Alex Wan Enters Council District 6 Race


Alex Wan, a businessman in Council District 6, will be running against Steve Brodie, for the seat being vacated by Anne Fauver, who is retiring.

Both Wan and Brodie seem pretty corporate to me, although there are some pretty concerning things about Brodie (for instance, supporting a panhandling ordinance in Midtown). I’ll try to find of who is the less horrible and get back to you all.

Wan. who is Chinese-American, would be the first Asian-American on the City Council in history, though, and that would be a good thing. And he’s handsome; I mean, stunning. One APN source in Atlanta’s homosexual community tells me he says quite the “gay boy following.”

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Atlanta, May 26, 2009 – Alex Wan, a local business and community leader, has announced he is seeking the Atlanta City Council District 6 seat. The seat is currently held by Anne Fauver, a two-term council member who in late April announced her decision not to seek re-election.

Wan, who was raised in Atlanta, has been a resident of the city’s Morningside neighborhood for 15 years. City Council District 6 encompasses much of Midtown, including the Morningside/Lenox Park, Virginia Highland, Ansley Park, Druid Hills and Candler Park neighborhoods.

“I am compelled to run because I want to balance economic development – jobs, city revenues and neighborhood stability – with fiscal needs; we have to look at both sides of the balance sheet,” Wan says. “This also includes taking a close look at accountability and transparency, transportation issues and equal rights for all citizens.”

“I am gravely concerned about the City of Atlanta’s financial deterioration, including potential property tax increases, but particularly how that decline affects public safety,” he says. “We’re seeing furloughs of public safety officers at the same time we’re experiencing increased crime and longer response times. The people who protect and serve need our support to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.”

Wan also says he would strive for a more cooperative work environment for City Council and the Mayor’s Office. “The relationship between the council and the mayor has been strained, and I would like to strengthen the bridge of communication to the new mayor,” he says.

A graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Wan is an engineer by training who currently serves as President of Optima, Inc., his architecture-engineering consulting firm. He previously worked as a financial analyst with Prudential Investment Corporation in Atlanta and in Newark, New Jersey.

“I am the best candidate for this job, based on my background and experience – my education, business experience and passion for community involvement,” Wan says. “I’m also invested in Atlanta, having been here since I was 3 years old, and only having left briefly for graduate school and a first out-of-college job.”

Wan may be best known for his community involvement, which includes current service on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Development Authority, for which he serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair. He also is recognized as founding and serving as president of For the Kid in All of Us, Inc., a charity that spearheads toy drives, school supply collections and fundraising efforts for socio-economically disadvantaged children. He remains an advisor to the group.

In 2004, Wan was a candidate for State House District 57, a considerable part of which overlays City Council District 6. In that race, Wan pulled 38 percent of the vote against popular incumbent Rep. Pat Gardner.

A graduate of both Leadership Atlanta and Leadership DeKalb, Wan is a member of the Morningside Lenox Park Neighborhood Association, and served as that group’s Business Liaison for 2008. He serves on the board of the Asian American Heritage Foundation and is a member of the National Association of Chinese Americans.

Wan’s awards include Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Forty Under 40” Rising Stars in 1997 YouthPride’s Phillip Rush Award (for exemplary support of youth in Georgia) in 2005, and Georgia Asian Times “25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia” in 2007.

A fitness enthusiast, Wan enjoys tennis, running, weightlifting, and is a certified SCUBA diver. He has completed marathons and half marathons. He also enjoys cooking and travel and recently took up beekeeping.

“Alex has proven himself to be a solid community leader,” says Ken Britt, executive director of Alston & Bird, LLP, who is serving as campaign chair for Wan’s city council bid, “and that coupled with his also-proven business and finance experience is a great match for a person serving in this vital position on the city council.”

Among other business-finance accomplishments, Britt cites Wan’s experience shepherding businesses and agencies through financial crises, and, “his engineer’s ability to clearly identify critical points in business and organizational processes and to address those logically and through a collaborative process. He is a consensus builder who can help ensure our city is run like an efficient, effective business.”

Britt also notes that, as a Chinese-American, Wan would bring further diversity to the Atlanta City Council, and would be the first Asian-American among the ranks of the council.

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