Bond, Boone Most Progressive on Atlanta Council, per APN 2021 Scorecard
(APN) ATLANTA — Four months ahead of the 2021 Municipal Elections, Atlanta Progressive News has released an updated Atlanta City Council Scorecard, providing numerical scores for all fifteen voting members of the City Council, based on dozens of specific scored votes.
The Scorecard is available as a public Google Spreadsheet here:
Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large) continues to be the most progressive member of the Atlanta City Council, with a score of 68.24 out of one hundred.
Natalyn Archibong (District 5), who for years held the first place position and is currently running for Council President, has fallen to third place, reflecting a downturn in her voting record in recent years. Her score is 63.27.
Councilwoman Boone does not appear to have opposition on the 2021 ballot based on public filings.
Councilman Bond is being challenged in November 2021 by several candidates, including Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, Brandon Cory Goldberg, Todd Gray, and Jereme “JD” Sharpe.
The full scores are:
MICHAEL JULIAN BOND 68.24
ANDREA BOONE 64.5
NATALYN ARCHIBONG 63.27
ANTONIO BROWN 54.17
MARCI COLLIER OVERSTREET 51.43
ANDRE DICKENS 48.48
HOWARD SHOOK 43.18
CARLA SMITH 41
MATT WESTMORELAND 40
JENNIFER IDE 37.5
CLETA WINSLOW 37.5
AMIR FAROKHI 35.1
J.P. MATZIGKEIT 32.4
JOYCE SHEPERD 29.9
DUSTIN HILLIS 25.7
Recent additions to the Scorecard include three votes from 2020 in which Councilmembers passed a resolution limiting the time period in which members of the public can leave voicemail public comments, during the closure of City Hall. The resolution limited the time frame to a brief time window of a few hours on the day prior to the meeting, in their effort to limit the volume of public comments.
The Council did so after an episode in which Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3) encouraged members of the public to call in supporting cuts to the Atlanta Police Department budget, and the Council received so many comments that they had to stay late into the night listening to comments, adjourn, and come back the next day to listen to more comments.
Opposing the final vote on the public comment limits were Mr. Brown, Ms. Boone, Marci Overstreet (District 11), Mr. Bond, and Matt Westmoreland (Post 2-at-large).
All other Councilmembers voted in support.
Another recent addition to the Scorecard was the Council vote last month, in June 2021, to approve a zoning change to the former English Avenue School site, which was opposed by the Neighborhood Planning Unit L.
Only Councilmembers Bond and Boone voted against the zoning change.
Councilmember Brown, who represents the English Avenue community, supported the zoning change over the wishes of the neighborhood.
Councilman Brown, who is also running for Mayor, came in fourth place with a failing score of 54.17.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper recently characterized Brown as a progressive Councilmember.
However, all things considered, Atlanta Progressive News does not find Mr. Brown to be progressive. He may have come in fourth place on the APN Scorecard, which literally ranks progressiveness; but he did so with a failing grade, and only ranked high by comparison because the standard set by his colleagues is already so low.
While he advocated for cuts to the APD budget under the banner of defunding the police, he refuses to support policies that would decriminalize homelessness and reduce the workload on police (which would, in turn, allow police to focus on violent crimes).
In 2020, for example, in an email to APN, Mr. Brown stated that he thinks it is best for the City of Atlanta to continue to arrest homeless teenagers under City curfew laws for being outside during the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., even though they lack a home and lack shelter.
“By enforcing a curfew, the life of a youth may be saved. The youth are exploited on the street; by providing the opportunity for an officer to approach a youth on the basis of a curfew violation is a good thing,” Corrine Lindo, a Policy Analyst for the City Council wrote, in an email on Jan. 22, 2020.
“I do agree,” Councilman Brown wrote in response.
On June 13, 2020, at the height of Atlanta’s anti-police rallies, APN asked Brown, “Do you still think that being arrested is the best thing that could happen to a homeless teenager?” Brown did not respond to this request for comment.
He is currently being challenged by Devin Barrington-Ward.
Atlanta’s “challenges are caused by city council members, including the current district 9 council member, who support corporate developers and police unions instead of standing with the people of the district,” Barrington-Ward sent in a May 26, 2021 statement announcing his campaign.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2021)