Thomas Walker runs for Tucker City Council for 2nd timeThomas Walker. Photo provided to the Tucker Observer
Tucker, GA — Thomas Walker, longtime resident of Tucker and former candidate for City Council, is running again this November. Walker, 52, is running for District 2, Post 1 to replace Matt Robbins who reached his term limit.
Walker was marching with his high school band in the Cotton Bowl parade when he first encountered the University of Georgia’s Redcoat Marching Band. It was 1984. Between his adoration for football legend Herschel Walker and his musical talent playing the trumpet, Walker was convinced he’d one day play in Sanford Stadium.
He graduated from Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill., and did just that. Walker played in several bands at UGA, and graduated cum laude from both undergrad and UGA School of Law.
Nearly a dozen years later, Walker was a young attorney in Buckhead, looking for an affordable place to live. Tucker’s tree-lined neighborhoods with sidewalks and quiet streets attracted him to the Brockett Road area. He has lived in Tucker since 1997. He practices employment litigation, civil litigation and criminal defense.
Walker has volunteered in his professional field and beyond. He has worked pro bono for defendants in the city of Atlanta, Fulton County and Georgia Department of Labor. Walker has been rescuing greyhound dogs for more than 20 years.
Working with Tucker Civic Association and lobbying at the Georgia General Assembly, Walker was a proponent of Tucker becoming a city. During his run for City Council in 2016, he narrowly lost a spot in the runoff for District 2, Post 1. He took a break from civic engagement to become a caretaker for his mother, who passed in November 2019.
Walker’s main campaign points are: keeping property taxes low, following the city’s comprehensive plan and holding DeKalb County accountable for IGAs with Tucker.
“I like the comprehensive plan that Tucker has put forward and I really want to continue with what we’re doing,” said Walker.
Walker explained that as a city, Tucker has control over four areas of city government: zoning, code enforcement, tourism and parks and recreation. To change the city’s charter, Tucker needs the backing of the DeKalb delegation to the General Assembly, he said.
“This past legislative session, Tucker wanted to pass two initiatives: one was annexation of property in Northlake and the other was to eliminate term limits for the mayor and city council members. Neither one of those bills made it to a committee … We need to have a good, working relationship with the DeKalb delegation,” Walker said.
Walker said Tucker’s urban camping ordinance was hastily written and more reaction than thoughtful response. In his pro bono work at Fulton County State Court on the jail calendar, Walker encountered homeless clients charged with low level misdemeanors who couldn’t afford to pay their bonds.
“City of Tucker is not going to solve the homeless issue. A lot of people mistake homelessness as an economic problem. Homelessness is a mental health issue,” said Walker. “You have to look at the whole picture.”
Tucker residents drafted and presented to City Council a non-discrimination ordinance in 2020. Walker said while “any fair-minded person is going to oppose discrimination,” he read the ordinance by Tucker Open Door and wondered whether it is constitutionally enforceable. In the metro area, NDOs have been adopted in Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, DeKalb County, Doraville, Dunwoody, Gwinnett County and Pine Lake.
“I think passing the ordinance would tell neighbors that Tucker is a welcoming community,” he said. “I support an NDO because it prohibits all forms of discrimination: Age, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability in addition to sexual orientation and gender identity. It protects all people.”
As a resident of Brockett Road, Walker’s run for city council is focused on community. He looks forward to building up the Main Street area as a hub for thriving local businesses, city hall, multi-purpose greenspace and connecting trails.
Look for Walker on the campaign trail soon. He plans to knock on doors and talking to neighbors – from a distance. Fully vaccinated, Walker said he is sensitive to the ways people want to interact, whether in person or by phone.
The election is Nov. 2. Candidates in the race for mayor and City Council are:
Running for Mayor
Frank Auman, running for reelection
Running for City Council District 1, Post 1:
Running for District 1, Post 2:
Running for District 2, Post 1:
Running for District 3, Post 1
City Council members Michelle Penkava (District 3, Post 1) and Matt Robbins (District 2, Post 1) are term limited and can’t run again. Pat Soltys (District 1, Post 1) is not seeking reelection. District 1, Post 2 is vacant and was held by the late Bill Rosenfeld.
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