APN Early Endorsements: Archibong District 5, Moore District 9
(APN) ATLANTA — The Atlanta Progressive News Board of Directors has announced two early endorsements in Atlanta’s Municipal races: Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong (District 5) and Councilwoman Felicia Moore (District 9).
APN considers preserving these progressive voices–and more importantly, votes–on the Atlanta City Council to be a top priority.
Archibong has four challengers: Christian Enterkin, Jon Jones, John Paul Michalik, and Matt Rinker, all largely unknown.
It would be difficult for any one of them to surpass Archibong’s record or platform on a scale of progressivity. Archibong currently has a score of 91.9 percent on the APN City Council Scorecard, with credit for 34 out of 37 votes and other items dating back to 2003. Archibong has consistently held the highest score among Atlanta City Councilmembers.
The endorsement standard that APN applies to progressive incumbents in Atlanta–especially given that there are so few of them at any level of government–is that a challenger would have to not only meet, but exceed the incumbent’s record with their own promises. After all, an incumbent has a known record, while a challenger only has promises.
Rinker has emerged as another Beltline cheerleader, and has misleadingly attacked Archibong regarding the Beltline. Archibong supports the Beltline but opposed the Beltline Tax Allocation District, which the Supreme Court of Georgia later found unconstitutional in 2008. Archibong also has a strong concern and record on preserving and supporting Atlanta’s affordable housing stock, something that is endangered by the Beltline. While on Community Development/Human Resources Cmte, Archibong made a request that the Beltline Affordable Housing Advisory Board make a presentation to the Cmte regarding affordable housing. Archibong has told APN that, if reelected, she will author or co-author meaningful affordable housing legislation to help address the ongoing loss of affordable apartments in Atlanta.
Jones told APN he is running only because he wants to promote his online direct democracy platform, although he has not been doing much to promote the platform anyway. Enterkin entered the race out of concern for garbage pickup, while Michalik is opposed to street renaming. None of the challengers present a record of service worth talking about and seem generally to be one-issue candidates.
While Moore is the Council’s most outspoken among the Council’s few progressive members, Archibong has quietly been a reliable, consistent voice for causes including oversight, transparency, public input, equality, affordable housing, First Amendment rights, civil liberties, and other important causes.
Archibong, who is an attorney, has historically voted against numerous legislative schemes that have later been either ruled to be unconstitutional, and that subjected the taxpayers to significant litigation costs, for example, the Beltline TAD. In other cases, the City’s Law Department has admitted the legislation to be unconstitutional.
For example, Archibong was one of three Councilmembers to oppose the 2005 panhandling ban, which the City’s Law Department later admitted to be unconstitutional due to federal First Amendment rights.
Then in 2008, Archibong was the only Councilmember to oppose the street vending ordinance that was recently thrown out by a Superior Court judge, in a ruling not appealed by the City of Atlanta.
Among other things, Archibong opposed earlier bar closing hours in 2003; supported some Council oversight over the public housing demolitions in 2008; opposed public comment limits in 2010 and 2013; disclosed how she voted during the once-secret vote of 2010; opposed the sale of City Hall East and the waiver of affordability requirements in 2010; opposed the Adrean pension reform proposal in 2011; supported extending bar closing hours back in 4am in 2011; opposed the Joann Macrina confirmation in 2011; opposed the airport concessions contracts in 2012; supported the bullhook ban in 2012; opposed the FogFuels contract in 2012; opposed the 2012 Bond panhandling ban; supported same-sex marriage in 2012; opposed the Cheshire Bridge rezoning in 2013; opposed the Invest Atlanta slush fund in 2013; supported three percent city worker pay increases in 2013; and most recently, supported a new Comprehensive Development Plan for the Glenwood neighborhood.
Moore has two challengers: and Ricardo Mosby and Duwon Robinson. Mosby–no relation to State Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta)–is unknown except to the extent that, according to Moore, he is the Mayor’s candidate. Robinson, as previously reported by APN, sent an unimpressive email to APN earlier this year, in which he misspelled his own name and lacked basic writing skills.
Moore has the second-most progressive voting record out of the current fifteen Councilmembers, according to the APN Atlanta City Council Scorecard, with a score of 77.27 out of 100, based on 44 different votes or actions.
Actually, 77.27 is a good score for this Council. Eleven Councilmembers have F’s, and only four Councilmembers–Archibong, Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large), Kwanza Hall (District 2), and Moore–have scores higher than an F.
In addition, Moore is the most outspoken of the progressive Councilmembers.
In 2008, Moore led a call for more Council oversight of the demolitions of family communities and senior highrises by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Moore passed one piece of legislation giving the Council time to review demolition applications, and another accepting voluntary measures by AHA, including quarterly presentations to the Council’s Community Development/Human Resources Cmte. The first piece of legislation overcame a Mayoral veto by then-Mayor Shirley Franklin.
In 2011, Moore took the lead on pension reform, not only blocking a harmful proposal, but offering an alternative in consultation with the unions, and working with Councilmembers to create a compromise.
In 2012, Moore took the lead in raising questions and opposing the award of concessions contracts at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
In 2012, Moore took the lead for animal rights, when she proposed legislation to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants in Atlanta, including, for example, by the Ringling Bros. circus.
She also led the oversight, questioning, and opposition to the new Falcons stadium.
In 2011, APN’s News Editor–the present writer–filed litigation against the City because of the Council’s practice of holding closed-door Committee Briefings. Initially, Moore defended the practice; however, in 2012, Moore, Chairwoman of Finance/Executive Cmte, became the first Chairperson to open up their Cmte Briefings to the public. Archibong followed shortly thereafter, and in 2013, all Cmte Briefings were opened to the public. Councilman Hall introduced successful legislation to require that all Cmte Briefings remain open to the public going forward.
Also, at the request of APN’s Editor and senior advocate Ben Howard, Moore produced a Rules of Council document to be available to the citizens.
Other highlights of Moore’s voting record include opposing 3am bar closing hours in 2003; opposing the Beltline TAD in 2005; introducing legislation to send a letter to HUD clarifying that the Council had taken no position on the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless in 2007; opposing public speaking time limits in 2010 and 2013; disclosing her secret vote in 2010; opposing the Macrina confirmation in 2011; opposing the FogFuels contract in 2012; opposing the Bond panhandling ban in 2012; opposing the Lindbergh rezoning in 2012; supporting same-sex marriage in 2012; opposing the Cheshire Bridge rezoning in 2013; opposing the Invest Atlanta slush fund in 2013; proposing a three percent city worker pay increase in 2013; and, most recently, supporting the CDP change for Glenwood.