DeKalb’s new commissioner to focus on blight, economic development

Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (second from left) pictured with her staff.

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Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson (second from left) pictured with her staff.

DeKalb County swore in newly-elected Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson along with her chief of staff Leah Davis and constituent liaison Johnathan Phillips in a ceremony Friday afternoon. Cochran acknowledged the swearing in of staff was “non-traditional,” but said the duo “will serve with me as a team.”

Last year, Cochran-Johnson edged out incumbent Gregory Adams for the District 7 seat that represents the eastern half of the county. Adams was elected in 2016 but sexual assault allegations from his former aide loomed large over his re-election efforts. Adams denied the claims.

In her speech Friday, Cochran-Johnson said she was “humbled and honored to serve” and said she plans on being a transparent commissioner.

MORE| Disapproval of Adams fueled Cochran-Johnson commission win in DeKalb

“For me it’s about the people because I feel different,” she told The Atlanta Journal Constitution shortly after the ceremony. “I truly feel the burden of the community and I want to make it better.”

Blight and economic development are priorities for Cochran-Johnson, who said the areas of south and unincorporated DeKalb need improvement.

“We need some revitalization so I’m working to identify courses of action that we can take to improve those communities,” she said.

While she hasn’t been assigned to a committee yet, Cochran-Johnson hopes to be involved with the county’s proposed blight study.

In other news:

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People who live nearby quickly learned of the deadly collision on Covington Highway.