2017 Voter Guide: Atlanta Mayor

9:44 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 Atlanta News
John Spink

Learn about the candidates who want to replace Kasim Reed as mayor of Atlanta. We asked candidates running in next month’s city, school and municipal elections to explain why you should vote for them. In addition to asking them questions about their experience and their stand on prominent issues, we asked some candidates to tell us which television character with whom they most identify. 

Name: Peter Aman

Age: 51

Residence: East Chastain Park

Profession: Former partner, Bain & Co., former Atlanta Chief Operating Officer

Peter Aman

What experience will help you in office? The mayor must be a “Convener-in-Chief,” bringing diverse interests together to advance Atlanta. I’ve done this as a business leader working with some of the world’s largest companies. I’ve done this as the city’s COO to ensure our first responders had a retirement they could count on. And I’ve done this as a private citizen by helping form nonprofits to house the homeless and improve public safety.

What issue got you into this race? Initially, I got into this race to address the balance between our growth and livability. As our population surges over the next decade, there are a lot of things we have to get right so everyone has a great quality of life – from public safety to education to affordable housing to mobility and good jobs. 

The most immediate issue facing us right now is ethics and transparency in City Hall. Without ethics, nothing else matters.

Which current television character do you identify most with? John Snow (”Game of Thrones”). Season after season, he fights for the good of everyone, no matter how hard the battle. While he realizes the power he holds as a leader, he never abuses that power. Snow has a deep-rooted sense of integrity and expects the same of those around him.

Website: peteraman.com

Email: peter@peteraman.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peteramanatl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peteramanatl/

Name: Rohit Ammanamanchi

Age: 24

Residence: Old Fourth Ward

Profession: Transportation engineering graduate student

Rohit Ammanamanchi

What experience will help you in office? Throughout my research (Cycle Atlanta) and activism (MARTA Army) at Georgia Tech, I had the opportunity to work with the city on various transportation improvements. Here I gained insight of the city’s structure and what makes it so painfully slow at getting anything done. I have an actionable vision to streamline the city's efficiency, and quickly fix and redesign everything that is broken to the point of unfunctioning.

What issue got you into this race? Everywhere in Atlanta, infrastructure is crumbling around us. Traffic is a nightmare, roads are in perilous shape, and housing is facing a crisis shortage. But most tragically, various development projects were happening without any input from or benefit for the surrounding communities, which have been neglected for far too long. I feel that I could do better in delivering solutions that work for everyone with 21st century strategies and revolutionized community engagement.

Which current television character do you identify most with? I'll use a video game character instead; Red from the original Pokemon games. This 10-year-old kid gets to explore the world on foot and bike, making friends, and he just confidently walks into the villain's HQ and blows up their plans by doing what they do, but better.

Website: RohitATL.com

Email: rohitforatl@gmail.com

Twitter: @RohitATL

Facebook: /RohitATL

Name: Keisha Lance Bottoms

Age: 47

Residence: Southwest Atlanta

Profession: City council member representing District 11, attorney

Keisha Lance Bottoms

What experience will help you in office? It has been an honor to be on the forefront of decisions that have changed the trajectory of Atlanta, including leading the redevelopment of Turner Field and sponsoring legislation that addressed the unfunded pension liability. While my experience as council member, attorney and judge have been helpful, it has been my personal experience -- growing up, and now raising a family of my own in Atlanta -- that will ultimately inform my decisions as mayor.

What issue got you into this race? I got into this race to make sure that every Atlantan has a chance to succeed. The problems facing us -- underperforming schools, an economy that too often works best for some and not all, a housing market leaving too many of our residents out, a transportation system that too often slows us down, and neighborhoods that don’t always feel as safe as they should, are all intertwined and and the solutions must be as well.

Which current television character do you identify most with? Mary Jane (”Being Mary Jane”) - Her professional and family dynamics are representative of many women. Like me, she bakes from scratch, is very driven, extremely close with her family, and is often challenged to balance their needs against her own.

Website: www.keishalancebottoms.com

Email: keisha@keishalancebottoms.com

Twitter: @keishabottoms

Facebook: www.facebook.com/keisha.bottoms

Name: John H. Eaves

Curtis Compton
John Eaves

Age: 55

Residence: Southwest Atlanta

Profession: University adminstrator/professor

What experience will help you in office? Ten years as chairman and leader of Fulton County, Georgia's largest local government. During my tenure, the government annually produced more than $100 million surplus budgets each year, while reducing taxes and with ZERO corruption for a decade.

