“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.