In the lead-up to the Nov. 7 election of Atlanta’s next mayor, “Closer Look with Rose Scott” will feature 20-minute conversations with the candidates in the race. Scott interviewed longtime Atlanta resident Glenn Wrightson on Sept. 25.
Glenn Wrightson also ran for mayor in 2013 against Mayor Kasim Reed. That time, he ran on principle. He thought the incumbent leader ought to have a challenger.
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This time, Wrightson said he’s running because he thinks there’s a good chance of him being elected.
“I thought most all of the candidates that are running have been in city government already, and I asked myself, is it time for us to have new person in city government?” he said.
Wrightson has lived in Atlanta since his family moved here in the mid-1960s. He attended Spring Street Elementary School — which is now the site of the Center for Puppetry Arts. He then attended Henry Grady High School before going to college at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
In the time since college, Wrightson has lived for nearly 40 years in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood.
As mayor, Wrightson said his focus would be on the citizens. He believes current city leadership has lost touch with Atlanta residents.
“I think both the emphasis from the tourist industry and now more so the developers could be shifted back toward the citizens and have focus say on the core services: road repair, police, fire, water and sewer,” he said.
Wrightson said his campaign is completely self-funded and that he is not accepting donations. He lent his campaign $1 million to run for mayor, he said.
“I’m not gonna be obliged to anyone, other than the citizens,” he said.
While many candidates in the race are focused on Atlanta’s affordable housing, Wrightson said he is focused on providing housing for the elderly — something he believes will be in high-demand down the road, as the baby boomer generation continues to get older.
On the issue of gun violence, Wrightson said he doesn’t think it will ever be eliminated, but believes a cultural shift could help. Things like reducing plastic shopping bags and gas-powered leaf blowers.
“If we do things with a social conscious effort to improve our lot, that we’ll all be better off and the young people with the guns, they might think twice about using them,” he said.
Wrightson said he’s confident the people of Atlanta are ready for a new kind of leader — someone like him.
“I think the biggest thing we need to do for the next four years is to tune the Atlanta city government engine,” he said.