Atlanta Councilwoman Winslow Draws Early Challenger
(APN) ATLANTA — Kwabena Nkromo has announced his intent to challenge Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow (District 4) in the 2013 Municipal Election, according to an email he sent to Atlanta Progressive News.
Nkromo writes that he wants to promote and develop a significant urban gardening program in the District which will not only lead to food security for the District, but possibly provide a revenue opportunity for local residents who could sell excess produce to other parts of City.
“The vision of the District 4 Community Food Project is one that sees Southwest Atlanta as the ‘bread basket’ of the city, or vegetable basket to be more literal (smile). We hope to foster an environment within District 4 in which residents who want to grow food are encouraged and supported to do so,” Nkromo wrote.
“Our goal is a vibrant network of urban agricultural uses of all types (i.e. community gardens, edible school yards, urban farms, etc) that would provide enough produce to support a local food economy. This economy would include personal family use, a farmers market, or even a food cooperative like Sevananda that is supplied by locally grown vegetables and fruits,” Nkromo wrote.
“Not only would District 4 residents benefit from such a collective resource, but Atlantans from across the would likely love to shop for natural produce of which they know the source,” Nkromo wrote.
Nkromo has also been active in his local Neighborhood Planning Unit.
Councilwoman Winslow, who is the second-longest serving Council Member on the current Council, following Council CT Martin (District 10), was first rumored not be seeking re-election, and then rumored to indeed be seeking re-election.
Winslow did not immediately return a message left yesterday on her voicemail from APN.
Ben Howard, a senior advocate who frequents City Council meetings, said he had noticed in recent weeks that Winslow was speaking more at Committee Meetings and appeared to be going out of her way to come up and say things to him. Howard surmised that Winslow could be trying to raise her public profile, following Nkromo’s announcement.
Winslow was recently fined 1,500 dollars, by the City of Atlanta’s Ethics Commission in an October 2010 settlement, for accepting reimbursement from the City for campaign materials. These expenses included 1,700 for the printing of a campaign flyer and 3,720 dollars for door-to-door distribution of the flyer.
Winslow spent an additional 29,000 dollars out of her Council office budget for allowable expenses during the months of September and October 2009, during the final months of a tough reelection campaign.
This included 4,200 dollars for catering for two events in September; 1,780 dollars to invite constituents to an October 07 “meet and greet” dinner; 863 dollars for food and flyers promoting an October 13 forum on streetscape improvements; 363 dollars for catering an October 15 meeting with senior citizens; 5,007 dollars for food, music and equipment rentals for West End Remembers Day, co-sponsored by the Beltline, on October 17; 450 dollars for food and a speaker for an October 20 grant-writing seminar for ministers in her district; and 4,995 dollars for barbecue and other expenses at an October 24 public art dedication at Adair Park in southwest Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.
In 2009, Winslow faced several challengers, including Lashawn Hoffman, Deborah Williams, and Sidney Wood.
Hoffman–who gave Winslow the greatest run for her money, but fell short of forcing her into a Run-off Election–told APN that he has not yet decided whether he will run again in 2013.
Winslow received 52.9 percent of the vote; Hoffman received 27.71 percent; Williams received 11.85 percent; and Wood received 7.49 percent.
Hoffman, like many other potential 2013 candidates, is awaiting the results of Council seat re-districting, to see what District 4 will look like in 2013, including whether he and Cleta will still live in the same District.
Hoffman is working with a community development corporation to help provide affordable housing in District 4.
Hoffman said that Nkromo supported his campaign in 2009.
In addition, Dwanda Farmer, who ran in 2009 for the Post 1-at-large seat and lives in District 4, has also been considering a run for the District 4 seat, but she tells APN it is too early for her to decide.
Hoffman added he believes Winslow benefitted in 2009 from having three challengers instead of one, and worries that the same thing could happen again.
To APN’s knowledge, Nkromo is the first individual to announce a challenge to a sitting City Council Member for 2013.
In September 2010, Al Bartell announced his intent to run for Mayor of Atlanta.
(END / 2011)