Atlanta Councilwoman Carla Smith to Seek Reelection

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(APN) ATLANTA — Despite earlier information that suggested otherwise, Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith (District 1) is planning to run for reelection in this year’s Municipal Elections, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

“I really love my community.  I really have the best district in the city,” Smith told APN.  District 1 includes numerous neighborhoods in Southeast Atlanta, and as part of the recent redistricting, has gained the area called Capitol Gateway just south of Downtown Atlanta.

APN had previously reported, on September 17, 2011, nearly a year and a half ago, that “One source familiar with the matter said Smith may not be considering running for reelection in 2013, due to personal and family considerations.”

APN reiterated the information in a more recent article, dated December 30, 2012, “APN previously reported that Councilwoman Carla Smith (District 1) is not planning to run again because, according to a source, Smith’s husband has gotten a job out-of-state; so far, there has been no further news on that front.”

Smith told APN that what had actually happened was that her father, who lives in Texas, has been requiring more personal care in the last couple years.  

Smith said she was grappling with the issue of how to care for him, while continuing to serve her constituents in Atlanta, but said she has found a way to do both.

APN also spoke with a second source who confirmed that Smith had considered at one point not running again, noting, “Things change.”

Yesterday, Smith circulated a press release stating, “The information circulating on online media regarding me not seeking re-election is erroneous.  I have every intention of running again this year to continue the successes our district has achieved over the years.”

Smith decided to make the statement after the Midtown Patch reported, “District 1 City Councilwoman Carla Smith has already announced she will not seek another term.”  Midtown Patch did not attribute the claim to any source, although Midtown Patch did attribute other aspects of its article to APN.  

Thus, it appears that Midtown Patch misconstrued APN’s having reported that a source said Smith may not run again, to mean that Smith had made an official announcement.

“The information above re me not seeking re-election is erroneous.  I have every intention of running again this year (2013),” Smith wrote in the comment section on the Midtown Patch article.

The comment prompted Midtown Patch to run a correction, to which Smith wrote, “Thanks for the correction!  Carla.”

Smith told APN she is proud of her work on a Moreland Avenue Livable Communities Initiative (LCI).  “We’re working on implementing steps from the LCI.  We’re starting a new LCI in Lakewood that I’m really excited about.”

“We’ve done a lot of work with our parks,” Smith added.  

Smith runs an electronics recycling program where she sets up areas throughout Atlanta for people to come and deliver their electronic waste such as old computers, for recycling; this is something Smith said she has been doing for ten years.

Previously, Smith introduced legislation for a voluntary inclusionary zoning policy in the City of Atlanta, that was intended to increase affordable housing.  The legislation did not come up for a vote.

According to APN’s Atlanta City Council Scorecard, Smith has a moderate voting record, one that seems to have improved over the last four years.  She has been a strong supporter of issues affecting the LGBTQI community, and drives a car-sized float in the Atlanta Gay Pride parade each year.

The press release regarding Smith sent out yesterday afternoon came from an entity called “AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc.”  AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc. has sent out numerous press releases to APN and other news media over at least the last six years.

For example, in July 2012, AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc. sent out a press release on behalf of Councilman Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large), noting that he too is planning to seek reelection.

“After receiving several media inquires about his future plans of serving the citizens of the City of Atlanta, Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond issued the following clarifying statement,” the release said.

“I do plan to seek re-election as the City Council’s Post 1 At-Large representative to continue the progress of moving our entire city forward,” Councilman Bond said in the statement.

After some investigative work, APN has determined that AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc. is really Dexter Chambers, the former Director of Communications for the City Council of Atlanta, who recently left the City in November 2012 after thirteen years.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed that Chambers is AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc., and there are other indicators that also led APN to conclude that this is the case.  The source noted that all work was done on Chambers’s personal time and that he was never compensated for the volunteer work.

AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc. has also sent out press releases on behalf of former Councilman Derrick Boazman (District 12) and the HIV Prevention Project, and announcing a funeral for Angelo Taylor, an Atlantan.

A search of the corporations database for the Secretary of State of Georgia shows there is not actually a corporation called AtlantaMediaAdvisory Inc., so the “Inc.” appears to be misleading.

Meanwhile, in another recent article, APN reported that yet another source [Editor’s note: sorry about all the sources, but these politicians are sensitive!] stated that they had received an inquiry from former State Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta) about possibly challenging Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd (District 12) in 2013.

Long had told APN that he was considering many options, after numerous people including Shelitha Robertson told APN that Long was also considering challenging Councilman Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large) in 2013.  Robertson told APN she is planning to challenge Willis in 2013 either way.

Since then, David Stokes of the Atlanta Inquirer newspaper contacted Long regarding the APN story and that Long told Stokes that he is not planning to run against Sheperd, making it more likely that he will run against Willis.

(END/2013)

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