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Most political candidates bypass Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday

Streets Alive - Five Points by Kelly Jordan

By David Pendered

The crowd at this Sunday’s Atlanta Streets Alive won’t get to meet many political candidates. Just 21 of more than 100 candidates for Atlanta City Hall and Atlanta Board of Education have applied to participate, including just three of 13 mayoral candidates, according to the event’s website on Friday afternoon.

Streets Alive – Five Points by Kelly Jordan

The three mayoral candidates who submitted applications to participate in the Sept. 24 event are Peter Aman, Rohit Ammanamanchi and Cathy Woolard, according to the website. All three submitted their applications three days ago.

None of the three candidates for president of the Atlanta City Council have applied, according to the website.

The election is Nov. 7, or six weeks and a few days away.

Atlanta Streets Alive is a popular event. It draws thousands of folks, sometimes over 100,000 individuals, according to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which initiated the event.

It is especially popular among folks who have an interest in transit. For example, the voters who helped pass in 2016 the sales tax rate hikes to raise money for MARTA to expand and for Atlanta to add transit-friendly amenities, such as sidewalks, and to fund the purchase of the remaining right-of-way for the Atlanta BeltLine.

As such, Atlanta Streets Alive presents candidates’ with a unique opportunity to meeting potential voters and share their stump speech.

bikes, streets alive

The blue bikes of Atlanta’s Relay Bike Share program enable folks to participate in Atlanta Streets Alive, an event where cars and trucks are prohibited and streets opened to walkers and bicyclists. File/Credit: Kelly Jordan

That’s because the voters will be walking or cycling or otherwise passing right in front of the areas where candidates could be stationed. This potential engagement is different from a parade, where candidates often ride atop the trunk of a convertible automobile and wave at the crowd as the car motors along the parade route.

Event organizers made a direct outreach to candidate via the website:

  • “This application is for candidates for Mayor, City Council and/or School Board to engage with constituents along the September 24 Atlanta Streets Alive Central route.
  • “Remember – the more active and engaging your activity, the more people you will attract!
  • “Submitting this application does NOT guarantee your participation in the event. Placement along route will be solely determined by event organizers unless the activity is part of an existing business or organization physically located on the route.
  • “Please complete the form below, click “send RSVP,” then continue to next page for a quick survey. You cannot participate without submitting this information.
  • “THANK YOU!”

Here’s a list of candidates who applied to participate. The website also shows how long ago the candidates put the event on their list of campaign activities.

Atlanta City Council

  • District 2 – Amir Farokhi, Zelda Jackson, Nicholas Mulkey, Lauren Welsh.
  • District 3 – Greg Clay.
  • District 4 – Jason Dozier.
  • District 6 – Jennifer Ide, Kirk Rich.
  • District 9 – Gabriel Lavine.
  • District 10 – Beverly Rice.
  • District 11 – Marci Collier Overstreet.
  • District 12 – Michael Jackson.

Atlanta Board of Education

  • District 1 – Leslie Grant.
  • District 3 – Adzua Agyapon.
  • District 5 – Djaris James.
  • District 6 – Donta McMichael.
  • District 7, at large – Micah Rowland, John Wright.

For Sunday’s Atlanta Streets Alive, the route terminates at South Broad Street, at Mitchll Street, and extends north along Peachtree Street to 17th Street.

The bicycle parade begins at 2 p.m. and the event continues until 6 p.m. Streets are closed to motorized vehicles and open for bicycles, skates, and walking.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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