Atlanta Voters Decide They Want Moore
Moore–who is well known for opposing Mayor Kasim Reed and often being the only “no” vote on Council–won 55 percent, or 46,512 votes in the Run-off Election. Councilman Alex Wan (District 6) received 45 percent of the vote or 38,816 votes.
Moore received more citywide support than either Mayoral candidate.
“I think that’s a strong showing that the citizens appreciate my service, my ethics, my transparency and accountability message,” Moore told Atlanta Progressive News.
APN endorsed Moore in the Run-off Election.
Prior to the election, Wan’s campaign sent out a mailer that showed that he had been endorsed by nearly every sitting Councilmember, in addition to several Councilmember-elects who had just been elected in the November 2017 General Election.
Wan was endorsed by Carla Smith (District 1), Councilman-elect Amir Farokhi (District 2), Ivory Young (District 3), Natalyn Archibong (District 5), Councilwoman-elect Jennifer Ide (District 6), Howard Shook (District 7), Yolanda Adrean (District 8), C.T. Martin (District 10), Joyce Sheperd (District 12), and Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large).
Wan was also endorsed by U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a former member of the Council; and former Mayor Andrew Young.
“They rallied against me,” Moore told Atlanta Progressive News.
“Some of them surprised me that they would do that. I’ve worked with all of them for the last twenty years, fought with them on issues,” Moore said.
“I was disappointed in some of them, but they are individuals. Just as I have my own opinion and way of doing things, I’m gonna let them have that as well. They supported Mr. Wan, Mr. Wan did not win. I hope they support me in my winning and working together to move forward,” Moore said.
“One thing is, I’m not a ‘go along to get along’ type of person. My thing is for the betterment of the City and the best interest of the citizens, and sometimes that does line up and sometimes that doesn’t line up against the political will of the time,” Moore said.
“I will speak up against that, the horse trading part of politics. I’ve never really subscribed to that,” Moore said.
“Some are not on board with the reform I’d like to see in city government, transparency at the top, releasing all city expenditures across all departments, all the time, because the more you open the government up, the more scrutiny you receive,” Moore said.
“Change is not an easy thing for people who are okay with the status quo,” Moore said.
“It was a bit of circling of the wagons around me. With all the supporters for Alex, they hoped that it would make the citizens question their support for me. To have so many of the currently seated members and thinking perhaps they would sway their constituencies. It did not work,” Moore said.
“My campaign wasn’t based on endorsements. The endorsement I was seeking was that of the citizens, and that’s what I received,” Moore said.
“There’s a fine line between making your point and overkill, maybe that was overkill,” Moore said of Wan’s endorsement piece.
“One of the things that was different from Mr. Wan and myself, I’ve been serving for twenty years. In twenty years, I’ve supported people in their positions [on various issues] across the city. People have said I appreciated you when you voted a certain way on a zoning issue, or… votes that I had forgotten about,” Moore said.
Moore has been one of the most progressive members of the Council, but she received support across the city, including in conservative Buckhead.
“Buckhead appreciated my votes related to zoning, because I am a fiscal conservative, I’m not shy to speak my own,” she said.
“Colleagues wouldn’t necessarily speak to the media and answer questions, I would. There’s so many areas I’ve supported over the years, and they [constituents] remember,” Moore said.
“I was outspent considerably. My ability to raise money was curtailed. People who wanted to donate… were fearful of retribution,” Moore said.
“I had the traditional methods stacked against me, but I had my reputation, and my consistency of service won the day,” Moore said.
LAPSE IN LGBTQI REPRESENTATION ON COUNCIL
With Wan’s loss to Moore, the LGBTQI community lacks representation on the Council for the first time in two decades.
Cathy Woolard was the first openly gay or homosexual elected official in Georgia in 1997, when she was elected to the Council. Woolard was followed by Anne Fauver in 2001, and then by Alex Wan in 2009 – all representing District 6.
Jennifer Ide, who won the District 6 race, is heterosexual.
The seeds of this development actually were sown in the 2011 Redistricting that occurred, where the historically gay district that was the former District 6 was split in half. Midtown was lumped with Downtown and given to District 2. Cheshire Bridge was lumped with Morningside and given to District 6.
Wan’s election loss last week also seems to signal the end of the once-considerable Alex Wan political machine.
That is, many of the same campaign operatives who had helped Wan get elected to Council in 2009, turned around to help Joan Garner get elected to Fulton County Commission in 2010.
They seemed to be on a roll until they unsuccessfully attempted to help Ken Britt get elected to the State House; Britt lost to State Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas (D-Atlanta) in 2012.
Now, with Wan’s election loss last week, and with Commissioner Garner’s heartbreaking passing away earlier this year, there does not seem to be much of a way forward for the Wan machinery.
MOORE PLANNING FOR 2018 ALREADY
Moore will soon be selecting the seven committee chairs, and she has made it known that one prerequisite is for them to commit to posting their Council Office expenditures online.
“There are a lot of things that need to be done with new members, getting them acclimated,” Moore said.
Moore has scheduled a mandatory ethics training for Councilmembers for the first week.
“When on Council, I did a charter amendment for mandatory ethics training. I put out the word, I want us to start off knowing what the rules are so we can follow that,” Moore said.
“I want to help people navigate what the legislative process is, so they are able to get things done. I’m going to have some sessions where I can acclimate people [citizens] on the process so they can be more effective on getting what they want to get done,” Moore said.
“I want to work on more technology to get more input. I want to open up how people can give input. I don’t see why people have to come all the way down to City Hall to give a two minute comment,” she said.
As for the victory, Moore says: “I think it’s bigger than me personally.”
“I hope new members take account to see that having that independence, and doing some things during my tenure, that it wasn’t an easy road, it was the road less traveled by. You can still get to the destination, and I encourage others to do the same,” Moore said.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2017)