Editor’s note: Decaturish and the Tucker Observer have published an Elections Guide, a 76-page e-edition featuring Q&As with nearly every candidate running in our communities. To see it, click here. This special e-edition features candidates running for public office in Decatur, Avondale Estates, Atlanta City Council District 5, Clarkston Tucker and Stone Mountain. There is a PDF version of this, which you can see by clicking here, but due to the format of this e-edition, we strongly encourage you to use the e-reader version.
The Tucker Observer provided each candidate in our local races with a series of questions about local issues. Here are the answers of candidate Karen Peters-Rivers, who is running for District 1, Post 1 on the Tucker City Council. The answers have not been edited.
1) Why are you running for this office?
Diversity. I want to ensure all citizens of Tucker feel represented and that their voice matters.
2) What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?
I am Tucker. I was born here, reared my child here, and have deep roots in the Tucker community. While volunteering in the voting system for the past six years I have been able to engage with our citizens and have a deep understanding of their needs.
3) If elected, what are your top two or three priorities?
Better engagement. I want to build better relationships within Tucker by facilitating Town Hall meetings, a place where our citizens’ voices can be heard on their issues and concerns for our community.
Revitalize. I want to build better relations between the community and our safety providers by hosting events focused on positive communications with law enforcement.
4) In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the city of Tucker?
Infrastructure. Crumbling streets, potholes, and improper drainage creates a growing problem for our residents.
Diversity. I want to see the economic growth of Tucker expand to include more local and cultural businesses.
5) What is your opinion of Tucker’s current mayor and who will you be voting for in the mayoral election?
While I haven’t settled on a candidate, I have worked with the Current Mayor on many community affairs and have always had positive results. I feel that Tucker is growing and we need a mayor who is amenable to change.
6) What is your opinion of Tucker’s current city manager?
We’ve only had the chance to speak briefly. I’ve heard positive things and look forward to our interaction.
7) What is your current opinion of the DeKalb County Police Department and are there any changes you would advocate for if you are elected?
I have had positive interactions with the Dekalb County Police Department because we have had an opportunity to build rapports at local events. If elected, I would advocate for more friendly interaction and dialogue between our citizens and police force.
8) Tucker residents, all involved in boards or committees in city government, drafted a non-discrimination ordinance. Many of the cities surrounding Tucker have an NDO, yet Tucker City Council has not brought it for a discussion. What is your position on the non-discrimination ordinance?
I support the Non Discrimantion Ordinance for Tucker. I believe in protection from discrimination for our city’s patrons and accountablility for those who violate their rights. This NDO is essential for keeping Tucker attractive to investors and guests alike.
9) Racial justice and diversity have been points of conversation over the last year. What will you do to promote racial justice and diversity in the city of Tucker?
Promote more direct conversations with the residents of different backgrounds by organizing events within our communities and celebrate our cultural growing ‘melting pot’.
10) What do you think of the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what steps do you think the city should take to help reduce the spread of the virus?
I approve of the city’s response to the COVID pandemic and feel we must continue to social distance ourselves to protect our families and loved ones.
11) Residents frequently complain about roads and drainage. As of now, the majority of the responsibility lies with DeKalb. How would you work with the county to improve these services? Should Tucker start the process of taking over roads and drainage?
I would support a better partnership with Dekalb county by creating Infrastructure Advisement Boards, to prioritize and investigate prominent roads and drainage issues. I do support the City of Tucker beginning the process of taking over the roads and drainage, as it directly affects our residents.
12) Parks and Rec is working to turn Fitzgerald Field into an arena that will attract sports tournaments and outdoor events. How will this go over in Tucker? Does the city have enough infrastructure, like sidewalks, to support a sports complex?
I think this would be a great asset, if done in a way that is inclusive to all. Significant infrastructure improvements- sidewalks, crossways, and lighting- need to be completed in conjunction with this project. Also, it should increase the quality of life for surrounding community residents.
13) The city of Tucker largely is staffed by contractors, people who do not directly work for the city. Do you support the current method of staffing the city’s government or would you want to change to a more traditional system where employees work directly for the city?
While I understand the need for some contract based employment, I believe a more traditional system should be implemented for Tucker. This would increase both local employment and citizen engagement for our community.
14) Do you support continuing to stream Tucker’s meetings online? Why or why not?
Yes I do, due to the rising number of COVID variants and increased number of residents with health issues. Online meetings will help to prevent the spread of the virus and keep Tucker’s numbers low.
15) What can be done to improve pedestrian safety on Tucker’s roads?
Make sure overgrowth on non sidewalk streets is mowed to keep pedestrians safe; keep hedges low to increase visibility at right-of-ways; create pedestrian-friendly intersections; and create more sidewalk in high volume areas.
16) What do you think is Tucker’s greatest strength?
The citizens of Tucker and how they come together for the betterment of the community. Tucker Pride!
17) What do you think is Tucker’s biggest challenge?
Inclusion and diversity. Tucker needs to become more aware of our changing dynamics and represent all of our citizens equally. We need to work to ensure everyone has an equal voice in the direction of our city.
18) How would you address what you believe to be Tucker’s biggest challenge?
Community engagement, through Town Hall meetings, that are focused on the combined issues of our communities.
19) If you are elected, what will you do to support the business community in the city of Tucker?
I have always bought Tucker and will continue to do so! I have been in contact with local organizations, such as the Rotary Club and Tucker Business Association (TBA), to support events designed to support Tucker businesses and local economic growth.
20) If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government?
If elected, I promise to conduct myself ethically and manage all business matters with complete transparency. I’ve always been told honesty is key and plan on carrying that philosophy into my work for this great city.
More information about voting in the Nov. 2 election:
Election Day is Nov. 2. Early voting will begin on Oct. 12 and will end on Oct. 29. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 4. To register to vote, click here.
To see a list of important dates in the 2021 election year, click here.
Voters in DeKalb County are eligible to apply for an absentee ballot as of Aug. 16.
To apply for an absentee ballot:
— Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website.
— Complete the absentee ballot application using the state’s official paper form. Use black or blue ink only.
Applications can be mailed to the county elections office at this address: DeKalb County Election office, 4380 Memorial Drive, Decatur, GA 30032-1239.
Applications can also be submitted by fax, 404-298-4038, or email, [email protected]
Voters may send an absentee ballot request for multiple people who live in the same household in the same envelope or email.
If an absentee ballot is not mailed to you, call DeKalb Elections office, 404-298-4020. You may still vote in person, either early or on Election Day.
In accordance with SB202, a new voting bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in March, a copy of a voter’s ID is required to apply for an absentee ballot. A Georgia driver’s license, Georgia state ID, Georgia voter card, U.S. Passport, U.S. military ID, employee ID issued by any branch of the federal or state government, tribal ID, or a document verifying a voter’s name and address – including a paycheck, utility bill, or bank statement – are accepted forms of ID.
Early voting begins Oct. 12 and ends Oct. 29. The hours for early voting are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be weekend early voting on Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Call your elections office for hours.
Beginning Oct. 12, you can participate in early voting at the following locations:
– Bessie Branham Recreation Center (2051 Delano Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30317)
– Lynwood Recreation Center (3360 Osborne Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319)
– Berean Christian Church – Family Life Center (2197 Young Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30088)
– DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office (4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032)
– Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library (5234 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084)
– Stonecrest Library (3123 Klondike Road, Stonecrest, GA 30038)
– County Line-Ellenwood Library (4331 River Road, Ellenwood, GA 30294)
– Dunwoody Library (5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road., Dunwoody, GA 30338)
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