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 Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall on Sept. 20.
Kwanza Hall has been a member of Atlanta’s City Council for more than a decade — representing, what he calls “the heart of the city,” including Midtown, Downtown, Emmett Park, Candler Park, Old Fourth Ward and others.
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During his tenure, Hall’s district has seen a lot of redevelopment — especially in Midtown and Old Fourth Ward — and with development often comes displacement. On “Closer Look,” Hall said expanding affordable housing units would be a priority of his if he was elected mayor.
Hall said developers along the BeltLine have come in and taken advantage of the opportunity, adding that he blames BeltLine leadership for not ensuring more affordable housing units have been built.
“There has to be a neighborhood development plan and that has not been done in this city in the last 10 years and really since the downturn,” he said.
“We need to recruit nationally and internationally the investors, the developers and partners who want to be a part of this billion dollar reinvestment in neighborhood legacy revitalization program that I’m going to roll out.”
Stance On Climate Change
In April, Hall said he questioned the legitimacy of global warming, however, he told Scott that remark was a gaff.
Hall said he believes climate change is real and that he supports having the city entirely operating on clean energy, noting he believes it’s the pathway to good-paying jobs.
On Being A Leader
Whoever voters elect to lead Atlanta next will undoubtedly face a number of challenges. So what makes an effective leader? Hall said, “effective leaders, number one, know how to follow.”
“Humility still goes a very, very long way in anything that a leader does and especially being mayor of this great city,” he said.
“I think being willing to listen and still accept guidance, coaching, wisdom from especially former mayors, from those in the community, from the average citizen on the street, from children,” he said. “Anyone can help you to be better at your job if you’re willing to listen, if you’re accessible, if you’re available … I think the mayor has to be willing and available.”