Mary Norwood @ CCI
#cci #atlanta #atlmayor2017
@ CCI March 7th, 2017
Maybe 40 people here?
CCI has been around for 2.5y
Why do you do the work that you do?
- her mother was carl sanders first girlfriend
- Went to Emory
- Ran radio stations
- 1988: CoA historic preservation ordinance
- Her parents co- founded Georgia Trust for historic preservation
- Protective zoning for neighborhoods. She spent a year, getting 400 Citizens in the community, Carl former governor, former mayor Ivan Allen… lost by 1 vote at city council. Saw this as an injustice.
- Lives in a modest house in an affluent part of the city. Husband is a pediatrician.
- Got involved in the 90s,
- 2001, ran for city council
She grew up in Augusta
She’s eldest of 6, 15y split. “When you look at all of us, you can tell there wasn’t a mailman”
SweetBriar college (VA) and Emory
“When I ran for mayor last time”
On city council for 2 terms. Had run for city council countywide 2 times
Lost mayoral bid by 714 votes out of 82k
What drew you back to GA?
- ” I was transferring schools for a guy, and that didn’t work out so good”
- Started as secretary at a radio station, in 5y was the Vice President
- “my father wanted me to have good grades, my mother wanted me to have an active social life, …”
- She dodged what she studied, specifically
- Loved Manuel’s and Moe’s and Joes
- Chi Theta sorority (?)
- “You choose your friends, you get your family”
- Mentions her brother who “runs for things”, “to the right of Attila the Hun”
- Leon Eplin said: “Mary, there is nothing in preservation in Atlanta”
- “Very interested in rewriting zoning code, () the tree ordinance, …
- Very interested in supporting Tim Keane
- “We need conservation easements, ways where people will not be taxed to death for having trees on their acreage”
- “Preserving these neighborhoods that we have”
MC: we can identify problems all day long.
MC: What kind of music did the radio station play?
- WQXI: 1948, 25 radio stations across the southeast. Rhythm and Blues stations. Rock, elevator music stations
- one thing she learned from the radio advertising business, put up signs next to where your competitors’ employees work to demoralize them
- “If you look across Atlanta, you see a lot of blue yard signs, it’s called ‘sieze the landscape’”
- she hired a programmer to make robo calls
- historic preservation
First volunteer coordinator for Trees Atlanta
Why public office?
- she raised 150k, had the ear of Bill Campbell
- horrible project was going to be a holding tank at the topside soccer fields, near her neighborhood, but “what they needed to do was to build a tunnel underground”
- Buckhead never expanded sewer with commercial explosion
“I knew I could be a lot more effective if I had a vote on city council”
“Density on our corridors”
“In Atlanta, what makes us special is our neighborhoods are right smack against commercial”
- mentions peachtree circle
Jane Harmon: for 30 years, went to town and said don’t do this rezoning
“Don’t come into our neighborhoods”
“Politics gets political”
“Make it easy for the person to say yes”
She proposed a compromise for the rezoning along 14th, 17th
MC: do you think race has something to do with this?
- Look at 1990
- neighborhoods on
She pulls out a map of neighborhoods as her “show and tell”
Suggests some people on the north and east sides may have seen “overdevelopment”, whereas south and west have not seen enough development
Central business district in Buckhead
“The Lenox superblock is one of the most densely zoned blocks in the us”
MC: we haven’t just left people behind, we’ve forgotten them. A part of the city feels like whoever the next mayor is, I’m going to be forgotten
- “I am on the ground, I’ve been here for 25 years, so I understand”
- “In 1990s I was head of the Clean Cities initiative
- “I have been on the code enforcement commission for last 3 years
- Refers to mortgage crisis as a tsunami. “We’ve wiped out communities”
- “We can’t do better until we change the laws”
- “At my level as a councilperson, I don’t have that power
- “If you want to make real change in this town, you’ve got to be the mayor”
MC: my question is more around communities not being heard.
- I am forming a citywide group of neighborhood ambassadors. We’re 2/3rds of the way there now. They will form a neighborhood committee in my administration. This will not replace the NPU system
- “If we didn’t have that NPU system, half of these neighborhoods would be gone
Leon Uplin created NPU system.
she mentions “drug boys” who could be identified by these neighborhood ambassadors
MC: “we have a broken system of engagement, and you’re saying we need to protect it, but how do we fix it?… I’m not telling you to repeal and replace”
- “I commit today that we will work to make that better”
MC: “let me be real with you about how I feel about this… when residents have to fight for water, I’m scared about what we’ve done to communities in this city.
She talks about repeat offenders program
“We have got to get them out of that trap”
Wants to get young people redirected
It will be a major part of making sure that everyone…
MC: if we’re not taking about schools when we talk about criminal justice, then we’re missing the point
- talks about how cops used to be deployed at schools, but school board took that back.
- She thinks we need a youth employment program
MC: how does a city more evenly distribute resources? Evaluate effectiveness of programs. Other ways we could reform community engagement? Would you change power structure of NPU
- “I’ve been in the radio business. I’ve been making robo calls… I’ve been communicating with people forever
- “I’m going to be on the ground.
