District 5 includes: Cabbagetown, East Atlanta, East Lake, Edgewood, Glenwood, Kirkwood, Reynoldstown and Old Fourth Ward.

Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, chose not to endorse in this race.

According to rankings by the non-partisan Committee for a Better Atlanta, Archibong scored a “well qualified” with an 87; Rinker scored 85 for “well qualified”; Enterkin scored 71; and Michalik did not participate.

In recent weeks, the District 5 race has become somewhat controversial. Last month, Archibong settled with the city’s Board of Etchics to pay a $250 fine for failing to disclose paying her brother’s company more than $11,000 between 2007 and 2008. Read the entire settlement agreement, provided by Creative Loafing.

According to the settlement, Archibong cooperated fully with the investigation and stated she did not “intentionally” violate the Code of Ethics.

Enterkin said in a statement to Creative Loafing, “As a resident and taxpayer, I’m very disappointed that Incumbent Natalyn Archibong paid her brother over eleven thousand taxpayer dollars ($11,013.46, to be precise) and failed to disclose it until an ethics charge was filed against her. Archibong (an attorney) should easily understand basic ethics laws. The voters in District 5 deserve a councilmember who will maintain high ethical standards and who will not put family members on payroll.”

Then, a YouTube video was released last week that allegedly shows a person stealing one of Archibong’s campaign signs from a supporter’s lawn.

Archibong posted on her website this response to the video:

“Over the past few weeks I have been contacted by many of you about the negative campaign tactics of some of my opponents. Up until now, I have been silent because I recognize an individual’s right to run for public office, and respect the hard work of challengers to get their message out.

But when the rights of our neighbors are violated, because of who they support, I must say enough is enough.  I have recently been made aware of a video that shows— what has been reported as— one of my opponent’s team members criminally trespassing on a neighbor’s private property to steal an Archibong yard sign. Perhaps, even more egregious is their attempt to suppress the first Amendment rights of our neighbors.

We have worked too hard to get District 5 where it is today. Though there is still work to be done, there are few who can argue with our progress. When I committed to run for re-election, my decision was based on my record and commitment to serve—not fear tactics and politically charged moves to suppress the rights of our neighbors!

Natalyn Archibong, incumbent
www.natalynmosbyarchibong.com
Occupation: Attorney at Law
Party affiliation: Democrat
Total campaign budget: $100,000
• As of Sept. 30, Archibong raised $52,315.88 and has $29,455.35 cash on hand, according to Georgia Ethics Commission. Donations this quarter includes $2,500 from Mayor Kasim Reed’s war chest of more than $2 million.

Endorsements to date: International Brotherhood of Police Officers, PACE, Atlanta Professional Fire Fighters Association, Atlanta Board of Realtors, Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, The Buckhead Coalition, Atlanta Progressive News, and the Atlanta Labor Council, openly lesbian State Rep. Keisha Waites. Was also rated “Excellent” by The Committee for a Better Atlanta.

As the incumbent, why should LGBT people continue to support you being in office?
The LGBT community should support my candidacy because of my legislative record which includes supporting marriage equality [and] opposing the legislation, which would have precluded strip clubs on Cheshire Bridge Road. In addition, I have effectively represented the diverse constituency living in Council District 5. The LGBT community should continue to support me because of my proven and consistent record of being inclusive and supportive of matters of importance to them. According to Georgia Equality, I am an ally of the LGBT community.

Have you been contacted by any LGBT residents? What issues have they raised or discussed with you?
Yes. The issues were the same as issues other constituents presented to me. As an example, Kevin Spiegner and his partner, Steve, have worked with me to establish a community beautification program. I have received positive feedback from LGBT constituents on my vote to support marriage equality and the fight to extend bar hours.

What is your involvement with or within the LGBT community?

I enjoy broad support from Council District 5 constituents who are members of the LGBT community.  I vehemently oppose discriminatory, judgmental or exclusionary actions.  My legal services have been listed in Gayborhood, and I have many LGBT clients in my legal practice.
 
What are the two most important challenges all residents in your city face in the next two years? What do you propose as solutions to these challenges?
 
The two most important challenges facing all Atlanta residents are addressing traffic congestion/gridlock, and addressing crime.

