Ten years ago Atlanta faced a crisis in our schools, and I went from middle school teacher to Chair of the Atlanta Public School Board where I led the APS Comeback: raising graduation rates to record highs, increasing teacher pay and classroom spending, and expanding opportunity for Atanta’s children – and I did it without raising taxes.
Today, we face a new crisis: Atlanta is feeling less and less like home. Crime is on the rise, home prices are on the rise, and it’s getting harder for working families to make ends meet. I’m running for City Council President to make sure Atlanta lives up to its promise – a city where every family, every student, every business can thrive.
I’m the only person in this race who has led a legislative body and a government agency through a massive turnaround. I’ve built partnerships and coalitions through the city, and all of those skills are necessary to give a lifeline back to our city.
We can transform today’s crisis into tomorrow’s promise and create the ATL Comeback – where every family, every student, and every business can thrive. I have the experience, the faith, and the track record to do it.
COURTNEY UNDERSTAND EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SAFETY FOR EVERY PERSON IN ATLANTA
Courtney will ensure Atlanta has enough community-focused public safety officers to fight violent crime and remove illegal guns from the streets. He will address crime at its root causes by increasing economic opportunities, and strengthening Atlanta’s high-school-to-college pipeline.
“My goal is to make sure that every woman in Atlanta can look to her future, instead of over her shoulder.”
As APS Board Chair, Courtney led the reform of the Office of Safety & Security to better serve Atlanta’s kids by training every APS officer to de-escalate conflicts and to be a positive presence inside our schools, which was critical for success. Since then, APS has seen a sharp reduction in violence.
“At APS, we built a kinder, smarter, more proactive police team that worked to build meaningful relationships with the kids, their families, and our staff to reduce crime and prevent incidents on the front end. And it worked.”
Courtney has kept us safe before. As Council President, he will do it again.
COURTNEY KNOWS WE DESERVE STRONGER SCHOOLS FOR EVERY STUDENT
When Atlanta faced the largest cheating scandal in history, Courtney went from middle school teacher to candidate for Atlanta Public School Board because he wanted to do everything he could to fix our schools. Courtney campaigned on a bold, new vision for what Atlanta’s public education system could look like – and he won, becoming the youngest member of the School Board in Atlanta history.
When the School Board needed someone to spearhead the effort to repair our schools, the Board unanimously elected Courtney to serve as Chair.
Under his leadership, the School Board went right to work addressing the most pressing issues facing the schools. They got students three meals a day, new health clinics, and more affordable housing, because kids can’t learn if they’re hungry, hurting, or homeless.
The results were clear: the “APS Comeback” was a success. Higher teacher pay, historically high graduation rates, and increased classroom spending – all without raising taxes.
As Council President, Courtney will continue to lead on Education ensuring our students, teachers, and faculty have all the support they need to prepare our children for the 21st Century economy they’ll face at graduation.
COURTNEY’S LEADERSHIP ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS UNMATCHED
As APS Board Chair, Courtney transformed vacant schools into affordable housing for hundreds of families, and as a nonprofit leader he has helped thousands of families secure affordable homes. When COVID-19 hit, Courtney led an eviction relief effort, raising $10 million that kept more than 4,000 families in their homes.
“It is innovation and outside-the-box thinking that is going to get Atlanta back on track – like turning vacant schools into affordable housing for hundreds of families – because students can’t thrive when their families are struggling to survive.”
COURTNEY IS DEDICATED TO MAKING SURE ATLANTA WORKS FOR EVERYONE
Courtney will reimagine the Office of Council President to build the necessary coalitions on council and in the community to get things done, enhance transparency in the policy making process, and increase the overall effectiveness and efficiency in government.
We must invest in and build upon Atlanta’s position as a central hub for the technology and innovation and the arts and entertainment sectors to bring more access to jobs to local residents. Courtney will work to implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce homelessness that helps Atlantans get back on their feet and on a path to self-sufficiency.
As Council President Courtney will invest in historically underserved neighborhoods, community-centered growth, and create legitimate economic opportunities for every family in Atlanta, so they can get ahead and stay there.
On Council, Chairman English will work to create a safer, accessible, affordable, and educated Atlanta
- Focus on community-first policing
- Increase pay for police and fire fighters
- Create partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, Atlanta Police Foundation and City of Atlanta to reduce the number of repeat offenders and remedy the root causes of crime
- Leverage new technology (cameras, predictive analysis, etc.) to improve crime prevention
- Aggressively pursue owners of vacant/blighted properties and increase city resources to bring eyesore properties up to code, and out of the possession of squatters and public offenders
- Pursue legislative solutions to make it easier for the City to prosecute slum lords
- Partner with Atlanta Public Schools to assist in the repurposing of unused, surplus facilities for the benefit of community residents and neighborhood improvement
- Ensure that the $2.5 billion allocation for infrastructure and transportation spending is spent wisely, in collaboration with communities, and that plans are faithfully and transparently executed
- Fully fund and staff the city’s traffic command center
- Increase transportation options (light rail, bike lanes, walking paths, etc.)
- Utilize technology to build smarter, complete streets that apply 21st century strategies to improve traffic flow (light synchronization, dedicated turning lanes, etc.)
- Make the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) a best in class agency that connects citizens of varying skill and education levels to Atlanta’s vast job opportunities
- Partner with nonprofits and other organizations to create citywide job readiness offices for AWDA in communities with high unemployment rates
- Develop a comprehensive, citywide affordable housing strategy
- Invest in and build upon Atlanta’s position as a central hub for the technology and innovation and the arts and entertainment sectors to bring more access to jobs to local residents
- Implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce homelessness that help Atlantans get back on their feet and on a path to self-sufficiency
- Partner with Atlanta Public Schools to create a citywide, universal early education program
- Create job training programs for adults that are aligned with current and projected job vacancies
- Develop continuing education opportunities to close the skills gap and lower unemployment, placing a priority on parents of Atlanta Public School students
- Release all of the deeds to Atlanta Public School owned properties, returning thousands in much-needed funds to children, teachers, and administrators of the school system