Glad to have the support of my friend Kathie Gannon
When voting for Decatur City Commission, I want someone who will be a strong advocate for me, my community, and all Decatur residents. That is why I am voting for George Dusenbury for the District 1 seat.
Five years ago, an article in the Focus caught my eye. George had recently moved to Decatur, and he was working to create a neighborhood association to represent the thousands of Decatur residents who call Downtown home. I was excited to see George taking the lead on this effort. I knew of his work at Park Pride, and how he had built the organization around listening to people and empowering them to strengthen their communities by improving their parks. I hoped George would bring that same attitude and energy to our community.
The number of Downtown residents had reached a critical mass, and ours was a new voice and a new experience for Decatur. George was working to get us organized so that our voice could be heard – so that we could advocate on the issues we faced every day.
Not surprisingly, what had motivated George to form the Downtown Decatur Neighbors was a concern that Decatur was about to build a lot of new apartments and condos with the Square being the only park downtown. But George didn’t just rally us to advocate for what he wanted (though we did to that), he heard our concerns about broken sidewalks, dangerous intersections, and the impact of development on traffic and parking. And he helped give us a much-needed voice.
Shortly before the Downtown Decatur Neighbors (DDN) was formed, residents in my community were very concerned about the impact of the proposed Place on Ponce development upon our quality of life. The development needed several variances to move forward, and we felt that the City staff was not listening to our concerns. We reached out to our Commissioners for support, to little avail. We did all we could to lessen the development’s impact on our quality of life, but we were left to act alone.
I am confident that George will not leave residents alone when they ask for help. Under his leadership, DDN successfully opposed a variance that would have allowed a drive-thru in the City’s special pedestrian zone. We successfully advocated for the City to reinstate the crosswalk it had removed from between Jimmy John’s and Mellow Mushroom – and to make other pedestrian improvements. And while we are yet to have a new Downtown park, George helped organize park advocates from across Decatur in an effort that led to the City acquiring seven new green spaces.
In each instance, George took up a cause that was not his own and successfully advocated on behalf of the people that he represented.
I will not always agree with George. There will be times when I will be frustrated by a vote or because he will not help. But I know that George always will listen and take the time to understand my concerns. That we can have an honest, open conversations. And that, even when we disagree, he will have my concerns in mind and look for opportunities to address them.
That is the way George has been for as long as I have known him. And that is why he has my vote for Decatur City Commissioner.
Decatur Resident & DeKalb County Commissioner