By Paul Bolster
Who knew? I didn’t. What would happen if we missed a whole year without an election?
As I currently understand it, we are being asked to decide two things.
- We the voters may have a say on the future of the Atlanta Public Safety Center that is widely known as Cop City. Opponents of the Center seem to have enough voter signatures to put the referendum on the ballot. Lots of court decisions will happen between now and then. This will be the first referendum of its kind. The referendum process comes from a case in Camden County where the Supreme Court of Georgia said the voters had the right to overturn a county decision to create a Space Port. It has never been tested for cities.
- Election of Members of the Atlanta Board of Education. The election cycle was changed so the vote is not the same year as the Atlanta City elections. Also, the terms of members were changed so they do not all run at the same time. Five districts out of the nine are on the ballot this year.
District 1: The Jackson Cluster. Our district person, Katie Howard, is up for re-election this year. But qualifying is done and no one offered to run against her.
District 3: Midtown Cluster. We do not vote in this district.
District 5: Mays Cluster. No vote here either.
District 7: At Large. We have a choice here. Tamara Jones worked as an architect and urban planner. Elected to the board in 2021. Alfred “Shivy” Brooks is a high school teacher in Clayton County but lives in a SAND neighborhood. He has been active with parent organizations at Jackson and says he wants to be the first active teacher to serve on the School Board. He ran unsuccessfully for Post 1 at Large of the Atlanta City Council in 2021.
District 9: At Large. We vote here too. Jessica Johnson was chosen by the Board of Education in January 2023 to fill an unexpired term of Jason Esteves who was elected to the Georgia Senate. She is the founder of an organization that looks for college scholarships for low-income students. Nkoyo Effiong Lewis is an attorney who advocates for education and works for the State Bar of Georgia.
Early voting starts October 16. If there is a runoff, it will be in December.
Information for this article came from Atlanta Civic Circle by Ryan Zickgard.