Athens is at a crossroads, in which we have an opportunity to pursue a greatly enhanced foundation for living, working and playing in this great city. We can bolster those qualities that already bring us joy and prosperity – educational opportunities, arts activities, leisure experiences – and take a strong hand in providing new directions for neighborhoods and residents that have not achieved all they deserve. Now is not the time to allow inertia to take course, but the time to roll up our sleeves and actively expand upon our strengths, both socially and economically.
Everyone in Athens should have a seat at the table. My career-long effort has been to reach out to you regarding matters of policy or budget, to dive deeply into the matter, whether familiar ground or new terrain, and to weave together multiple interests and perspectives. The contemporary world can encourage us to think in polarities – black/white, up/down, left/right, economy/environment – but more often than not, it is possible to pursue multiple interests in public policy. This “big tent,” open approach is the one I will take as mayor for all residents of Athens. In our democracy, the people are the government, and the government must be responsive to the people of Athens-Clarke County.
While the categories below are segmented for ease of reading, the reality of good public policy is that we are always considering multiple needs together. We are thinking about how we can support youth, enhance health, improve the economy and improve safety at the same time.