Solutions to our traffic issues will involve fully implementing the Connect Atlanta Plan, and working with our regional partners to strengthen public transportation options. Our progress will be furthered because we have a strong infrastructure to support our transportation vision through MARTA, the Beltline, and the Atlanta Streetcar. 

Regarding reducing crime in our city, we must invest more money in the installation of cameras throughout the city which would be linked to the Police Foundation’s Video Integration Center (VIC). In addition, we should expand our police take home vehicle program to increase visibility in communities where these cars are parked overnight.  Also, we must maintain or exceed our staffing goal of having 2,000 sworn officers.
 
Why should LGBT voters support your candidacy?

The LGBT community should support my candidacy because of my legislative record which includes: supporting marriage equality, opposing the legislation which would have precluded strip clubs on Cheshirebridge Road.  In addition, I have effectively represented the diverse constituency living in Council District 5.

Given that LGBT residents make up nearly 11 percent of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District (encompassing Atlanta), and the fact that there are roughly 180,000 LGBT residents in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area, please explain how you would work with the Atlanta mayor in order to ensure this diversity is reflected in the leadership roles of your municipality’s non-elected workforce.
 
In 2010, I led the charge to have Renee Propes, openly lesbian, to be promoted to Deputy Chief of APD. I applaud the Mayor’s recent appointment of Robin Shahar a lesbian attorney working in Atlanta’s City Attorney Office, to serve as his advisor on LGBT matters. Diversity is key to the strength and vitality of our city. I fully support the mayor’s efforts to increase the representation of the LGBT community in key roles in our city government.
 
If elected, in what ways would you serve an advocate for the LGBT community through interactions with other governmental bodies, such as the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, and the federal government, particularly on issues sensitive to the LGBT population, including marriage equality, military service, accurate counting in the U.S. Census, and health-care?
Over the past 12 years, I have been honored to join my colleagues in forwarding resolutions to both the federal and state governments regarding such important issues as our support for the Marriage Equality Act. When re-elected, I will continue to support programs, human and civil rights, and initiatives in furtherance of matters of importance to the LBGT community.
 
If re-elected, in what ways would you advocate support for people living with HIV/AIDS?
I have consistently supported the use of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA) funds for supportive housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS. I will continue to support such funding initiatives, as well as working to secure additional funds for this purpose.
 
If re-elected, in what ways would you advocate for increased support, housing and services for transgender individuals?
It is well established that issues of homelessness and housing discrimination disproportionately affect transgendered individuals. I support the expansion of our homelessness prevention and supportive housing programs especially to assist transgender persons, and I would support the hiring of staff specifically trained to address the unique and specialized challenges often facing transgendered individuals.
 
Would you appoint openly-LGBT individuals to local boards and commissions?
Yes, I would continue to support the appointment of openly LGBT individuals to boards and commissions in our city. For example, I appointed Freddie Styles, who is openly gay, to the Urban Design Commission. It has never been my practice or intention to discriminate against any potential nominee for a board or commission. However, I do look for diversity among individuals recommended for such service. Overall, I recommend and select individuals to serve on boards and commissions based upon their competence and willingness to serve the diverse constituencies of our City and of Council District 5.
 
Do you support a policy of dealing with transgender sex workers that include supporting organizations working with the population to provide housing, substance abuse treatment, job training and assistance, and HIV prevention? Specifically, how would you deal with the”banishment” law proposed?
Yes. Too often, transgendered individuals resort to sex work as the result of being discriminated against and/or having low job skills. Interventions such as housing support, substance abuse prevention and treatment, job training programs, and HIV prevention will provide a pathway and safety net which will allow for viable alternatives to sex work. I do not support the banishment of street level sex workers proposed by Atlanta Police Chief Turner. The Public Safety Committee of the City Council has established a working group to reduce prostitution. Recommendations from the working group will be instrumental in finding alternatives to the banishment of sex workers proposed by Chief Turner. We must include supportive services to any proposed solution.
 

Matt Rinker
www.mattrinkerforatlanta.com
Occupation: Property Management (Multi-Family Housing)
Party Affiliation: Democrat, but Atlanta Municipal elections are non-partisan and I am proud to have support from people of all parties.
What is the total budget for your campaign: We have raised approximately $35,000 to date.
• As of Sept. 30, Rinker raised $25,892.01 and has cash on hand of $13,368.06, according to the Georgia Ethics Commission.
Endorsements to date: Log Cabin Republicans, Atlanta Apartment Association, Georgia Apartment Association.

