Fundraising efforts underway for 2017 Atlanta City Council races
Four LGBT candidates on the ballot for District 6, president positions
By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN
Atlanta is poised for a historic moment this fall: it has LGBT candidates running for City Council, City Council president and mayor.
“We have an exciting slate of people running for office,” said Kirk Rich, an Atlanta realtor running for the District 6 Council seat. “Almost half of City Council will be new members. You’ll have a new mayor, and that new mayor doesn’t have a lot of loyalties to past mayors. That’s a great opportunity for the city, that hopefully everybody comes in with the right priorities.”
Rich is one of four LGBT candidates running for spots on the Council. Lock Whiteside, a teacher at Inman Middle School, is running Atlanta’s LGBT community is well-represented on the ballot for City Council. Business owner Lilian Bakhtiari (l) is running in District 5 and both realtor Kirk Rich (center) and educator Lock Whiteside (r) look to fill Alex Wan’s vacated District 6 seat. (Courtesy and file photos) against him for District 6. Business owner Liliana Bakhtiari, who identifies as queer, is in the race for District 5, and former District 6 councilman Alex Wan looks to be Council president.
The role of the City Council is akin to that of Congress, and mayor that of president. The Council sets laws and policies of the city, and the Council president assigns committee roles and votes when needed, Rich said. Some of the biggest projects for the new city government are in the infrastructure arena — things like the new Falcons stadium and its surrounding neighborhoods, not to mention roadways.
Campaign fundraising is a vital part of running for elected office, and early fundraising means a candidate’s name and message hits the populace sooner. Several candidates already raised more than $100,000, and oth- CONTINUES ON PAGE 7