Tucker, GA — Cara Schroeder hails from Topeka, Kansas, but after graduating from Emory University and living in Tucker for 24 years, she’s a local. She remained in Atlanta after graduation, like many of her Chi Omega sisters, because of the proximity to the mountains and the beach.
Schroeder, 54, runs a consulting firm that helps non-profit organizations secure major funding to address issues including homelessness, farming, community gardens, early childhood learning and refugee services. She is running for Tucker City Council District 2, Post 1.
Schroeder is a longtime volunteer and public servant. She currently serves on Tucker’s Planning Commission, but her accomplishments include serving on the steering committee for the city of Tucker parks master plan and Tucker Community Council from 2016-2020. She estimated that she has been volunteering for DeKalb County and Tucker parks for at least 12 years at Johns Homestead Park, Peters Park, Henderson Park and its community garden.
“I could talk about parks all day,” said Schroeder, who created the Henderson Park trail map.
Schroeder gained a love of nature from her grandfather, who was a farmer. While volunteering with Tucker Civic Association she founded Rivers Alive, a movement to clean up local waterways. She wants to get others involved in shaping the city.
“All residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, background, sexual orientation, gender identity … all have a voice in Tucker. I encourage everyone to come to community meetings, city council meetings and use your voice,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder is running on three issues: inclusion in local government, making improvements to Lawrenceville Highway business district corridor, and continuing to implement Tucker Tomorrow comprehensive plan.
She sees the opportunity for Tucker to continue growing, like at Fitzgerald Field. While working on Tucker’s parks master plan, Schroeder recognized that residents want recreation opportunities for younger people and adults. Fitzgerald Field is a great opportunity because once the facility is built up, Tucker can become a sought-after place to host professional, league and high school sporting events, Schroeder said.
Recently, City Council members have been exploring taking over some services provided by DeKalb County. But Schroeder is cautious, saying the city needs to continue doing its homework.
“The city is already paving roads and building sidewalks,” she said. “We may need to maintain and take over Public Works. I’m always about if you’re investing in projects, you need to take care of what you invest in. My husband and I live by that.”
Schroeder is in agreement with the city’s recent urban camping ordinance. From her experience working with non-profits to tackle homelessness, she has a keen understanding of the “tough issue.” If elected, she said she will monitor how the ordinance is working with police and city staff.
Overall, Schroeder considers herself involved in founding of city and she wants to be a part of the future, too. She said if she is elected as a city council member, she will pay close attention to supporting community concerns.
“If I am elected to serve on City Council, my role would not only be to create legislation and policy, but ultimately, to address the concerns of our Tucker community,” she said. “I believe my leadership and experience will help me be a very good city council member.”
Other candidates who have announced a run this year are:
– Imani Barnes, candidate for District 2, Post 1
– Cara Schroeder, candidate for District 2, Post 1
– Shawn Woods, candidate for District 1, Post 2
– Virginia Reece, candidate for District 1, Post 2
– Roger Orlando, candidate for District 1, Post 1
The seats on the ballot this year are:
– Mayor, post currently held by Frank Auman
– District 1 Post 1, currently held by Pat Soltys
– District 2 Post 1, currently held by Matt Robbins
– District 3 Post 1, currently held by Michelle Penkava
– District 1, Post 2 is vacant and was held by the late Bill Rosenfeld
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