Fundrais­ing ef­forts un­der­way for 2017 At­lanta City Coun­cil races

Four LGBT can­di­dates on the bal­lot for Dis­trict 6, pres­i­dent po­si­tions

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

By DAL­LAS ANNE DUN­CAN

ddun­can@the­gavoice.com

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

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