What issue got you into this race? I see this as a calling. I want to lead a city that is compassionate and prosperous; with a government that is trustworthy, values community, promotes safety, and operates efficiently and effectively. I saw what we did at Fulton County and believe we owe the same honest, clean government to residents of the City of Atlanta.

Which current television character do you identify most with? Jon Snow of "Game of Thrones"

Website: www.eavesforatlanta.com

Email: info@eavesforatlanta.com

Twitter: @johneaves

Facebook: @johnheaves

Name: Vincent Fort

Age: 61

Residence: Adams Park

Profession: retired legislator

Curtis Compton
Vincent Fort

What experience will help you in office? I passed the strongest anti-predatory lending law in the country; Georgia's first hate-crimes law; created the first disadvantaged-business program for state money so African-American- and women-owned business can access $900 million annual transportation funds; acquired $45 million of funds for Atlanta Technical and Atlanta Metro college

What issue got you into this race? Gentrification resulting from Atlanta being number one in the country in income inequality and immobility. Atlanta is rapidly gentrifying (from 20 percent ten years ago to 70 percent) today. While other candidates have been at city hall this rise in inequality has occurred. With my experience in stabilizing neighborhoods by fighting predatory lending it is my intent to prioritize affordable housing as a solution to gentrification.

Which current television character do you identify most with? Van Jones when he is advocating for resistance

Website: www.vincentfort.com

Email: senatorfort@gmail.com

Twitter: @fortforatlanta

Facebook: fortforatlanta

Name: Kwanza Hall

Age: 46

Residence: Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District of the Old Fourth Ward

Profession: Atlanta City Council member District 2

Curtis Compton
Kwanza Hall

What experience will help you in office? I am serving my third term on the Atlanta City Council, representing the heart of Atlanta. l have been recognized for leadership in many arenas, including economic inclusion, workforce development, urban design, and arts, greenspace, and culture. My Year of Boulevard initiative expanded opportunities to families who live within the highest concentration of poverty in the southeastern United States. I’ve been a fellow of the German Marshall Fund and many other leadership programs.

What issue got you into this race? During my service on the city council I have brought people together from all walks of life to solve problems big and small, removing barriers that are keeping people from living their dreams. I want to do that all over the city. I envision an Atlanta where everyone in every neighborhood has real opportunities.

Which current television character do you identify most with? Dev Shah from “Master of None,” because he never shies away from uncomfortable issues, like racism and LGBTQ discrimination. He doesn’t hesitate to call people out, but when he does he does so with love. Also, I really, really love food.

Website: www.kwanzahall.com

Email: kwanza@kwanzahall.com

Twitter: @kwanzahall

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kwanzahall/

Name: Laban King (no response submitted)

Name: Ceasar C. Mitchell

Age: 48

Residence: Historic West End

Profession: Real estate attorney, DLA Piper

Ceasar Mitchell

What experience will help you in office? My past 15-plus years on council plus countless leadership roles — from chairman of the board for Hands On Atlanta and Points of Light, to being president of the Gate City Bar Association and a Henry Crown Fellow -- has prepared me to lead as mayor. I know the people, the places, the policy and the key players to make an impact on day one. No GPS or manual needed. #readytoserve

What issue got you into this race? I am running for mayor because I love this city. Atlanta made me. It’s where my mom, an APS school teacher, raised me and my brother as a single parent after my father passed (he was an APD officer; I was 10.) His spirit of service and compassion for people continues to live through me. I am driven to ensure ALL children, including my three little ones, can realize the promise that this city holds.

Which current television character do you identify most with? “Game of Throne’s” Jon Snow. Like me, he is honorable, ready and able to always do what’s right, even if he doesn’t get credit. Snow is a fearless fighter, and a collaborator with heart—driven by a higher calling. Our motto: Do it for the people. #promise

Website: www.ceasarformayor.com/believe

Email: ceasar@ceasarmitchell.com

Twitter: @ceasarformayor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ceasarformayor/

Name: Mary Norwood

Age: 65

Residence: Buckhead

Profession: Member Atlanta City Council-at-Large

Mary Norwood

What experience will help you in office? As an at-large member of City Council I have visited almost very one of Atlanta's 252 neighborhoods over the past four years. I know the people in these neighborhoods and they turn to me when they need an advocate to assist them with problems such as Watershed Management over billings and crime. I am ready on day one to bring transparency and accountability to city government.

