Athens Politics Nerd
By Chris Dowd
Athens Politics NerdSep 27, 2023
Interview with Elisa Zarate, interim ACC Clerk of Courts
Athens-Clarke County is holding a special election on November 7, 2023 to determine the next ACC Clerk of Courts. APN interviewed Elisa Zarate, who is running for that position against Andrew Griffeth.
Jail healthcare, the Mall redevelopment and Jesse Houle's budget priorities | Podcast 22
Blake Aued from Flagpole and Commissioner Jesse Houle join APN to talk about Governor Brian Kemp's drift to the middle, the medical contract at the ACC jail, the Mall redevelopment project and Jesse's budget priorities this year.
0:30 - Governor Brian Kemp, drifting to the middle?
2:40 - What can we expect from the state legislature this year?
5:00 - Problems with jail healthcare
8:08 - The Mall redevelopment
13:33 - Jesse's budget priorities
A New Commission, Just as Divided? | Podcast 21
A new commission takes their seats and immediately has a split vote for mayor pro tem! What's up with that? Blake Aued from Flagpole comes on the show to talk about the latest developments on the ACC Mayor and Commission and what we can expect going forward.
Threatened by the facts, UGA attempts to bully independent newspaper | Episode 20
I'm tired of UGA throwing its weight around. This one is about why UGA hates a particular story I wrote recently and why they’re wrong.
Here's the story they have an issue with:
The photo of the UGA Arch in the thumbnail of this video was taken by user JR P on Flickr.com and is used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC 2.0).
We Are Unstoppable: How Occupy Athens fought City Hall and won
Occupy Wall Street started in September, 2011 and soon after solidarity encampments sprung up all over the country. One of those solidarity groups, Occupy Athens GA, had a huge impact on local politics that still endures today. I talked with Commissioner Tim Denson about why he got involved in Occupy, why he ran for mayor and about his thoughts on the legacy of the progressive advocacy group Athens for Everyone.
The song "A Moral North" by Captain #1:
The Great Quorum Debate! | Episode 18
ACC Commissioners debated lowered quorum at their last meeting, and things got spicy. They also begun the process of creating a long-term plan to address homelessness and discussed how to spend transit dollars most effectively.
0:32 - Homelessness
5:07 - Transit funding
8:12 - The Great QUORUM Debate
15:33 - Two withdrawn zoning requests
Rent skyrockets, Linnentown mosaic blocked & the public has a lot to say | Episode 17
Prosperity Capital Partners is forcing out low-income tenants in Athens, the University System of Georgia blocks the Linnentown mosaic and the public has a lot to say about cannabis decriminalization, abortion and a pilot project for Prince Avenue at the last mayor and commission meeting.
0:40 - Prosperity Capital Partners raises the rent
2:22 - Linnentown mosaic blocked
4:40 - Public comment on cannabis, abortion
10:47 - Prince Avenue road diet
13:32 - Frat house on W. Hancock
Jeff Auerbach is running for State House District 121 | Episode 16
Jeff Auerbach, candidate for Georgia State House in District 121, talked with me about his feelings on abortion and about the smaller things we can do in the state legislature that can greatly improve our lives.
1:03 - What do you do when you're not running for office?
1:40 - Why are you running?
3:32 - What are your goals in the legislature, if elected?
6:56 - What are you feelings about abortion?
13:04 - Are you optimistic about the state of our country?
15:26 - What is your plan to win the election?
18:44 - Why should voters vote for you?
Tim Denson is running for Board of Education in District 5 | Episode 15
Tim Denson is running for the Athens-Clarke County Board of Education in District 5 in 2022. I interviewed him about restorative justice, his plans for the district and about how well our schools are doing at educating our kids.
0:31 - Why are you running for school board?
1:28 - How are our schools doing at educating our kids?
4:12 - Should we be giving more power back to the teachers?
6:45 - Are you a supporter of restorative justice?
11:01 - How has your experience been so far with the school system, as a parent?
12:32 - Do you have any other plans for how you would improve education here?
15:13 - Why should voters choose you on May 24?
Commission District 1: Patrick Davenport & Audrey Hughes | Episode 14
Commissioner Patrick Davenport is running for re-election in District 1 and he's being challenged by Audrey Hughes. I interviewed both of them (on different days). We talked about recycling, taxes, crime and whether the east side is getting its fair share of resources.
0:00 - Intro
0:29 - Tell us about yourself. Why are you running for commission?
4:34 - What are your goals if elected?
10:26 - (to Patrick) How have you stayed on good terms with all commissioners?
11:59 - (to Patrick) What are some things you've proud of having accomplished?
15:22 - (to Audrey) What do you think of the direction the commission has been headed?
17:31 - (to Patrick) Is Audrey right that the gov doesn't spend responsibly or give enough to the east side?
20:40 - Why should voters choose you?
Dexter Fisher is running for District 5 Commissioner | Episode 13
Dexter Fisher is running in 2022 to serve as District 5 ACC Commissioner. I interviewed him about youth development, homelessness and affordable housing.
