Some comments have been lightly edited for clarity.
Atlanta City Council would be LaTarsha Holden’s first elected office.
Q: What’s your No. 1 concern for your district?
A: To bring job training and jobs to the residents of District 11.
Q: What could you as a Council member do about that, what are your policy ideas?
A: I’d like to bring a career center to District 11 where we actually provide job training and entrepreneurship development for those who want to go into self-employment.
Q: Turning to Council, what’s an uncomfortable truth that the next Council will have to face?
A: A system that’s already in place … that has not has been for me, is the uncomfortable truth that I have faced. The city of Atlanta has not been for the people that have been marginalized. Coming in and actually fighting for them and not just for big businesses and those of the upper class, as far as income.
Q: And looking at Council again, over the last four to eight years, what is something this Council has gotten right?
A: Bringing jobs to Atlanta. I think they have gotten that right, actually bringing jobs to Atlanta. It’s just that the jobs have not made progress for the low-income community. That’s one thing I feel that Council has gotten right, actually bringing jobs to the city of Atlanta as a whole.
Q: Over the last four to eight years, what is something this Council has either gotten wrong or failed to do, for District 11 or in general?
A: I think they have failed to look out for residents as far as gentrification. From my background, coming from being homeless for two years with six children, I’m very passionate about people having their homes. I think they’ve failed the community, when big city developers came knocking at City Hall’s door, they failed to make sure they included the residents, so they don’t get displaced.
Q: Overall, bottom line, what’s your pitch to voters? Why should people vote for you?
A: People should vote for me because I actually became the change I want to see. Everything on my platform I’ve actually personally experienced, I’m not just going off of … because I’m connected with a certain group. I actually became the change I wanted to see, from going from born and raised in Atlanta, dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and became a single mom. By the time I was 35, I was homeless with six children. So in the last 10 years, we went from being homeless, I went from a GED to a PhD student, author, consultant. I actually became the change, I’ve actually been with the people I’ll be representing, I’ve actually been in their shoes.