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Dear Decaturish – In support of Samuel Bacote, candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5

campaign coverage Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL Trending

Dear Decaturish – In support of Samuel Bacote, candidate for Atlanta City Council District 5

Sam Bacote

We accept letters to the editor. Letters to the editor are opinions of the authors of the letter, not Decaturish. Everyone has an equal opportunity to submit a letter to the editor. So if you read something here and don’t like it, don’t jump on our case. Write a letter of your own. All letters must be signed. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content. To send your letter to the editor, email it to [email protected].

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 Samuel Bacote.

Dear Decaturish,

My name is Gregory McLain and I am a resident of Kirkwood. I have family roots in this area for over 50 plus years.

My father James A McLain, known as “Mr. Jimmy McLain” or “Big Jim McLain,” was a key point of contact for many political figures. I learned so much from him as he helped many politicians on a local, state and national level. He could size “em up quickly” and separate the contenders from the pretenders. I especially recall his admiration for  the late Atlanta Mayor, Maynard H. Jackson and President Jimmy Carter.

I can remember when President Carter shared his plans to run for President before it was made public at my parents’ house. I can still remember the moment that occurred in my parents’ living room. As the November 2nd election approaches, I am truly being my father’s son and placing my support with Samuel Bacote.

I met Sam over 40 years ago at Northside High School where we both played on the football team together. He was a devoted team player with a strong heart for the game. You could always depend on Sam to contribute to a play and this is what I still see in him today.

Sam is the only candidate that I have seen on many occasions personally going “door to door” across Kirkwood, East Lake and Lake Claire attempting to personally connect with every one who calls District 5 home. Very recently I watched him engage with people in a couple of “neighborhood meet and greets”. I observed how he really listens to what the people are saying and responds in a way that gives them a sense that they are being heard above his own thoughts.

Sam enjoys engaging with people and he brings exceptional leadership skills that are needed for our city and District 5. He has learned from Maynard H. Jackson about empowering people when he worked as Vice President of his investment firm for six years. Sam is former Chairman/CEO of the Fulton Atlanta Land Bank Authority, former Chairman of Project Community Inc. and currently serves as Chairman of the Atlanta Association for Convalescent Aged Persons, Inc.

Because of this record, he possesses a long-standing passion for civic and social issues while demonstrating leadership qualities that make him very effective at serving the diversity of people in District 5. Sam will not only be a great asset for District 5 but an invaluable asset for the City of Atlanta as a whole. I trust and hope that on Tuesday November 2nd you will join me in casting your vote for Samuel Bacote, soon to become our next District 5 – Atlanta City Councilman


GA McLain


Dear Decaturish,

In recent months, I have noticed an increase in the number of online posts and neighborhood conversations expressing disappointment in our city’s government and in particular our elected leaders. For those of you in District 5, I would encourage you to take a good look at Sam Bacote.

I have known Sam since our kids were at Mary Lin Elementary together. He even volunteered as a crossing guard (when the city did not provide them). He later moved his family to the North Ormewood Park area (also District 5). He is a multi-generational ATL native, community volunteer, active parent, successful businessperson, and non-profit leader.

Perhaps what I like most about Sam, is that he is anything but a polished “professional” politician. He is not out to “build his resume”.  He has a vested interest in our neighborhood. His interest in holding office comes from his love and concern for our city. Sam is not an “agenda” candidate either. He will represent ALL the residents of our city.  He also understands that there are no simple solutions… only intelligent choices.

I have never endorsed a candidate for political office, and I have never put a candidate’s sign in my yard … until now.

Respectfully Yours,

– Kenyon Thweatt, 30 Year Resident of Lake Claire


Dear Decaturish, 

Why I am voting for Sam Bacote for District 5 City Council:

When I met the candidates for the District 5 race at my neighbor’s house in East Lake, I saw something special in each of them, but one stood out above the others – that person is Sam Bacote. The main reason I am supporting him, voting for him as our Councilman on November 2nd, and why I believe everyone should cast their ballot for Sam, is that it takes someone with the right kind of experience and know-how to get things done for us in the City Council.

The more I spoke with Sam and learned about him through my own research, the more I realized that he is the right person for this role, the one who will be able to hold his own and who will effectively advocate for progress in our complex city. We need Sam because he has a proven ability to navigate our city’s issues in a way that drives accountability and transparency; he is someone who can intervene with a strong, calm voice to get things done amidst political turmoil.

Sam’s vast experience in city and community affairs is appealing, as is his passion for improving the quality of life for our elderly. That matters a lot to me, as does his deep understanding of our education system and what our teachers and children need from our local leadership. Having teachers as his parents provides a foundation that will benefit our communities.

Considering Sam’s extensive business experience and formal training in Public Administration from Harvard, I believe this makes him the most well- rounded and qualified candidate.

What inspired me to write for your readers, though, is something even more compelling than qualifications, and that is Sam’s integrity and way with people. He knows how to say what needs to be said, even when the message may not be what another person wants to hear, but without offending or causing discord. He welcomes differing views. This is a unique and important skill, one I have personally observed and appreciate. Sam builds bridges where they do not exist and creates effective, lasting solutions to problems, and that is what we need in Atlanta City government. His ability to drive change, to handle tough policy issues and to navigate fiscal matters with transparency make Sam the leader we need as our city moves forward on police and crime issues.

I’m thankful to be in District 5 and honored to have had the chance to get to know Sam, his wife and team, and to be able to vote for him in November. I hope you’ll join me in helping to elect this wonderful leader, Sam Bacote!

– Deborah Beacham, Atlanta Advocate for Children and Families in Conflict Navigating Justice, Atlanta, Georgia

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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