December 17th Virtual Transform Westside Summit: Fireside Chat with Council Member-Elects Byron Amos & Jason Dozier
Westside Future Fund’s December 17th Virtual Transform Westside Summit featured Atlanta City Council Member-Elects: Byron Amos, District 3; and Jason Dozier, District 4. John Ahmann, President & CEO of Westside Future Fund, and Ebony Ford, WFF Co-host, moderated the featured panel discussion which centered around improving the quality of life for Historic Westside residents.
Jason Dozier, Councilman-Elect, District 4
Set to be sworn in shortly after New Year’s, the future councilmen shared why they felt compelled to run for office.
Jason Dozier: “My Heart has been with the city and with our communities. I ended up accidentally becoming a community organizer. I show up to a couple neighborhood meetings and they keep asking you to come back and that is really what set me on this journey to decide to run for office. To do what I could to make sure that our communities have a voice at City Hall, that our neighborhoods have a voice at City Hall. Now that I’m in this seat, I’m proud to be here and I want to fulfill that goal to make sure that we have an honest and open and transparent government at City Hall.”
Byron Amos, Councilman-Elect, District 3
Byron Amos: “Over the years, I’ve been able to be an NPU Chair, Vine City Civic Association Chair. I actually ran for this office against the late, great, Ivory Young. A lot of people forgot that. So 20 years later, this is my third time running. We are here, and I say ‘we’ because…District 3 has poured so much into me. So we all take this office. We all take this oath on the third.”
Ebony Ford: “I’ve been hearing a lot about a fresh approach or a new approach. With the new council members coming in, what does that look like to the residents of your districts and what does that actually mean?”
Byron Amos, Councilman-Elect, District 3; Ebony Ford, WFF Co-host
Byron Amos: “In District 3, those words mean something completely different. You know, our leadership has to be responsive; the city has to be responsive to the everyday needs of my residents. So that’s the fresh approach, unfortunately, that I have to bring to the district. When we look at District 3, which has historically had the lowest turnout in voter participation, that has to change and it has to start from the top.”
Councilman-Elect Amos went on to add that his office will prioritize voter engagement, crime, and “affordable living,” which encompasses affordable housing as well as equity in access to necessities and economic opportunity.
John Ahmann, WFF President & CEO; Councilman-Elect Jason Dozier, District 4
Jason Dozier: “Being responsive is definitely something that has to happen. People need to know that their voices are heard. But I think being reflective of the community in any way, shape, and form as possible is important as well. A lot of people don’t show up to neighborhood meetings, don’t show up to NPU meetings. I think a lot about the fact that when decisions get made in my neighborhood meeting…when you see the same 15 to 20 people at every meeting knowing that there’s 2,000 people that live in the neighborhood—is that truly going to reflect the voice of everybody who lives in that community? I want to meet people where they are. I want to go to the MARTA stations. I want to go to the corner stores…Like Byron said, walking with people to talk about the issues in a way that’s going to make sense for them. A lot of people don’t come to those meetings because they feel that their voice has not been heard. They’re tired of filling out surveys and voting for this and voting for that and not having that vote be reflected at the NPU level or at the zoning review board level or City Hall.”
View the entire discussion below.