Why did you decide to run against Archibong?
Like so many of my neighbors and like so many business owners throughout East Atlanta, Kirkwood, Cabbagetown and the rest of District Five, I was fed up with crime plaguing my neighborhood, roads and sidewalks that remain in terrible condition and businesses moving out of our area because of these things. I got tired of waiting for results from our councilwoman only to have the same issues recur year after year. I was exhausted hearing of votes Ms. Archibong has taken against the Beltline, against letting us decide on Sunday alcohol sales, and for a costly stadium [for the Atlanta Falcons]. The more I researched who was representing me, the more dissatisfied I became.

If elected, in what ways would you advocate support for people living with HIV/AIDS?
Atlanta still ranks high for number of new infections and has changed little over the years. There was great educational efforts, specifically through the LGBT community, in the 1990s about HIV/AIDS and we started to see numbers drop. We need to return to educating teenagers and adults on the ways to prevent transmission. Supporting and helping groups like AID Atlanta, MISTER, and Positive Impact are just some ways to make sure that education continues but we must teach prevention methods to our younger population as well.

What is your ivolvement with or within the LGBT community? 
I am very active in the LGBT community spending my time raising money for organizations like CHRIS Kids, Georgia Safe Schools Coalition, The Trevor Project, and Lost-N-Found Youth.  I currently am the Assistant Commissioner of the Hotlanta Softball League which is the largest LGBT sports organization in metro-Atlanta and one of the largest LGBT softball leagues in the country.  I am a member of the ATLAS Bowling League.

I have volunteered my time as a volunteer for Atlanta Pride and have served as a sponsor for Georgia Equality’s Evening for Equality as well as a Table Captain for Victory Fund’s Champagne Brunch.  I previously interned in Washington, D.C., for the Human Rights Campaign as well.  I have a long history in the LGBT community. I am the only candidate in this race who has walked in FIVE Atlanta Pride Parades representing LGBT Businesses, AID Atlanta, and more. I am proud to be an active member of the Atlanta LGBT Community.

What are the two most important challenges all residents in Atlanta in the next two years? What do you propose as solutions to these challenges?
For Edgewood, Reynoldstown, East Lake and the rest of District Five, crime still continues to be the number one issue that I hear from the neighbors and business owners I talk with throughout the area. When a couple can’t walk down the street without the fear of being robbed, or a young man with friends can’t walk to the neighborhood bar without fear of being shot, we have a real issue. The solutions are simple – get our street lights burning bright, provide our law enforcement the tools they need, and strengthen our neighborhood groups so they can work cooperative to help prevent crime. Drive down any street in East Atlanta or Edgewood and street light after street light is dark.

The second important challenge that is facing the city is improving infrastructure. Our roads are riddled with potholes and steel plates. Our sidewalks are in such poor condition that it is impossible to walk down our streets without tripping – and even harder if you must use a wheelchair. We have a $152 million backlog in repairs to sidewalks that won’t get fixed under our current policies. We need change. Currently sidewalk repairs are left to the property owner and it is obviously not working. The city must take this project on and get our sidewalks in a suitable condition. We must monitor repairs to utilities in the roads and require prompt repair to the streets.

These are not complex issues but they require a councilmember who will show up for the job. Someone who will work with individual departments within the city government to get better policies in place. Someone who will work everyday – not just in election years.

Have you been contacted by LGBT residents? What issues have they raised or discussed with you?
East Atlanta, Kirkwood, Edgewood, Reynoldstown and the other neighborhoods of District Five are home to a diverse range of residents, many of whom identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. I have spoken with many LGBT neighbors, and repeatedly the issues that they raise are the same as our non-LGBT neighbors. Crime is an issue that concerns all residents of the District – from Cabbagetown to East Lake.  