What issue got you into this race? The need for transparency and accountability at city hall. Business as usual, which has included cronyism and lack of efficiency in the awarding of contracts and the running of city government, must be brought to an end. All city budgets, contracts and other relevant documents will be posted at an easily accessible website so the public can know what is done with tax dollars. We will increase the police force to a full 2,000 sworn officers and get crime under control. We will synchronize traffic signals and get traffic moving again. Protecting people's homes and promoting affordable housing will be a priority.

Which current television character do you identify most with? Lester Holt: Lester Don Holt Jr. is an American journalist who anchors the weekday edition of “NBC Nightly News.” He is also the anchor for “Dateline NBC.”

Lester Holt as an individual is a role model to many Americans, who is trusted by to bring them the news in an objective and unbiased way. An African American, he stands for honesty, integrity and accountability. I want to be seen as a mayor who represents the same qualities in bringing a new day to city government for all Atlantans.

Website: https://marynorwood.com/

Email: Mary@MaryNorwood.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marynorwood

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/electnorwood/

Name: Michael T. Sterling

Age: 35

Residence: Summerhill

Profession: Attorney

Michael Sterling

What experience will help you in office? As a former federal prosecutor, I'll bring my law enforcement experience in to clean up the culture of corruption and work with our public safety teams on reducing the most serious crimes to keep every family in the city safe.

What issue got you into this race? Equity. Our city has struggled to provide so may residents with a good working job and quality education that provides a path to sustainable and long-term employment. With the worst income mobility and as the most unequal city in the country, I believed that our status quo wasn't working and that we needed a new direction for our City.

Which current television character do you identify most with? I most identify with Mayor Courtney Rose on ABC's new series “Tthe Mayor.” I am a young candidate with an earnest desire to challenge a political status quo that has forgotten about so many families.

Website: www.michaelforatlanta.com

Email: sterling@michaelforatlanta.com

Twitter: @miketsterling

Facebook: Michael For Atlanta

Name: Cathy Woolard

Age: 60

Residence: Glenwood Park

Profession: Public affairs executive

Cathy Woolard

What experience will help you in office? My experience as council president helps me know neighborhoods and businesses. I’ve managed up to 800 employees and understand budgets, management and personnel. I’m innovative, detail oriented and worked at the international, national, state and local level. I make things happen - from working with Ryan Gravel to make the BeltLine happen, leading passage of the only comprehensive civil rights bill in Georgia, starting an energy conservation program to breaking up dirty Airport deals - I’m #fightingforATL.

What issue got you into this race? I want to build our transportation infrastructure to increase mobility as growth continues. I’ll connect new transit to MARTA, work regionally to ensure long-range rail and close to home on sidewalks and bike lanes. We must mitigate traffic and not drive up housing costs and force people out. Income inequality is the weakest link to community health. Growing infrastructure while ensuring social and economic justice made this the time for me to run.

Which current television character do you identify most with? “The Mayor” .. I love aspiring rapper Courtney Rose who is elected mayor after promising to clean up a neglected park. Courtney is fallible but loves the people of his city and his commitment wins the election and their hearts. I’m hoping to win Atlanta’s hearts and votes in November.

Website: www.cathyforatlanta.com

Email: info@cathyforatlanta.com

Twitter: @CathyWoolard

Facebook: Cathy Woolard for Atlanta Mayor

Name: Glenn S. Wrightson

Age: 65

Residence: Grant Park

Profession: Consultant

Glenn Wrightson

What experience will help you in office? Have, for over 30 years, consulted with municipal systems around the county about finances and how the sources of revenue are assigned to the cost of services to be provided.

What issue got you into this race? The check engine light is on at City Hall. The city government has strayed from focusing on providing superior core services and has allowed non-productive employees to be a burden to the taxpayers. We have had poor leadership in the mayor's office. 

Which current television character do you identify most with? Ben Cartwright

Website: glennformayor.com - and Youtube videos explaining ideas.

Email: glenn@glennformayor.com

Twitter: no account

Facebook: no account

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