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Dear Decaturish – In support of Mandy Mahoney, candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5

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Dear Decaturish – In support of Mandy Mahoney, candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5

Mandy Mahoney
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Decaturish invited all candidates running in the Nov. 2 municipal election to submit up to three letters on their behalf. One of the letters could be written by the candidate. Here are the letters in support of Atlanta City Council District 5 candidate Mandy Mahoney.

Dear Decaturish, 

As a District 5 resident, mother of 3, and long-time community organizer, I see clearly that Mandy Mahoney is the only choice as my next city council representative.

Housing affordability. Policing alternatives that actually reduce crime and save lives. Pedestrian friendly infrastructure. These are my top priorities, and there are myriad reasons every city in America struggles with them: funding, politics, systemic racism. The list goes on.

If Atlanta is to actually make progress on these issues, we need proven leadership. We do not need leaders that have questionable track records – or no track records at all. We need Mandy Mahoney. Mandy was on the team that launched the Atlanta BeltLine. She was the City’s first Sustainability Director. She is a national leader on energy, climate, and housing affordability solutions. Mandy has 20+ years experience getting the work done, and I’ve had the privilege of working alongside her on a number of issues, including farm to school programs.

For District 5, I want to see innovative zoning changes that enable greater density while preserving the character of our neighborhoods. I’m hopeful that PAD (Policing Alternatives & Diversions Initiative) will be able to expand its services so that we can get our neighbors experiencing extreme poverty and mental health concerns the support they need. I’m tired of not being able to safely get to my kids’ school, work, or the park without getting in the car. And what about access to fresh and affordable food for all at home, in schools, and communities?

I am not naive to the difficulties in addressing these issues. Any improvements will be incremental, but they are possible. As I ask myself what’s required for change to happen in a way that is sustainable, I know that leadership working across lines of difference is paramount. Leadership that is responsive, selfless, and listens gets things done.

This is why my friends, neighbors, and I are voting for Mandy Mahoney. She is a servant leader that demonstrates time and time again she gets things done.

– Ashley Rouse

Dear Decaturish, 

Ready day one. That’s it.

I have been an East Lake resident for over 20 years and served as community leader as long as I have been here. I was a Board member, vice president, and president of the East Lake Neighborhood Association four times. I am currently vice president of the East Lake Neighbors Development Corp and I am active in the East Lake Patrol.

Because of my community work, I know how important it is for our leaders to be able to work across a diverse spectrum of stakeholders to tackle the long-standing, systemic challenges that our community faces.

Admittedly, I did not know anything at all about Mandy, or her background, until we sat down one morning a couple of months ago for some coffee.

Though I know some of the other candidates quite well, I was unsure who among them could possibly be ready to fill the very large shoes of our much loved, Natalyn Archibong, as she opens a new chapter using her superpowers as our Atlanta City Council as President.

I learned that Mandy’s time working for Mayor Franklin inside the ropes at city hall gives her a depth of knowledge none of the other candidates can claim. Her city hall experience impresses me greatly. She was there working directly on the origins of the Atlanta Beltline. Later, Mandy developed and led our city’s sustainability program – a massive undertaking.

Furthermore, much of the work we see happening at Atlanta city council meetings is the result of many, many, hours of back-channel discussions and negotiations. Mandy joins the council on the first day with insider knowledge, ready to bridge the gaps to make things happen. No ramp up time needed.

Our neighborhoods are, for the most part, well organized in District 5. As past President of the East Lake neighborhood, I know how valuable an experienced partner is when it’s time to champion our local goals and issues. Mandy’s unique experience working for Mayor Franklin prepared her well to respond quickly and effectively. Mandy has relationships in place and knows where to go inside the machine to get the answers we need at the local neighborhood level.

$22,000,000 is a ton of money. During our coffee, I realized Mandy led the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance for 10 years as CEO. She spent many years professionally overseeing huge budgets, working with staff, creating partnerships, getting things done. She tackled environmental issues that were extensive and complex. Mandy has the CEO level leadership experience we need and is a competent experienced manager who I believe is best suited to make the right decisions for District 5. Her leadership qualities are unmatched among the field of District 5 City Council candidates.

This election represents a critical choice for District 5. It’s the most important election for us on a local level in the past 20 years. To me, Mandy Mahoney, is the only logical choice for level headed, effective, inclusive, leadership for District 5.

Mandy Mahoney is ready on day one and I believe she’s the candidate most qualified to help us all move District 5 forward.

– Kyle Caldwell

Dear Decaturish, 

Don’t the elections feel a bit different this time? Atlanta is changing, and it’s time for our city council to reflect that change. As a long time resident of Atlanta in District 5, I believe in Atlantans and our ability to change and grow, and when I am elected to city council, I will work tirelessly to help the city grow into what it needs to become – a safer, cleaner, and even better place to live. On day one, I will be ready to get started making the changes our city needs, bringing my experience in public service with me, and ensuring that everyone in District 5 lives a safer, cleaner, healthier, and happier life.

Whether that is making sure our recycling is picked up weekly or ensuring that calls to 911 are responded to promptly. I have the experience needed, and I am ready to get to work.

Under Mayors Franklin and Reed I served as the City of Atlanta’s first sustainability director. Prior to that, when the Beltline was only an idea, I worked on making it a reality. I am ready to take the lead on local issues that are priorities for my community and myself. Through all this experience I realized that even though we can pinpoint real issues and put titles to them, fixing them specifically is only a bandaid. I will champion a solution to the underlying problem, budgeting.

All of Atlanta’s systems are connected. Crime is tied to affordable housing, affordable housing is connected to misplaced spending, misplaced spending results in a lack of fair and just policing. Accountability to the residents of District 5 and the introduction of participatory budgeting will go a long way to align all aspects of how Atlanta runs. Just like how going to the chiropractor aligns your internal systems to help your body work we can get our city’s systems aligned as well. This is how we make our district, our city, better. Thank you for your vote and thank you for all that get involved. Together we help Atlanta change into the city it is meant to be.

Let’s go, Atlanta.

– Mandy Mahoney

More information about voting in the Nov. 2 election: 

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.

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.  

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