in the presidential preference primary / special election originally scheduled for March 24, 2020, will receive a ballot that contains the races for the June 9, 2020, general primary and general nonpartisan election only.

Voters who have not yet cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential preference primary/special election will receive a ballot that contains both the presidential preference primary/special election races and the General Primary and general nonpartisan election races.

On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office mailed absentee ballot applications to all registered active voters in the state.

Applications requesting a ballot for May 19, 2020, will be processed as requesting a ballot for the June 9, 2020, election.

Completed applications must be received by the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2020, and absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on June 9, 2020.  Uniformed and Overseas Citizens (UOCAVA) ballots must be postmarked by June 9, 2020, and received no later than Friday, June 12, 2020.

For more information, contact the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office at 404-298-4020.

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