Many issues continue to grow in Tucker as we face many challenges with cultural and economic change. As a candidate for City Council, I will address the needed area often overlooked in this City. Currently, Tucker needs affordable housing, more accessible resources, education for ESL residents, equity, and cultural diversity collaboration. The City of Tucker has limited provisions for the homeless, fails to address the sex trafficking in hotels, and lacks human services as numerous continue to navigate through the financial challenges due to COVID-19.
The City of Tucker has grown in population within the last seven years, and affordable housing has been an issue for several years. Even the apartments have high rent with an average of $1300-$2400, making it very challenging for singles and families to dwell in the vicinity. A proposal of townhomes or single-family ranch homes has been suggested on countless occasions. Our goal is to provide affordable homes, townhomes, as $1300-$2400 is a mortgage payment, and thus increase sustainable residents within the community. Our solution consists of the First Time Homebuyers Program, offered monthly to assist those on the pathway to homeownership. Financial literacy, down payment assistance, and protection of assets are just some of the topics covered.
Dekalb County has witnessed several cities pass the Urban Ban, which prevents the homeless population from camping or sleeping on public property. For years, I have assisted the homeless here in Tucker and downtown Atlanta. There is no one solution to the challenge of placement, but not having any resources or arresting the homeless in the Tucker community is unacceptable. In March 2021, the current Council members and Mayor of Tucker passed the Urban Ban without consulting the leaders and professional advocates to the homeless population. Currently, there still is no active Homeless Task Force to assist. This will be one area of resolve, as I have helped several of our homeless, know them by name, and have helped placed some in continuum care. One victory for homeless placement occurred earlier this year in February, as I assisted the ‘Po Folks lady” by placing her in continuum care and eventually reunited with family. It was a great victory for several in Tucker as many loved and cared for this person.
Over the years, the demographics of Tucker have changed for the better, and we now have a city that is diverse but still lacks in the representation of cultural diversity. Last year when Black Lives Matter and Walks for Justice were occurring all across America, the City of Tucker failed to hold or acknowledge the need. However, surrounding communities were holding a peaceful protest.
To assist the citizens of Tucker, a business owner and I headed up the “ Tucker Walk for Justice. “ Despite the challenges we faced of conducting a peaceful protest and the denial of support from the current administration, on June 27, 2020, over 147 Tucker residents came together to walk for justice and break down the walls of discrimination and racial injustice. It was a beautiful day, and Tucker citizens came together to fight the one thing that hinders us all: DISCRIMINATION.
Startup and Small Business Development is a priority to any community. Due to the change in economy and finances, Dekalb County has lost 30% of small businesses, as several failed to meet the criteria for funding due to a lack of criteria and fundaments. In Tucker, we have witnessed several small businesses closing, as the resources for small businesses were not offered. Small business development and funding are important in any community, especially those with less than 50,000 people, as the local economy depends on support.
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