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Katie Bell to challenge Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh in District 1 race

campaign coverage Decatur

Katie Bell to challenge Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh in District 1 race

Katie Bell. Photo provided to Decaturish.
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Decatur, GA — Local professional counselor Katie Bell has qualified to run for Decatur City Commission, challenging incumbent District 1 Commissioner Kelly Walsh.

Walsh is seeking reelection to a second term. This is the only contested City Commission race this year.

Bell has a doctorate in philosophy, is a school counselor, a licensed professional counselor and a former elementary school teacher.

“As an educator and therapist, I’ve dedicated my life to listening, advocating, and helping people find their voice,” Bell said in her campaign announcement. “I’ve found that the people who don’t have a seat at the table or don’t feel safe speaking up often have the answers to the problems we’re trying to solve. A good leader gives those people a voice and listens.  I am dedicated to a diverse and equitable Decatur, and I’m committed to listen and lead our community to do better.”

She graduated from Mercer University after receiving her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. She describes herself as “detail oriented and devoted to improving systems and collaborative planning.”

“Our school system has failed our students of color and is in disarray,” Bell said. “Part of that failure sits squarely at the city’s feet for not keeping housing affordable, not creating enough workforce housing options, and driving out middle and low income and senior citizens. The city also lacks a clear way forward on equity.  It’s going to take strong leadership at city hall, with an eye on diversity and inclusion,  to make Decatur a place that is affordable and welcome for people of all backgrounds to be able to live, work, and play and thrive. Now is the time to stand up, claim our shared values, and create change.”

She added, “The people of District 1 deserve someone who will be active, engaged, and who will consistently show up in the community.”

She’s a member of “Save Decatur’s Trees” and a graduate of the Women in Leadership Academy class of 2019.

“Over the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting and listening to the ideas and concerns of Decatur residents,” Bell said. “Together, we can continue to make Decatur a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable city for all.”

She lives with her partner, Benjamin, and their two dogs.

To see a map of the City Commission and School Board districts, click here.

All of our Nov. 2 elections coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com

More information about the Nov. 2 municipal elections

The election will be Nov. 2. Early voting will begin on Oct. 12. The voter registration deadline for the upcoming city elections is Oct. 4. To register to vote, click here.

To see a list of important dates in the 2021 election year, click here.

To learn about qualifying for local elections in Tucker, Clarkston and Stone Mountain, click here.

Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot beginning today, Aug. 16. The county will hold municipal elections on Nov. 2, as well as a county-wide E-SPLOST vote for DeKalb County schools.

To apply for an absentee ballot:

— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website: www.sos.ga.gov.

—  Complete the absentee ballot application using the state’s official paper form or request an absentee ballot in writing. Use blue or black ink only.

Applications can be mailed to the county elections office and voter’s should use this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.

Applications can also be submitted through fax, 404-298-4038 or email, [email protected]

Voters may send an absentee ballot request for multiple people who live in the same household in the same envelope or email.

If an absentee ballot is not mailed to you, contact your county’s elections office. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day.

An absentee ballot application must be received 11 days prior to the election, which is Oct. 22.

In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Governor Brian Kemp in March, a voter ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia voter card, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, U.S. Passport, tribal ID, or a document verifying a voter’s name and address – including a paycheck, utility bill, or bank statement – are accepted forms of ID.

Voters can obtain a free ID at the DeKalb County Elections office at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur or at the following locations:

– On Aug. 25 from 3-6 p.m. at Doraville Marta Station, 6000 New Peachtree Road, Doraville 30340.

— On Aug. 30 from 3-6 p.m. at Indian Creek Marta Station, 3901 Durham Park Road, Stone Mountain 30083.

— On Sept. 15 from 3-6 p.m. at Chamblee Marta Station, 5200 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee 303041.

— On Sept. 14 from 3-6 p.m. at Kensington Marta Station, 3505 Kensington Road, Decatur 30032.

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