Amos Seeks District 3 Council Seat, Would Introduce Progressive Ordinances (UPDATE 1)
Photograph across from stadium by Matthew Charles Cardinale, News Editor, Atlanta Progressive News; additional photographs courtesy of Amos campaign.
(APN) ATLANTA — Byron Amos, the former District 2 Board of Education Member for Atlanta Public Schools who was in a March 2019 Special Election Run-off for Atlanta City Council District 3 with current incumbent Antonio Brown, is running again for the District 3 Council seat.
Amos has committed to introduce several pieces of progressive legislation, if elected.
The 2019 Special Election was held when the now-late Ivory Lee Young, Jr., passed away. Antonio Brown won the 2019 Special Election and is now running for Mayor of Atlanta, leaving the District 3 race wide open.
In addition to Amos, several other candidates are running for the District 3 seat, including Greg Clay and Erika Estrada, who also ran in the 2019 Special Election; Brandon Graham, a political newcomer; and Keona Jones, a community activist involved with Atlanta’s neighborhood planning unit process.
APN has sent questionnaires to all four; has received responses from Estrada, Evans, and Jones; and will be publishing the responses shortly.
District 3 spans from the Atlantic Station and Home Park neighborhoods, south to Vine City and all the way west to Penelope Neighbors.
The district suffers from lack of amenities in some areas, while other areas have enjoyed the advent of amenities but only with displacement of existing residents due to unmitigated gentrification.
“Some of the issues that existed in 2019 still exist,” Amos told Atlanta Progressive News in an interview.
“I know I have a game plan to move the complete district forward, and that’s everybody from Vine City to Atlantic Station,” Amos said.
“There has been minimum gain in the district and most of those gains have been spearheaded by residents,” Amos said.
As an example, Amos pointed to Cook Park, which was recently unveiled in the Vine City neighborhood.
“He [Councilman Brown] came in and wanted to dismantle it,” Amos said of the park.
As another example, Amos pointed to the adoption of a new affordable housing policy in the area around Atlanta’s Quarry Park, which gives developers an option to comply with affordable housing requirements by providing units affordable at 550 dollars per month or less (zero to thirty percent of the Area Median Income).
This policy also originated from the neighborhood in the form of a resolution by Neighborhood Planning Unit K (NPU-K).
Amos points to his experience and long history of community service in District 3 in support of his candidacy.
Amos was the Chair of the Vine City Civic Association, the Chair of NPU-L, and finally the APS Board Member. But before that, something Amos does not talk about much, he was the class president of Bethune Elementary and the Vice President of the student council at Washington High.
Amos received some criticism in 2019 when many community members perceived him as being the establishment candidate. In all likelihood, he was in fact the preferred candidate of the Keisha Bottoms Administration.
However, Amos insists he is independent.
“I think I have been an independent vote for my beliefs and the people. I was on the school board that voted to sue Kasim [then-Mayor Kasim Reed] for our Beltline money,” Amos said.
“I think I stand with the people more than I stand with the elected officials,” he said.
Amos has committed to introducing several pieces of progressive legislation championed by APN.
Amos agreed to introduce an ordinance to advance criminal justice reform by adopting exemptions to Atlanta’s curfew laws for teenagers who are homeless or legally emancipated.
This will prevent homeless teenagers from being arrested for being homeless, a practice that incumbent Antonio Brown wishes to continue, as previously reported by APN.
Amos has agreed to introduce an ordinance to create an eighth City Council Committee, the Committee on the Environment.
Amos also wants to create a District 3 Advisory Committee on the Environment, he says.
Amos has agreed to introduce an ordinance granting additional minutes to senior citizens to make public comments to the Atlanta City Council on the basis of research showing that in general, cognitive processing time slows with age and seniors need more time to get their points across.
Amos has also agreed to introduce an ordinance requiring the Department of Planning to prepare a monthly report on all recommendations made by the City’s NPU’s that would be attached to the City Council’s meeting agendas.
Amos also says that affordable living, including affordable housing, will be a priority. He uses the term “affordable living” to encompass other costs of living that ought to be affordable, not just housing.
He says he will also be an advocate for the District’s existing single-family neighborhoods keeping their existing zoning and single-family character.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2021)
Editor’s note: APN’s News Editor, who ran in the 2019 Special Election for District 3 as a candidate, is not running for the District 3 seat in the 2021 Municipal Election; and instead has filed paperwork to run as an independent for State Senate District 38 in November 2022.
CORRECTION and Update 1: This article has been updated to correct the last name of candidate Mr. Brandon Graham. A previous version of this article stated in error that his name is Brandon Evans.