Job Application: Atlanta City Council - District 2

Candidate Name:
Zelda Jackson


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

A: The most important role of the City Council would be to write legislation and ordinance for the City of Atlanta to operate efficiently. 

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: The recent property tax assessment from Fulton County Board Assessor set me on the trail to fight against the steep increase. I personally addressed the Fulton County Board Assessor concerning the 300% to 500% increase asking, "why such an hefty increase?", and after not receiving an adequate response I filled out an appeal form. After completing my appeal form, I decided to make copies of additional forms for my neighbors to educate, assist them with filling the form out, and convince Fulton County Board Assessors to rescind their assessment. Well after attending many neighborhood meetings with said forms in hand, neighbors homes, answering/receiving phone calls, speaking and being interviewed by radio & news channels the neighbors WON!!! I demonstrated through this one act advocacy, leadership, commitment, dedication, plan of action, follow through, and empathy for my neighbors.

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: I am a member of the Focus Group for Morris Brown College 2012 to present our group basis is fundraising for Morris Brown College, and I am ad hoc board member. This membership allows me to brainstorm fundraising ideas, call banking, utilizing organizational, and interpersonal communication skills. My position as a board member for the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association Jan 2017 to present allows me to travel all over District 2 to meet my neighbors, gain knowledge of what is impacting their neighborhood, and see how the same situation can impact downtown, zoning, liquor licenses, building permits, festival permits, Atlanta Police & Fire, parking, city utilities, graffiti clean ups, parks & recreation, movies, and transportation. Be The Match Marrow Registry 2004 to present this is organization simply about extending human life.


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

A: To be an Atlantan/ATLien means to be southern, cultural, and hospitable.

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

A: Atlanta: A Place You Can Call Home!


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 should take place in the very beginning, and the Council member should identify the properties which are in their district, and hold planning sessions on what the constituents would like to see in their neighborhood.

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: The NPU was designed by Mayor Maynard Jackson in the 70's for the neighborhoods to communicate with him more effectively. Now 40 years later, we as a city are still operating with the same plan. There is a much need for some tweaking in the NPU system. The NPU have become too top heavy with too much power, and the neighborhood associations votes are not being heard or attended. As council member, I would reach out to the neighborhood associations, NPUs, and revamp the power level of the NPUs, term limitations of NPU chairs, and work with my fellow council members to revised the NPU system completely with legislation.


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: The sale of the Atlanta Underground was the hardest defeat I faced in my whole civic community involvement career. I went against Mayor Kasim Reed, Invest Atlanta, and WRS Development to fight the sale of the Underground and lost. I attended numerous meetings which included Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association, Invest Atlanta Board, meetings with the developer WRS which brought back severe negative accounts on how the Atlanta Underground will be developed, and managed by WRS. I have been a beacon to WRS to understand what the neighborhood needs/would like the Underground Atlanta to become, and will continue to do so.

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: Gentrification is the major issue impacting District 2. I will build relationships across the city of Atlanta easily since most all neighborhoods are feeling the negative impact of gentrification. We must become organized on the grassroots level, then educate, and get the whole community from youngest to the oldest involved. We must start developing Workshops and Town Hall meetings in the affected neighborhoods to educate Constituents on what is happening to their community. Each Council Member must have an appointed chair in each neighborhood that will hold monthly meetings to address their concerns of gentrification. The Council Member should appoint chairs ranging from 25 to 35 years of age. The key is to get the involvement of the BUPPIE[i] networking group to sustain growth back into the community.


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

A: An 100% level of openness and transparency is required from Atlanta city government under my leadership as a Council member, and the representative of City Council District 2 this will be given without hesitation.

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

A: I would established mandatory ethical training, and servant leadership classes for credit for any employee of the City of Atlanta. These classes will be required for advancement within the City of Atlanta, and given yearly for follow up studies. As an elected council person, I would also do away with the stamina of being a “whistleblower” too many employees have been penalized, and ridicule by being honest employees and that will stop. I will also established a term limit on Chiefs and Heads of Departments.