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Mandy Mahoney is in the runoffs for City Council District 5.
Candidate website: www.mandy4atlanta.com
What makes your policy on public safety different and better than your opponent’s?
Atlanta must address a rapidly growing crime rate.
To do that we need to adjust our thinking and take action on the underlying issues that contribute to our policing issues. We can blame the police or we can help them. As District 5’s City Council representative, I am prepared to make sure that we get our police staffing numbers up to 2000 officers and put an increased emphasis on training and de-escalation to decrease incidents of excessive force.
Additionally, we need to focus our policing resources smartly and coordinate with policing alternative and diversion programs to support individuals with mental health issues.
Just and effective policing means supporting our police officers: better and more consistent training, increased numbers of officers and a more well-rounded supporting infrastructure of specialized community resources.
Why are you the better choice to improve infrastructure and city services?
I am the candidate in the race with actual experience working in Atlanta City Hall and a track record of delivering services to a diverse constituency of Atlanta residents. I have substantial policy and implementation experience on both infrastructure and city services matters as part of the team that launched the Atlanta BeltLine and as the first Sustainability Director for the City of Atlanta under Mayor Shirley Franklin.
City Council has an important role in city services and infrastructure improvements. It requires an understanding of where the resources are, what levers must be pulled, and the relationships necessary to create momentum. I have done this throughout my 20-year professional career and am ready for day one for the City of Atlanta.
Why are you the better candidate on housing affordability policy?
Over the last decade, I led a regional policy organization that, among other priorities, addresses housing affordability policy. My affordable housing platform is first and foremost focused on ensuring our longtime residents are able to remain in their homes. Gentrification has disproportionately impacted our older black residents and my policies address tax protections for these residents while still allowing for needed growth to increase the amount and diversity of housing stock.
Not only do we need to create more affordable housing but it needs to be permanently affordable rather than temporarily affordable until a neighborhood attracts other amenities. We must also make the city use federal funds to repair and weatherize seniors’ homes instead of giving them back due to poor program management.
Why are you the better candidate for this office, period?
I believe deep in my heart that this race is not about policy differences. It is about having the ability and experience to deliver on the promises being made to voters. I know the challenges of living in District 5. I am a working mom that has to meet the needs of my family, my career, and my community. I know what it is like to call 911 and wait until there is an available officer, not get my trash picked up, and dodge traffic as I walk my son to school. I also know how to address these issues because of my hands-on experience in both the public and private sectors. Running a city like Atlanta is hard. It takes grit and compassion. It takes consistency and stability. For more than 20 years, I have exhibited these traits in my role as an executive, family member, and community leader. I look forward to continuing that work for District 5.