Job Application: Atlanta City Council - District 4

Candidate Name:
Jonathan Whitfield


Q: What do you think is the most important role of the City Council?

A: To care for and serve the needs, concerns, and wants of the community

Q: Please describe, in sufficient detail, one professional accomplishment or contribution of which you are most proud. These examples should illustrate skills and capabilities you think apply to governing the City of Atlanta.

A: One main professional accomplishment that I am most proud of is recently becoming an ordained minister at Historic Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church here in Atlanta. I've obtained my master of divinity from the ITC here in Atlanta two years ago, the first in my family to reach this feat. Shiloh church is the 3rd oldest African Church in Atlanta (131 years), the community takes this serious. I've been working towards this for several years and on July 16th 2017 the community voted unanimously to grant me my ministers licenses. 

Q: Please list or describe no more than 3 current and past activities you participated in as a private citizen (not an elected official) in which you have acquired skills and perspectives that will make you a stronger mayor. Include your role in the activity and the year(s) in which you were involved.

A: The first activity I've participated in is a community clean-up and door to door campaign put on by the Atlanta Police Department and the Ashview Heights Community Association. This was an effort to bridge the gap between the community and the police and to make sure that the residents feel safe. The second activity I've participated in is a National Day of Non-Violence put on by the Unite or Die Campaign, a community organization of young people pushing for unity in the community. My role was to bring the residents out, talk, and engage. As well as be a mediator between rival gangs.I was recently awarded "Youth of The Year" by the Unite or Die Campaign for my work in community service and youth mentorship. The third but not final activity I have been apart of is organizing a community town hall to discuss crime, rising property taxes, education and solutions. I was able to encourage about 500 residents to attend this meeting, we meet, debated and found solutions that could help us.


Q: What does it mean to be an Atlantan/ATLien in 140 characters or less?

A: To be an Atlantan means to be one of a kind, to be apart of something greater than yourself.

Q: What is a new slogan for our city that could unite Atlantans and highlight who we are as a people?

A: Atlanta A global city with a local feel


Q: The City of Atlanta currently owns several hundred surplus properties that could be redeveloped. In deciding what to do with these properties, what is the role of community input and when should it take place?

A: The role of community input is extremely important, it should have a seat at the table in any and all decisions when it comes to redeveloping properties within a certain district or community. There should be a representative(s) from the community who understands the history, artistic importance, people, and outcome of any project that happens.

Q: The NPU system was envisioned as a place for communities to engage with development in their neighborhoods. How would your administration support the existing NPU system or seek to change it?

A: Through my role in city council, I would seek to give the NPU system even more influence and reach. Many residents of Atlanta simply don't know or understand what the NPU is, it's all about knowledge and recognition, putting together campaigns and making the NPU's more accessible and attractive to the community.


Q: Give an example of a time when you had to collaborate with many people and/or organizations, especially those who may not hold the same views as you do.

A: Being in ministry for several years I constantly come across individuals with varying views, opinions, and backgrounds. About a year ago there was a protest in the city led by the faith community after the killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer. This was an interfaith march and conversation, I had the role and privilege and moderating the conversation and doing the opening prayer. My goal was to pray and moderate as inclusive as possible so that everyone was included and felt apart of the moment and saw themselves in the story.

Q: Think of one major Atlanta issue impacting the district you seek to serve and that needs to be tackled with a collaborative approach, how would you build relationships across the city and region with other governments, private enterprises, or organizations to effect change in our city?

A: One major issue that impacting my district is poverty, there is so much poverty in my district that many residents here do not feel as though they are apart of this ever growing city. I would make sure that those I collaborate with have a great concrete understanding of what's really going on in district 4. In doing this I believe that there will be greater doors opened for the resources to flow down into the most ignored communities in Atlanta. 


Q: What level of openness and transparency should the citizens of Atlanta expect from city government under your leadership?

A: After so much distrust from the city government over the past 20years, the citizens of Atlanta should expect and get 100% transparency from the city government. In this crucial time and transition with cannot afford to have it any other way; this office does not belong to any one individual, it belongs to the people.

Q: Please describe any policies, programs, or ideas you are considering to increase the transparency of city government, particularly in your office.

A: There a saying that says "the simple things confuses the wise", it's simple upgrade that we need that will make this office 1000 times better. For example a redo of the city office website, clear, direct and precise. within five seconds of visiting the website, any one should be able to find exactly what they are looking for. Programs for the youth in my district is a must, we have several entrepreneurs in this district who only need a bit of help to get access to capital to help fund their projects which will ultimately feed their families.