Former APS school board chair announces bid for Atlanta City Council president

Courtney English has been tapped for newly created role as Star-C Communities continues to strengthen and broaden its reach, adding to the national conversation on education as it relates to housing, other issues. CONTRIBUTED
Courtney English has been tapped for newly created role as Star-C Communities continues to strengthen and broaden its reach, adding to the national conversation on education as it relates to housing, other issues. CONTRIBUTED

Courtney English, who served two terms on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education, announced Tuesday that he is running for Atlanta City Council President.

English ended his second term in 2018 as school board chair, after he ran unsuccessfully for a council district seat against Michael Julian Bond.

English’s announcement comes a day after veteran Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong announced her campaign for council president. English pledged to unite the council so that it can tackle the city’s most pressing issues.

“Crime and public safety is on the top,” English said.

Economic mobility, wage disparity and food insecurity are also problems that the city must confront, English said.

“There are people who feel left behind and unheard,” English said.

English, the Director of Community Development for Star-C, a regional affordable housing and education non-profit, announced his campaign with an email blast to campaign contributors that included endorsements from prominent figures in the city. Among them: former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Franklin said she has known English for years, and that he had impressed her with his curiosity about her time serving former mayors Maynard Jackson and Andy Young’s administrations. She said that she wasn’t initially supportive of his bid for school board chair.

‘I thought he was pretty young,” she said. “In fact, he did a good job. I was wrong.”

Another endorsement came from Ernest Greer, Co-President of the Greenberg Traurig law firm and former chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Greer said that English help turn the school district around after a cheating scandal.

“Courtney acted with boldness to ensure a brighter future for Atlanta’s students,” Greer said.

English told the AJC that as a school board member he led negotiations for a deal with the city and the Atlanta Beltline that brought in an additional $100 million in annual revenue to the school district. He also helped lead a $540 million capital campaign for APS, and efforts to turn APS’ abandoned schools into affordable housing, English said.

The race for city council president this year is open since current president Felicia Moore announced her challenge to incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

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