Why should LGBT people support your candidacy?
LGBT voters should support me for the same reasons that non-LGBT voters should support me. I want to bring common sense, independent, fresh ideas to our Atlanta City Council. I will work everyday to solve the issues that have continued to hold our neighborhoods back. Working to reduce crime, improve city services, and supporting and promoting small businesses in our district are my top priorities. In addition, I have been an avid volunteer and supporter of the LGBT community through my work fundraising for LGBT charitable organizations, volunteering for Atlanta Pride, and other groups.

Given that LGBT residents make up nearly 11 percent of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District (encompassing Atlanta), and the fact that there are roughly 180,000 LGBT residents in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area, please explain how you would work with the Atlanta mayor in order to ensure this diversity is reflected in the leadership roles of your municipality’s non-elected workforce.
Diversity in our city government is imperative to making sure that ALL residents of our great city feel represented. I will build a relationship with the Mayor and urge him to look at qualified, LGBT candidates and ally candidates when he is making appointments. In addition, on other appointments that come before the Council, I will question nominees on their beliefs on issues that affect the city and the LGBT community.

If elected, in what ways would you serve an advocate for the LGBT community of your municipality through interactions with other governmental bodies, such as the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, and the federal government, particularly on issues sensitive to the LGBT population, including marriage equality, military service, accurate counting in the U.S. Census, and health-care?
• On Marriage Equality:  As an openly gay elected official, I will work to advance Marriage Equality in our state and across the country. There should be no barriers for two people who love each other to share that love and be recognized equally by our government.   
• On Military Service:  I have had many friends who served in our military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Now that the policy no longer exists, we must support members of the military serve.  
• On US Census:  In the next census, we must encourage our LGBT neighbors to complete the survey accurately and to be counted. I will work to encourage our LGBT neighbors to check the box and be counted.
• On Health Care:  So much has changed with the new healthcare law, as an elected official I will work to educate LGBT and non-LGBT constituents on the new law and their rights and obligations.

If elected, in what ways would you advocate for increased support, housing and services for transgender individuals?
Promoting education on this issue is important in removing misconceptions about transgender individuals. Whenever possible, I will work to provide support, housing and additional services for transgender individuals.

Would you appoint openly-LGBT individuals to local boards and commissions?
Our city has such a diverse, rich base of residents of all walks of life. Our LGBT community is woven into the fabric of practically every neighborhood in Atlanta, and especially in the District Five neighborhoods. When I am in office, I will appoint qualified individuals to local boards and commissions.

Do you support a policy of dealing with transgender sex workers that include supporting organizations working with the population to provide housing, substance abuse treatment, job training and assistance, and HIV prevention? Specifically, how would you deal with the”banishment” law proposed?
As stated in many of my answers, I will work to provide support to organizations working with transgender individuals. Due to the stigma that is often associated with someone being transgender, they find it hard to secure employment and unfortunately many work in the sex industry. We must educate people about transgender individuals, but we must also provide assistance to transgender individuals. I oppose the “banishment” law that was proposed because it simply takes a “not in my backyard” approach to solving a problem. If we want to stop sex workers from working on the streets, we must provide educational opportunities, housing options, and other resources.

Christian Enterkin
www.christianenterkin.com
Occupation: Vice President of Acquisitions at Landmark Dividend
Party Affiliation: Independent
Endorsements to date: We are proud to boast support throughout the Atlanta community and from all walks of life, including: Wilmot Irvin, Blaine Palmer, Jeri Fendler, Claire Colbert and Karen Geney [partner of former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard].
What is the total budget for your campaign: $75,000
• As of Sept. 30, Enterkin has raised $14,757 and has $9,089.94 cash on hand, according to Georgia Ethics Commission.

Why should LGBT voters support your candidacy?
Our campaign is committed to protecting the human rights of all citizens in Atlanta. My life record speaks for itself ― I have always been dedicated to equality. As your next city council member, I will work tirelessly to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table. My district has a growing LGBT population. Many want to see more representation in city government and more attentiveness to sensitivity training for our public safety officials.

What is your involvement with the LGBT community?
I have been a progressive advocate for years. I have lobbied the Georgia Assembly for same-sex marriage, volunteered with the Human Rights Campaign and have participated in several events supporting the organization.

Why did you decide to run against the incumbent?
I decided to run after many years of experiencing poor constituent services and lack of responsiveness with the incumbent’s office.  This level of complacency should not be tolerated in a city as great as Atlanta. Also, as a victim of crime in our district, I believe that we all deserve pro-active leadership that fervently seeks to improve public safety.

