Queer teacher launches campaign for Atlanta Metropolis Council

A queer educator is generating her very first run for community workplace, hoping to thrive a longtime incumbent on the Atlanta City Council and concentrate on inexpensive housing, infrastructure and compact corporations.

Kelly-Jeanne Lee wants to thrive Carla Smith in the District 1 seat. She is at minimum the seventh LGBTQ individual functioning for the council this yr.

“Running for town council just seemed like a reasonable up coming step to serve our local community and our households,” Lee instructed Challenge Q Atlanta.

“When I’m imagining about any determination I’m earning, I’m not just thinking about my spouse and children. I’m pondering about the hundreds of families I have served above the years in schooling and how I can ideal serve them,” she additional.

The 40-calendar year-outdated is a Spanish teacher at Riverwood Worldwide Charter Faculty in Sandy Springs. She life with her spouse and daughter in Lakewood Heights.

Lee is on the board of the Lakewood Heights Neighborhood Business and stated she worked on tasks for her community community arranging unit. She needs to continue that civic activism on the council. Smith introduced in May possibly that she’s not running for a sixth phrase. 

The marketing campaign is Lee’s initially run for general public business office. She introduced her campaign in March with a focus on cost-effective housing, avenue-degree infrastructure and compact small business assistance.

Lee explained there needs to be a improved assortment of choices for people seeking to get residences and rent in the district.

“I imagine about protecting our legacy residents simply because they live in a community in which they have associations and are obtaining solutions and it is vital that they go on to have entry to that,” she claimed. “Our district isn’t cost-effective.”

Lee reported the district also desires far more sidewalks and crosswalks.

“Sidewalks have been dealt with as a luxurious and we just cannot do that,” she claimed.

She named thriving smaller organizations “a vital element of overall health over-all in the community.”

“Some of the most susceptible types are owned by individuals of color and women and LGBT persons and we really should be supporting individuals communities,” she reported.

“In Lakewood Heights, we have a row of empty storefronts. How fantastic would it be to have new modest companies to assistance there?” she extra.

Lee is joined in the District 1 race by Clarence Blalock, a geographic info procedure analyst civic activist Nathan Clubb professional medical revenue qualified Russell Hopson and promoting marketing consultant Jason Winston.

The district features Summerhill, Peoplestown, Grant Park, Capitol Gateway, Ormewood Park, Chosewood Park. Boulevard Heights, Leila Valley, Rebel Valley Forest, South Atlanta, Custer/McDonough/Guice, Benteen, Woodland Hills, Thomasville Heights and Norwood Manor.

Cathy Woolard won an Atlanta City Council race in 1997 and grew to become the initial LGBTQ human being elected to place of work in Ga. (Photo by Matt Hennie)

‘Representation matters’

If elected, Lee would keep on LGBTQ illustration on the council. Metropolis Council member Antonio Brown turned the first Black LGBTQ member of the council in 2019, but he is managing for mayor alternatively of trying to get a complete expression in the District 3 write-up.

Lee reported the council requirements LGBTQ people today between its 16 members.

“Representation matters,” she mentioned. “Our metropolis council need to glance as a great deal like the community it represents as attainable.”

Other LGBTQ candidates functioning for Atlanta City Council contain task supervisor Larry Carter in District 4, neighborhood activist Liliana Bakhtiari in District 5, community organizer Devin Barrington-Ward in District 9, organization marketing consultant Jereme Sharpe and attorney Brandon Goldberg for Write-up 1 At-Significant, and Mike Russell, who is running for council president.

Qualifying for the races is in August. The election is in November.

Cathy Woolard grew to become the 1st LGBTQ elected official in Ga when she unseated a longtime incumbent on the Atlanta City Council in 1997. In 2002, she took workplace as the initially lady and LGBTQ individual to provide as City Council president. Anne Fauver, a lesbian, replaced Woolard in the District 6 council seat in 2002. Woolard resigned as council president in 2004 to start a unsuccessful bid for Congress.

Fauver served two terms. Alex Wan continued LGBTQ illustration on the council when he won the District 6 seat and took place of work in 2010. He served two conditions before an unsuccessful operate for council president in 2017. The council had no LGBTQ users for the 1st time in 20 many years right until Brown won a distinctive election for the District 3 seat in 2019.