- “I am a sound bite kinda gal, which is why I have broad support across the city
MC: how would info from neighborhoods come into the city administration
- “in addition the the usual ways that people communicate”, people lobby all the time
- “We are a city of neighborhoods… I want government to get out of the way”
MC: there are systematic issues including the NPU system, that are not getting community voices. ()
MC: Id like to talk about identity protection. Orlando. How do we protect issues that are playing out nationally?
- “I have tremendous support in the LGBTQ community
- MC laughs, I’m sorry, you said tremendous
- “I have been ahead of issues in that community for years
- “I have spent 25 years in communities, so everyone in this town is important to me
MC: we have ICE raids, 4 Atlanta mosques had bomb threats yesterday (Mary: in this city? Yes)
Should Atl be a sanctuary city?
- “Number 1: I have not made a decision on sanctuary cities
MC: do you think we should be a sanctuary city
- “we’ll discuss that next time I’m here
- She takes a question from the audience, saying “I’ve been here an hour, and I’m going to take questions
- Rohit is flustered
Question: your body language says that you disagree about inequality in the city…
- “there was not one nice picture of…” English avenue and Vine City. Suggests that that is not representative of the westside. That other neighborhoods are different.
- “I know that may be simplistic to you, Rohit
- “we’ve got to retrofit where we’ve got congestion
- “It matters to Beecher hills, it matters to Norwood Hills
- “Criminal justice, that is fulton county, health, that is fulton county
- “let me give you an example, this is where politics is miserable, Felicia Moore wanted a publix at ()
- “I’ve got a long history on a lot of things
Question: Ben foster from the Atlanta Bicycle Commission. Last two years, citizens have voted to tax themselves. How would you ensure that our infrastructure is high quality
- “overhaul permitting, bid processes
- “Have good people on the ground
- “In 2000, with Nancy creek sewer tunnel, I wanted a technical oversight committee
- “If you don’t know what a tbm was, I don’t want you at the table” (a TBM is a tunnel boring machine
- “I will utilize that type of. when you are CEO, you have to set the tone”
Question: Ansley Wipple, what does “on the ground” mean
- “say you have a problematic abandoned house… people get very scared of eminent domain, and I am too… but when you’ve got open and abandoned houses… the people who know those areas best live there
- 250 horizontal neighborhoods and 50 vertical neighborhoods
- meetings with Mary
Question: Jeffrey Wiser, what does a great citizen look like to you?
- “I want people to feel engaged and communicated with
- “Whether it’s park Atlanta, the false alarms the cry wolf, where you have to pay the fine if the alarm goes off again
- mentions that the city was going to get a new area code that would’ve been split along I-20, and she pushed back against that
Question: Michelle Shriner, part of old fourth ward. How would you change the website for the city of Atlanta ?
- “I think we need different proposals
- “you need to have focus groups
- “I would get a whole lot of people smarter than I to take a look at it
- mentions that she had one of the first working computer telephony programs on the internet for robo calls
Question: Emma Tinsley, I want to hear about what you want to do in the future. What would you do for those that don’t have a high quality of life, immigrants and refugees, people who live in gentrifying areas.
- “I think the mayors role is to provide the services that it is in charge of providing, it needs to be clean” we need to address abandoned buildings
- “How are we going to get new development if we’re not doing the basics?
- “Development goes where it feels like it will get a good return on investment
- “city never processed paperwork” for a 350k project to clean up interstate on-ramps
Question: Vicky asks about Pine Street mission
- “number 1, I don’t have current information on what the administration is doing
- “I have not been a fan” - she wanted security guards there
- Wants to have work for young people
- MC: but the question is about homeless, what would you do?
- “I would sit down, and come up with some kind of understanding about what is appropriate behavior
- “I said just get some security guards,
- “I like Georgia Works
- “every life ought to have dignity
Question: mental health services and homeless, how does a mayor look at where we put those services?
- “people need something to do all day long
- “I like first step staffing, which was in the paper this morning
- “I want everyone who can work to be working, do what Alburqurqe is doing.
Question: Jeff roning (met through TJ, runs campaigns), as a mayor how do you focus on systemic problems where there aren’t successes. Someone else suggests an issue: housing affordability along the Beltline
- “we already had affordable housing as part of the Beltline. Housing affordability is very difficult. Right now, people are saying there is nothing affordable in the city. I know that is not the case. I’ve been a real estate broker. I know what houses are being sold for… yes, along the Beltline you will have pressure, because as people want to live somewhere, prices go up
- “We need people close to where they work
- “An employer funded housing initiative
- Atlanta neighborhood development partnership
- “give employers subsidized units to provide to employees
- “In Buckhead 98% of people who work there do not live there” (that fact seems wrong) mentions that people shouldn’t sit on arterial roads for 2 hrs in traffic
Question: programs put forward favor people in traditional work environments. By 2020, 40% contingency workforce
- “at a barbershop at Rowley and MLK” someone she met bought 5 houses for 65K
- “When you disaggregate our city, there are ways you can take advantage of housing you have out there
- Housing opportunity bond, “we just passed that yesterday
MC: When Mary Norwood walks in to a room, what’s the theme song that plays
- “I have no idea. Y’all have been listening to me for an house, what would y’all say?
- Someone: “This girl’s on fire