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Candidate Q&A – Tucker City Council District 2, Post 1 candidate Imani Barnes

DeKalb County

Candidate Q&A – Tucker City Council District 2, Post 1 candidate Imani Barnes

Imani Barnes. Photo obtained via https://joinarmswithbarnes.com/

Editor’s note: Decaturish and the Tucker Observer have published an Elections Guide, a 76-page e-edition featuring Q&As with nearly every candidate running in our communities. To see it, click here. This special e-edition features candidates running for public office in Decatur, Avondale Estates, Atlanta City Council District 5, Clarkston Tucker and Stone Mountain.  There is a PDF version of this, which you can see by clicking here, but due to the format of this e-edition, we strongly encourage you to use the e-reader version.

The Tucker Observer provided each candidate in our local races with a series of questions about local issues. Here are the answers of candidate Imani Barnes, who is running for District 2, Post 1 on the Tucker City Council. The answers have not been edited. 

1) Why are you running for this office?

After George Floyd was murdered, I wanted to know how Tucker city council would address or acknowledge the current events. I found not many citizens attend the city council meetings and there was a lack of diversity on the council. As a scientist of more than 20 years, holding my master’s in public health, and being a PhD candidate in public health, I also yearn to bring evidence-based solutions and community frameworks to better approach city policies and issues.

During a global pandemic is the perfect time to add a scientist to our city council.

2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?

I am average citizen who is passionate about the growth and development of Tucker and can relate to your issues. I am reachable and am passionate when listening to the things that matter to the community. Not only have I grown up in the community, but I have also watched Tucker develop, grow, and become more diverse over the years. With plans for major infrastructure developments and many already in the works, we need a representative who will represent the underrepresented when issues like fair housing, the non-discrimination ordinance, sidewalks, green space, and homelessness arise. I will use my background in biomedical research and public health to formulate innovative solutions for our city.

3) If elected, what are your top two or three priorities?

Equal access to housing


Cleaning up the lakes in the parks

Homeless situation

4) In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the city of Tucker?


5) What is your opinion of Tucker’s current mayor and who will you be voting for in the mayoral election?


6) What is your opinion of Tucker’s current city manager?


7) What is your current opinion of the DeKalb County Police Department and are there any changes you would advocate for if you are elected?


8) Tucker residents, all involved in boards or committees in city government, drafted a non-discrimination ordinance. Many of the cities surrounding Tucker have an NDO, yet Tucker City Council has not brought it for a discussion. What is your position on the non-discrimination ordinance?

I support the ordinance! When passed, it will benefit and bring equity for all in Tucker. It is one of my top priorities when elected.

9) Racial justice and diversity have been points of conversation over the last year. What will you do to promote racial justice and diversity in the city of Tucker?

I would like to bring more multicultural events to Tucker that represents how diverse the city truly is. Begin to recognize and celebrate the large population of Black and Brown citizens that live in Tucker.

10) What do you think of the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what steps do you think the city should take to help reduce the spread of the virus?


11) Residents frequently complain about roads and drainage. As of now, the majority of the responsibility lies with DeKalb. How would you work with the county to improve these services? Should Tucker start the process of taking over roads and drainage?


12) Parks and Rec is working to turn Fitzgerald Field into an arena that will attract sports tournaments and outdoor events. How will this go over in Tucker? Does the city have enough infrastructure, like sidewalks, to support a sports complex?


13) The city of Tucker largely is staffed by contractors, people who d o not directly work for the city. Do you support the current method of staffing the city’s government or would you want to change to a more traditional system where employees work directly for the city?


14) Do you support continuing to stream Tucker’s meetings online? Why or why not?

Yes! So those who are unable to attend can still participate.

15) What can be done to improve pedestrian safety on Tucker’s roads?


16) What do you think is Tucker’s greatest strength?


17) What do you think is Tucker’s biggest challenge?


18) How would you address what you believe to be Tucker’s biggest challenge?


19) If you are elected, what will you do to support the business community in the city of Tucker?


20) If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government?

Yes! Most definitely.

More information about voting in the Nov. 2 election: 

All elections coverage can be found at Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com.  

Election Day is Nov. 2. Early voting will begin on Oct. 12 and will end on Oct. 29. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 4. To register to vote, click here.

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

Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot as of Aug. 16. 

To apply for an absentee ballot:

— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website.

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

Applications can be mailed to the county elections office at this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.

Applications can also be submitted by 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, call DeKalb Elections office, 404-298-4020. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day.

An absentee ballot application must be received by Oct. 22.

In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March, a copy of a voter’s ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia state ID, Georgia voter card, U.S. Passport, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, 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.

Early voting begins Oct. 12 and ends Oct. 29. The hours for early voting are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be weekend early voting on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Call your elections office for hours.

Beginning Oct. 12, you can participate in early voting at the following locations: 

– Bessie Branham Recreation Center (2051 Delano Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30317)

– Lynwood Recreation Center (3360 Osborne Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319)

– Berean Christian Church – Family Life Center (2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30088)

– DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office (4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032)

– Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library (5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084)

– Stonecrest Library (3123 Klondike Road, Stonecrest, GA 30038)

– County Line-Ellenwood Library (4331 River Road, Ellenwood, GA 30294)

– Dunwoody Library (5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road., Dunwoody, GA 30338)

For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding early voting times and locations, visit Decaturishvotes.com and Tuckerobservervotes.com or call 404-298-4020.  

The Tucker Observer is a new community news website owned by Decaturish.comWe provide locally sourced news about Tucker, Clarkston and Stone Mountain.

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