Rebecca King is seeking to unseat longtime District 7 Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook in the Nov. 7 nonpartisan general election. The district includes part of Buckhead.
King, a Buckhead resident, is running for office for the first time. But she is no stranger to community or volunteer service, having served for nine organizations, including Livable Buckhead, where she’s a fundraising committee member; the Atlanta Alumnae Panhellenic Association, where she is the president; and the North Buckhead Civic Association, where she’s a board member. Why is King running for the seat?
“To support a vision of Atlanta as it is a diverse, international city where opportunity continues to be prolific, where all people may enjoy a sustainable quality of life, where citizens want to make Atlanta’s environment clean, sustainable, and where planning makes Atlanta’s infrastructure maintenance a forethought so that a crisis may be averted,” she said. “By working with other city council members, civic leaders, and business leaders, I will continue to connect with residents to understand their issues and concerns. I will be in regular contact with Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs) and neighborhood associations to engage and encourage public feedback.”
King said her top three issues are working with private organizations and businesses to motivate people to practice more sustainability; addressing traffic by having more people use public transit and working with GDOT and the city to make Atlanta’s roads better and assessing the infrastructure so its needs are met and budgeted annually.
When asked what makes her stand out as a candidate, she said, “My engagement and visibility in the community and the fact that I am not satisfied with the status quo as I ask how processes can improve, and I want to understand the reason behind the processes. I ask people about their thoughts and utilize their experience and opinions to improve operations.”
Shook, who was first elected to the seat in 2001, is seeking his fifth term on the council. The Buckhead resident touted his experience, including serving on all seven of the council’s standing committees and being elected council president pro tempore.
“There is no greater honor than to be elected by your neighbors to represent them on a legislative body that deals with challenging and complex policy issues,” Shook said. “Our shared victories around the elimination of the notorious Buckhead Village nightclub nightmare and dramatic expansion of our parks inventory are two examples of why I find the job as rewarding as I do.”
He said his top three issues are conducting fair property tax assessments, as required; addressing Buckhead traffic through a development moratorium and addressing the increase in crime by voting to raise police salaries, funding numerous camera installations and convincing the county judges to not release some criminals, including repeat offenders.
“I’m proud of my track record on issues critical to Buckhead, and Atlanta’s fundamental financial footing,” Shook said. “There is no substitute for experience in any walk of life, particularly in an election that will create a new administration and many eager but untried council members. I have a 100 percent record on our two bedrock issues: backing the neighborhoods on zoning matters and fighting the fight on property taxes. I believe there’s a difference between a novice challenger’s promises and an incumbent’s record.”
Shook said he has been endorsed by his predecessor on the council, Lee Morris, plus the Atlanta Firefighters Union, Georgia Equality and former District 54 State Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta. King said her only endorsements have come from her campaign staff and some friends.