Marci Collier Overstreet is running for Atlanta City Council District 11.
Candidate website: www.voteoverstreet.com
Q: What is your current job (include the name of your employer) and list any significant memberships in public service organizations?
A: City of Atlanta Council member, District 11
Q: What is the biggest issue facing your constituents and why are you the best candidate to address it?
A: My constituents have expressed to me loud and clear that they want to feel safe. They’re extremely concerned about crime in our city. They appreciate that my voting record shows that their safety is a priority for me. I am the best candidate to address crime in my district because I have a proven record of working throughout the district (and city) arm and arm with our police department and officers. I’ve prioritized much needed investments and policy in public safety.
Q: How do you define “affordability” in housing and what is a specific tactic you would use to improve it?
A: Affordability in housing means that the average working family / individual should be able to live there. I feel that affordability should start in the ,most unaffordable areas in Atlanta. We will never address the affordability issue in our city by investing in affordable housing in only the most affordable areas of our city. This practice negates the purpose of affordable housing. I will continue to push for affordable housing in all areas of Atlanta , especially the most unaffordable areas. This is the only way to decrease the wealth gap and affordability crisis.
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: I am the co-author of the most transformative legislation during my term on council, the creation of the Office of Inspector General. I worked hard on that legislation to root out fraud, corruption and waste in our government and city. It was passed unanimously in City Council February 2020. I’m very proud of my stance on ethics and transparency.
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: In experiencing the two historic events: the COVID-19 pandemic and protests about racial justice and police brutality. What is a public-policy lesson I learned that there is always room for improvement, empathy and collaboration. I learned that at the end of the day, we all want to be heard and treated fairly. I’m committed to examining all public-policy while strengthening connections and relationships throughout our city between law enforcement and citizens as well as relationships between each of our residents regardless of zip code.
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: The debate about the location of a public safety training center definitely spotlighted the tension over government versus private groups versus citizens , compounded with trails of city planning. Going forward, I will continue to advocate for reaching the residents in our communities to be engaged wherever they are. We have quite a large group of hard to reach residents in our city. We must figure out how to capture their thoughts and concerns, especially when the decision changes the landscape of the whole city.
Q: Do you support the Atlanta public safety training center’s location on Key Road in DeKalb County? Why or why not?
A: Yes I do support the location of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center because we were able to not only preserve hundreds of acres of forestry, create public facing spaces that will now be accessible and usable to the public but also reimagine training of the entire region, not just Atlanta’s public safety professionals. I’m looking forward to our police and fire men and women experience a morale boost, recruitment rise, and retention.
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: To gauge crime information I use every medium available imaginable. I’ve learned that all crime isn’t equal which has lead to my supporting many new measures that the city hasn’t use before. I voted for our budget to add a substantial investment in pre-arrest diversion (PAD). I’ve consistently advocated for the implementation and optimization of 311 & 911.
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: I’m one of three councilmembers on the APS Board of Education/ Atlanta City Council Joint Committee. It is ESSENTIAL that we understand the weight of opportunity for the Mayor’s office to work in partnership with APS. When we get this right, development will begin to thrive because of better schools in underserved areas and our children will receive the wrap-around support they need when government and schools work together in our communities.
Q: Anything else that you want to share for voters who may be undecided?
A: Southwest Atlanta has been a great place to raise our family, and I am proud to be District 11’s councilmember because I want to ensure that families can continue to thrive and feel safe in our neighborhoods.
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