Former Councilman Hall Running for Lt. Governor of Georgia (UPDATE 1)
(APN) ATLANTA – Former Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall (District 2), who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Atlanta in 2017 and who served a short term in U.S. Congress after the passing of the now-late U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), is running for the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor of Georgia in the May 24, 2022 General Primary Election.
Hall previously served on the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education (District 1) from 2002 to 2005.
Hall served three full terms on the Atlanta City Council from 2005 to 2017. While there he championed criminal justice reform legislation and environmental legislation.
Hall’s criminal justice reform legislation while on Council included an ordinance to review the entirety of Chapter 106, “Miscellaneous Offenses” of the Code of Ordinances for possible repeal. This led to the removal of several erstwhile offenses from the Code and the decriminalization of cannabis possession in Atlanta.
Hall’s environmental legislation included setting a goal of one hundred percent clean energy to be used by the City of Atlanta Government by 2025.
Hall’s former wife, Commissioner Natalie Hall (District 4), serves of a Fulton County Commissioner. They divorced in 2020.
Hall is one of nine candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor.
The other eight candidates are State Rep. Erick Allen (D-Vinings); Charlie Bailey, who ran for Attorney General in 2018; Tyrone Brooks, Jr., who worked on environmental issues for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Resilience; Tony Brown; Jason T. Hayes; State Rep. Derrick L. Jackson (D-Tyrone); R. Malik; and State Rep. Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur).
“I just have to say I’m concerned about the direction and the future of our state,” Hall told Atlanta Progressive News.
“Too many people are suffering and have to make a decision on whether to pay for medicine or feed their families,” Hall said.
“And I want to make sure that everybody in Georgia can enjoy life with affordable health care and affordable housing,” Hall said.
Hall said he believed serving as Lt. Governor would allow him to continue to advance criminal justice reform “across the board in the State of Georgia.”
“The system that permanently houses a large portion of the African American and Latino community, that is not what we should be offering for somebody who made a mistake,” Hall said.
“We don’t have a pathway for people to restore themselves,” Hall said.
Hall said statewide reforms are needed “around marijuana” and “around expunging records, all of that which we’ve been talking about for a long time.”
Hall said the Lt. Governor’s role is especially important as the President of the Senate and the ability there to assign legislation to committees.
“There’s authority that comes with that – we saw that with the Buckhead legislation,” Hall said, speaking of Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s referral of the Buckhead cityhood legislation to the Senate Urban Affairs Committee, which is packed with Democrats even in the Republican-majority Senate.
Hall served for 33 days in U.S. Congress, having run in the September 29, 2020 Special Election and December 02, 2020 Special Run-off Election.
“I was elected on the second [of December] and made it up there on the third, got sworn in, and then was voting that quickly,” Hall said.
“That was very consequential at the time. It was a time when we didn’t have a budget, we didn’t have COVID relief, we didn’t have a military budget. We were basically facing shutdown or a lockdown,” Hall said.
While in Congress, Hall took 25 votes, introduced five original pieces of legislation, and gave some eighteen floor speeches, he said.
One bill was HR 9010, “To direct the Secretary of Transportation to carry out a study on the feasibility of certain transit options in the Campbellton Road transportation corridor in Atlanta, Georgia, and for other purposes.”
Others include the Nonviolent Drug Crime Expungement Act of 2020, the Qualified Immunity Abolition Act, and a bill to restore the federal voting rights of individuals following incarceration.
Hall’s environmental priorities for Georgia include stormwater management and supporting public transportation.
APN will be reaching out to the other candidates in the near future.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2022)
CORRECTION and UPDATE 1: A previous version of this story stated that former Councilman Hall and Commissioner Hall are married; however, this article has been corrected to note that the couple divorced in 2020.