Equity and Why I’m running

For too long, Atlanta has been the tale of two cities—a tale of the haves and the have nots. While Buckhead booms and midtown sky scrapers stretch further into the sky, many of our neighbors live in poverty, lack access to transportation, and are shut out from jobs that pay a living wage.

Atlanta has the highest wage gap in the entire country, ranks #1 in child poverty, and dead last in economic mobility. In the city that is home to the world’s busiest airport, the third highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation, and a consortium of colleges and universities that is second to none, this kind of inequality is unacceptable.
We can do better. We must do better. 

I grew up and taught in one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in our city. I have seen firsthand the high costs of inequity and the impact it has on one of our most vulnerable populations—our children. While I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish at APS, my time in both the classroom and on the school board has taught me that the biggest issues that stand in the way of our students are those that take place outside of the classroom. The fact is, it is much harder for children to learn when they are hungry or homeless. It is much harder for parents to be involved if they are choosing between working a second or third shift to make ends meet and showing up at the PTA meeting. It is much harder for community advocates and volunteers to offer support to their neighborhood school if they lack adequate transportation options that allow them to get to and from the school on time.

These are the harsh realities that too many of our kids, their families, and our communities face. If we want thriving schools, we must build thriving communities around them. We must invest in early education programs, work to close wage gaps, and allocate more resources to reducing crime. We must increase transportation options, build more affordable housing, and improve the quality of life for our seniors.

The dreamers that came before us built a city that was known as “a city too busy to hate.” That moniker isn’t freely passed down, it must be earned and secured by each generation. If we are to live up to our city’s famous motto, we must work to build a more equitable Atlanta—an Atlanta that works for all who call it home.

That’s why my campaign is built upon the mantra, “Our Future Is Now” because Atlanta must work for each of us- those who built our legacy yesterday, those who shape our city today, and those who will inherit it tomorrow. On November 7th, Atlanta will begin a new chapter in its history. Let’s close the book on our tale of two cities and build a city that works for everyone, right now.