0:00 - Intro
1:44 - What are your main goals for your first term?
9:18 - Why does Athens Clean and Safe PAC support you, a Democrat?
12:03 - What's your take on the progressive direction the ACC Commission has been headed?
15:30 - Why should voters choose you?
Allen Jones is running for ACC Commissioner in District 7 | Episode 12
Allen Jones is running to serve as District 7 ACC Commissioner in 2022. I interviewed him about alternative transportation, environmental sustainability, homelessness and the Republican money that may be flooding into our local election.
0:32 - Why are you running for commission?
3:18 - What are your main goals for your first term in office?
7:40 - Will Republican PAC money impact this election?
9:52 - Is Athens less clean or less safe than it used to be?
14:58 - Your take on the progressive direction the commission has been headed?
16:33 - Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
District 3 Commission: Asia Thomas & Tiffany Taylor | Episode 11
Asia Thomas and Tiffany Taylor are running to serve as District 3 ACC Commissioner in 2022. I interviewed them about crime, poverty and how they envision their first term in office.
0:00 - Intro
0:19 - Why are you running for commission?
4:38 - Does Republican redistricting undermine democracy?
7:14 - What would be your main goals for your first term in office?
14:46 - Has the commission done a good job over the past 3 years?
18:34 - Why should voters choose you?
Jared Bailey is running for ACC Commissioner in District 5 | Episode 10
Jared Bailey is running for ACC Commission in District 5 in 2022. I interviewed Jared about Republican redistricting, affordable housing and more.
0:00 - Intro
0:23 - Why are you running for District 5 Commissioner?
3:00 - Does Republican redistricting undermine democracy?
6:55 - What accounts for your 2018 loss?
8:02 - What is the gov's role in providing affordable housing?
12:09 -Will you "stay the course" or go in a different direction?
18:15 - What are you most proud of having accomplished as a commissioner?
19:25 - Why should voters choose you?
20:10 - Outro
School Board District 9: Elder Johnson & Mark Evans | Episode 9
Elder Johnson and Mark Evans are running to serve on the Clarke County School Board in District 9 in 2022. I interviewed Elder and Mark about restorative justice, their plans for the district and about how well our schools are doing at educating our kids.
0:00 - Intro
0:34 - Elder Johnson
2:27 - Mark Evans
7:20 - How is our school system doing?
11:09 - Are you a supporter of restorative justice?
15:49 - Why should voters choose you?
18:33 - Outro
Matt Pulver is running for ACC Commissioner in District 5 | Episode 8
Matt Pulver is running for ACC Commission in District 5 in 2022. I interviewed Matt about Republican redistricting, the North Downtown Athens Development project and his opinions on taxes.
Patty Durand is running for Public Service Commissioner | Episode 7
Patty Durand has announced her campaign to run for Public Service Commissioner in Georgia. In this episode, APN interviews Patty about energy bills, coal ash pollution and the nuclear plant Vogtle.
Jessica Fore is running for Congress in GA-10 | Episode 6
Jessica Fore has announced her campaign to run for Congress in GA-10. In this episode, APN interviews Jessica about her opinions on a range of topics, from the filibuster to living wages to tackling climate change.
0:00 - Intro and a word about commission redistricting
1:24 - Jessica Fore campaign video
2:23 - Jessica Fore interview
21:01 - PSA about the Social Security Trust Fund
22:25 - Jessica Fore interview, continued
Republicans gerrymander Athens' commission districts | Episode 5
The Republican state legislators representing Athens have proposed a new set of ACC Commission districts, which they released in a joint statement last Thursday. If approved, these new maps would fundamentally alter Athens’ political landscape, shifting a large number of Athenians to new commission districts. It would also prevent three commissioners from running for reelection in 2022, effectively removing them from office by legislative fiat.
Read APN's analysis of the new maps:
Check out the maps for yourself:
Debating the drug war | Episode 4
APN reviews the recent county commission debate over the drug war in Athens, Georgia. Then we discuss the problem with for-profit EMS with public safety advocates Sam Rafal and Bob Gadd.
Redistricting: How will it affect Athens? | Episode 3
APN talks political redistricting with Alex Vanden Heuvel and about the official homeless encampment with Charles Hardy of the Athens Alliance Coalition.
Is academic freedom fading in Georgia? | Episode 2
APN interviews Dr. Janet Frick about a policy recently passed by the Board of Regents that some have called "the death of tenure." Then we check in with Commissioner Tim Denson about police oversight and fighting homelessness in Athens.
Photo / United Campus Workers of Georgia
Reproductive Justice | Episode 1
APN breaks down the mayor and commission meeting from October 5, 2021. We'll cover the downtown public restroom, the new non-police alternative response team, TSPLOST 2023 and more. We'll also check in with the Athens Reproductive Justice Collective and find out why they're asking for a Reproductive Justice Commission.