What are the two most important challenges all residents in your city face in the next two years? What do you propose as solutions to these challenges?
Public safety and Infrastructure. I propose getting our police officers out of their patrol cars and having them walk through the community to become acquainted with those who reside in our neighborhoods and with those who work in our business district. As I travel the city of Atlanta, I have noticed that our roads are mostly in poor condition. Streets aren’t being swept, and many sidewalks are either run-down or are non-existent.  Once elected to city council, I will work with my colleagues to make repairing roads and building more sidewalks a top budget priority.

What issues have LGBT residents raised with you?
As I campaign throughout the district, I meet members of the LGBT community frequently. The overwhelming majority are concerned about their safety, ability to gain employment, and improving their quality of life.

Given that LGBT residents make up nearly 11 percent of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District (encompassing Atlanta), and the fact that there are roughly 180,000 LGBT residents in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area, please explain how you would work with the Atlanta mayor in order to ensure this diversity is reflected in the leadership roles of your municipality’s non-elected workforce.
I believe our city government work force should reflect our population. We have tremendous talent in the Metro Atlanta area. Once elected, I will be among the biggest advocates for diversity in leadership. I will work alongside the Mayor and my council colleagues to make sure all department heads employ fair hiring practices across the board.

If elected, in what ways would you serve an advocate for the LGBT community through interactions with other governmental bodies, such as the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, and the federal government, particularly on issues sensitive to the LGBT population, including marriage equality, military service, accurate counting in the U.S. Census, and health-care?
I will make myself available to our legislative delegation in regard to creating and protecting the human rights of all Georgians. In my personal life, I have lobbied the General Assembly in support of marriage equality and fair hiring practices. That work will not end once elected. I look forward to working alongside organizations like yours that share a common commitment to human rights and freedoms for all.

On Marriage Equality: I support marriage equality 100%.
On Military Service: I support everyone who wishes to serve in our military.
On US Census: I support allowing people being identified as LGBT on the census.
On Health Care: I support equality for LGBT.

If elected, in what ways would you advocate support for people living with HIV/AIDS?
We must make it a priority to provide funds for existing organizations in the community that assist help those who cannot afford adequate care. We will also work to remove negative stigmas that can be associated with those living with HIV/AIDS. Through education, hearts and minds can be changed. Through knowledge, hearts can be open.

If elected, in what ways would you advocate for increased support, housing and services for transgender individuals?
I will research the issue to seek answers on ways I can increase support for housing and other services for transgender individuals. The Fair Housing Act should be applicable to everyone.

Would you appoint openly-LGBT individuals to local boards and commissions?
YES!

Do you support a policy of dealing with transgender sex workers that include supporting organizations working with the population to provide housing, substance abuse treatment, job training and assistance, and HIV prevention? Specifically, how would you deal with the”banishment” law proposed?
Yes. As a city, we should do all we can to support organizations and other entities that are committed to making sure these populations are enriched and protected. I will always be a reliable voice to encourage accessibility to job training and treatment services. There should be many organizations and city sponsors who assist other organizations – and individuals – that are in need of support. I believe government can play a more supportive role in helping to make communities a better place.



John Paul Michalik
www.growatlanta.org
Occupation: Design/Build
Party Affiliation: Common sense party/(Golden Unicorns)
Endorsements to date: Everyone I have spoken with.
Previous elected offices held: President Old Fourth Ward & Sweet Auburn Neighborhood District 2010, 2011 (4th& S.A.N.D.).
What is the total budget for your campaign: $3,000
• As of Sept. 30, Michalik reports no money raised and a negative balance of $1,184.19, according to the state Ethics Commission.

Have you been contacted by any LGBT residents of your city? What issues have they raised or discussed with you?
Yes. They hate the idea of wasting all that money on building a new [football] stadium.

Why should LGBT voters support your candidacy?
Easy, I treat everyone as if they were a good neighbor, with respect.

If elected, in what ways would you advocate for increased support, housing and services for transgender individuals?
A more effective work force will save money, lower taxes and that would be good for everyone. That’s why my website is www.growatlanta.org.

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