Friday, April 17, 2009

Amir Farokhi launches City Council bid

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 4:47 PM

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Amir Farokhi kicked off his campaign for  Atlanta City Council's Post 2 At-large seat on Tuesday with a daylong tour of six neighborhoods. From sunrise to sunset, the Atlanta attorney traveled by MARTA to meet with residents from West End to Buckhead and Candler Park to Midtown.

The tour culminated at 7 p.m. in Grant Park at the Standard, the Memorial Drive restaurant where bartender John Henderson was killed during a botched early-morning robbery on January 7.

Standing in a room surrounded by such supporters as political gadfly Tom Houck and state Rep. Margaret Kaiser, D-Atlanta, the 31-year-old Farokhi outlined a platform of public safety, transparency and transportation.

"I believe you're here because you care about this city," he told the crowd. "That it could be a remarkable, global city, 24 hours a day. You want it run responsibly. You want a safe city. And this November we have the opportunity to really change."

Well wishers were pining to shake Farokhi's hand, so time to chat with him was limited. After the jump, a quick rundown on parts of his platform, many of which are explained in-depth on his website's "issues" page. Yes, we asked him about gambling at Underground Atlanta.

  • Public safety: When asked how he planned to fully fund and retain the Atlanta police officers and firefighters, Farokhi said he's convinced the city isn't efficiently using its resources. He said the city needs to have an open and honest discussion about how funds are allocated before looking into raising taxes.

  • Transportation: "Whether we're truly a global city depends on whether we can get people out of their cars," Farokhi said, adding that the city needs to focus on transit, sidewalks and bike lanes in addition to roads. He said the daylong MARTA tour was meant to show support for the cash-strapped transit agency and emphasize how it connects Atlanta. He also said transit-oriented development (business and residential development close to or near public transportation) needs to be a focus.

  • Gambling at Underground Atlanta: While he's not personally opposed to gambling, he said the city should carefully explore the concept. "Too often we take the lowest common denominator route in the city...I'm not convinced a casino in Underground Atlanta is the best way to grow our city. I don't want us to look at the quick buck first at the sake of an organic, truly authentic city. Our downtown is more than a casino. We want it to be more than a casino."

"Atlanta has so much potential," he said. "And we can really use councilmembers who aren't afraid to speak up and say this is something that needs to happen."

Farokhi, who practices commercial litigation at McKenna Long & Aldridge, is a metro Atlanta native. Prior to receiving his law degree from Duke University, he spent a year teaching English in Taiwan. He sits on the Charles R. Drew Charter School's board of directors and the Galloway School's board of trustees.

Farokhi's raised $53,000 and boasts several big-name supporters, including Kaiser and state Rep. Stacy Abrams, D-Atlanta. From what we can tell, his lone opponent in the race is Daryl Graham, a communications professional and community advocate.

For more information about Farokhi's campaign and ideas, visit his website.

(Photo courtesy Amir Farokhi campaign)

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