Jereme Sharpe is running for Atlanta City Council Post 1 At Large.
Candidate website: www.sharpe.vote.com
Q: What is your current job (include the name of your employer) and list any significant memberships in public service organizations?
A: Independent Consultant
Q: What is the biggest issue facing your constituents and why are you the best candidate to address it?
A: Biggest Issue: Disorganized City – Our City departments, offices, boards, and commissions are not working together because they are not on the same page. —I look forward to leveraging technology to bring everyone onto the same page, create public transparency, and thus accountability to ensure everyone is working and every project gets done.
Q: How do you define “affordability” in housing and what is a specific tactic you would use to improve it?
A: Affordable Housing is defined as and should still be defined as Housing that takes up less than 1/3 of a person’s income. The AMI model does not work for our City—I will fund permanent Housing Programs such Downpayment Assistance and Rental Assistance. In addition, utilize City owned-land to build “Social Housing.”
Q: City Hall has been dogged by an apparently ongoing federal investigation involving accusations of corruption in the previous mayoral administration. How would you help restore public trust on matters of staff spending and contract procurement?
A: Technology will play the largest role in creating transparency. Once we create true public transparency when it come to things like spending, contracts, procurement, we will see unethical behavior decline and eventually be rooted out. In addition, we need to ensure the Inspector General has the resources needed to be regularly auditing every Department and Office so that we see things far before they are out of hand.
Q: In 2020, Atlanta and the nation experienced two historic events: the COVID-19 pandemic and protests about racial justice and police brutality. What is a public-policy lesson you learned from those events?
A: We need to be prepared for the 22nd Century and no longer the 21st Century that we are in. We need food supply, water supply, PPE, and also financial reserves and the mechanisms needed to quickly distribute in times of emergency. And protest about racial justice, we should be having ongoing conversations and meetings about social justice and working towards solutions to make Atlanta the example of what social justice should look like.
Q: The debate about the location of a public safety training center is an example of longstanding tension over whether Atlanta’s urban planning should be more top-down from corporations and private groups or more bottom-up from communities and neighborhoods. What is your approach to planning processes and is there a specific change you would make?
A: Without question ANY and ALL development and new business should go before the Neighborhood being impacted and the directly surrounding Neighborhoods. An environmental plan, transportation (traffic) plan, and community benefits agreement should accompany ANY and ALL development and new business being presented to the Neighborhood. —I look forward to creating one streamline portal where all information is submitted and is instantly available to the general public. In addition, recommendations of the Neighborhood should have teeth in the form of City Councilors acting as delegates and voting in the way the community voices.
Q: Do you support the Atlanta public safety training center’s location on Key Road in DeKalb County? Why or why not?
A: No. As a Real Estate professional in multiple states, I’m 100% confident that we could have selected a better location that indeed would better serve the Police and Fireman but also the Residents of the City.
Q: Who is the main expert you turn to for information on understanding and addressing crime and what is an important fact you have learned from them?
A: I rely on information from sources all over. I speak directly with Officers, residents, business owners, and people on the street. I rely on a collective of information from all sides. —What I’ve learned is that crime is complex and is broken into many categories. Meaning there are many layers and nuances to Crime. And thus, there are multiple solutions we’ll need to use to truly combat crime.
Q: What are some areas of opportunity for the mayor’s office to work in partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent and board?
A: We need to ensure our youth are ready for the “new economy”, for a new kind of workforce and new job opportunities. We need to ensure that APS is provided the RIGHT kinds of afterschool and summer programs that prepare are youth for this new economy. In addition, the City has to work directly with small businesses and large corporations to reserve jobs and paid internships just for the youth and especially in the Summer.
Q: Anything else that you want to share for voters who may be undecided?
A: I’m here to do the work! —I have both the professional and personal experience to provide solutions for the many issues we face across Housing, Transportation, and Businesses. I know how and I’m ready to Rebuild our Housing System, Reconnect our Transport System, and Reinvest in our Business Ecosystem.
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