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Dear Decaturish – In support of Simone Pacely for Tucker City Council

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Dear Decaturish – In support of Simone Pacely for Tucker City Council

Simone Pacely

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Decaturish invited all candidates running in the Nov. 7 municipal election to submit up to three letters on their behalf. One of the letters could be written by the candidate.

Dear Decaturish,

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

These are the oft-quoted words of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black Congresswoman and first Black major-party candidate for President of the United States. 

These words describe well the life and leadership of my friend Simone Pacely, candidate for Tucker City Council, District 3, Post 2. 

I have been honored these past two years to represent District 3 residents on the Tucker City Council. When you entrusted me with this responsibility, I pledged to be a voice for inclusion and to champion what I believe is Tucker’s greatest strength: its diversity. I promised to encourage greater community engagement, be an ally, listen well, and take action. 

Simone Pacely shares these commitments and embodies these inclusive values. Please allow me to share with you about my friend.

Simone is a working mom—a small business owner and a respected community leader with many years of service in Tucker through PTOs, school foundations, classrooms, recreational sports leagues, nonprofit boards, and numerous civic organizations. With more than 25 years as a franchise owner and financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial, Simone has achieved success as a Black woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. 

Simone hails from Guyana, South America, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. A graduate of Ohio University, she majored in Finance and played basketball. Simone and her husband are proud parents to a distinguished student-athlete at Tucker High School. 

She played an instrumental role in guiding her subdivision’s annexation to the city of Tucker and recently represented District 3 on the Tucker Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan Update Core Team.

From 2016-2019, Simone served as Director of Administration and Treasurer of Tucker Football League. Fitzgerald Field is where I first met Simone as my son played for TFL too, and I witnessed her enthusiasm for expanding sports opportunities for our youth. 

Simone is also the co-founder of the nonprofit Tucker Youth Sports Inc., which birthed the Maroon & Gold Sports Club (www.tuckerathletics.com) for student-athletes within the Tucker Cluster Schools. A passionate advocate for girls sports, Simone helped establish the Girls Flag Football team at Tucker High School.

My friend Simone Pacely is an immensely qualified and experienced leader with a proven record of service to our city. She will prioritize providing quality park facilities and programming for our entire community, supporting strategic growth that is both sustainable and equitable, and enhancing public safety to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safer for everyone. 

Simone’s a neighbor that we can all count on to listen, speak up and do something. She’s not someone who goes along to get along. She’s an advocate who will speak up publicly on behalf of her neighbors and ask the questions that need asking, and push back where needed while working to build consensus. 

Here’s Simone in her own words from her Candidate Q&A with Decaturish:

“It is important to me to listen to the voices that maybe don’t always get heard and fight for them, because I know what it is like to have my own voice be dismissed or written off, particularly if you are not part of a particular inner circle.” 

We need and deserve this type of leader in our diverse city. 

Simone says a guiding principle she holds dear is, “success lies beyond our comfort zones.” She knows well what it feels like to be uncomfortable. As elected officials, we need to be pushed and stretched and made uncomfortable to relate to and be responsive to the needs of our neighbors, replacing the blinders of privilege for an equity lens. Simone is a solutions-oriented leader who will collaborate with her colleagues on the council to achieve success as she represents the residents of District 3. 

Simone is dedicated to listening to her neighbors. Over the past two years, I’ve urged greater community engagement to inform our decision-making. After all, our city exists to serve and meet the needs of the people, and not the other way around. Simone shared this passion for community input—reaching people where they are amid the chaos of our family calendars—which for most isn’t 1975 Lakeside Parkway on a weekday evening. 

I am eager to work alongside Simone to discover new ways of listening and greater transparency to enhance the city’s responsiveness and representation of all of Tucker’s residents. 

Representation matters. There’s a glaring absence of certain voices on our city council—serving a city where 55% of residents are persons of color and 34% are Black, according to U.S. Census Bureau data (2022). As a Black woman, Simone brings lived experiences and perspectives that we desperately need at the decision-making tables of the Tucker City Council. This is a glass ceiling that needs to be shattered in the upcoming 2023 election. 

District 3 neighbors, please join me in voting for Simone Pacely for Tucker City Council during early voting or on November 7.

—Alexis Weaver is a nonprofit leader and represents District 3 on the Tucker City Council.  

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