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3 Bright Spots in Atlanta’s 2017 Runoff Election

Cathy Woolard prepares to moderate #FightingForAtlanta Mayoral Forum

Fatigued by the Mayoral Election? Feeling stressed by the prospect of having to choose one mayoral candidate over another? Or are you just tired of all the drama and just ready for it to all be over? From the election coverage, one would never know anything else was happening besides alleged corruption and racism. Well here are three bright spots I noticed in the 2017 Runoff election.

Other races on the ballot require your attention

Here are some of the other December 5th runoff races.

City Council President 

City Council members Felicia Moore and Alex Wan are in the runoff for City Council President. Whoever emerges victorious next week will have the authority to appoint committee chairs and members. While not as headline grabbing as the mayor election, City Council and its new President will set the tone for necessary action as we move forward in Atlanta.

City Council Seats in Districts 4, 9, and 11

City council representatives are part of our direct line to democratic process at the local level. As our representatives, they serve our communities, and we need to be engaged and involved in the process.  There are many tools in our toolbox, voting and subsequent engagement and accountability are only a few at our disposable.

School Board

People agree that children are our light, they are our future. School Board elections sometimes fly under the radar. Boards of Education are responsible for the operation of our schools, and we should pay attention to who is making decisions for our children. 


Cathy Woolard’s shoes

Cathy is all business up top but fun on the bottom. I appreciated her candor during last night’s #FightingforAtlanta Mayoral forum. Aside from the fact that her shoes were quite bright, they stood out as an example of how we can handle business while thinking out the box.

Passionate People Committed to Equity and Sustainable Change

There are a lot of people who have been underwhelmed by the Mayoral election. For those who have spent the last several years (in some cases decades) in the trenches have seen political drama come and go.  These are the advocates and organizers with the community relationships and insight who should be engaged long before anyone is seeking an endorsement.

These are people we should be engaging, supporting and building with going forward. While many are unhappy with the choices for the city’s top post, we have a lot of potential ahead of us.  Many in our ranks work tirelessly regardless of who is in office. I have hope knowing our city is full of amazing advocates and everyday heroes. 

Nationwide municipal elections are often plagued with low voter turnout, which usually declines in runoffs. Going forward if we want progressive candidates not only to do well but win, we will need to build on our strengths and continue providing people positive reasons to vote. Developing trust and buy-in for our plans and platforms is crucial over the next four years. Focusing heavily on the negatives can turn people off and lead to depressed turnout. Remember there is no off cycle. We are always on.

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