Andre Dickens (City Council Post 3 At-Large Candidate)

10/9/2013, 12:07 p.m.
I have been the president and vice president of the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association in northwest Atlanta.
Andre Dickens (City Council Post 3 At-Large Candidate)

Campaign Web Site: www.andredickens.com

City of Residence: Atlanta

E-Mail: cfranklin@ckfranklin.com

How have you served your district and the city best in the past?: I have been the president and vice president of the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association in northwest Atlanta. I have been the representative for NPU-D where we worked on numerous zoning and land use matters. I was a founding member of the Northwest Communities Alliance where I helped to ensure smart growth happened along the northwest corridor. We formed a coalition of neighborhoods to strategically and carefully craft an agreement with a master developer, Wal-mart, and the community.

I also work with the Westside Communities Alliance, Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization, Youth Enhancement Services, Pentorship, and numerous other community based organizations that look to improve the condition and education of Atlanta’s youth and seniors.

I was a business owner in my district for 8 years where I hired and trained people from the district. I also mentored people in the district on the creation of businesses.

If elected, what issues will you give highest priority to?:

  1. Job Creation and Retention
  2. Safer neighborhoods
  3. Higher ethics in government

Level of Education: 2013 Masters of Public Administration candidate

Name: Andre Dickens

Office Sought: Atlanta Ciy Council Post 3 At Large

Political Experience: none

Prior Office(s) Held:

Profession: College administrator

What do you plan to accomplish during your term in office?: Job Creation and Retention continues to be a major focus for our city as we work our way out of the recession. As the City of Atlanta continues to strive to be the preferred place to start and own a business, we must take care of our existing businesses as well as our local entrepreneurs by ensuring advocacy for and access to the myriad of local, state and federal programs available to small business owners. By increasing the job opportunities at all levels, we can continue to lift the individuals who are more experienced, while also filling positions for less-skilled workers. In addition to creating jobs, making sure that there is equitable access to these new opportunities is also key. Workplace equality is not only good for business; it’s good for Atlanta. Looking long-term, I will also advocate for programs to help our unskilled workers acquire a pathway out of perpetual poverty by equipping them with training and knowledge. If we invest in the future and help people by giving them the tools to break prior trends, I believe our entire community will benefit. Rising tides lift all boats.

The second issue is safer neighborhoods, which I believe everyone deserves. Although we’ve seen a reduction in crime over the past few years, I think we still have room for improvement. People don’t “feel” safe and most of us either know someone, like me, who has been the victim of crime and/or have experienced it first hand. (*My home was burglarized and one of my campaign staffers was recently mugged in Midtown.) I believe the challenge with creating safer neighborhoods is that the solution must be integrative and scalable over time. Collectively, we can achieve public safety goals through a combination of 1) increased police presence (as a crime deterrent, visibility helps build community trust,) 2) removing blight and vacant properties that are a haven for crime, 3) initiating programs for youth to decrease petty crimes and lastly, 4) improving our school system by instituting best practices that have proven to be effective in cities facing similar challenges.