We have a lot of prosperity in Atlanta, but also a lot of poverty. That’s why I am determined to make sure that we have balanced and broad economic growth in all parts of the City, including our black and brown communities.
Atlanta needs a mayor that doesn’t kiss up to business leaders, but challenges them like I did with Microsoft when I said – “it’s good to have new buildings in Atlanta, but I want to know how many Atlantans will be in your buildings.” Thanks to these efforts, Microsoft is now using my nonprofit training program to train Atlantans to join their workforce.
I know what it takes to create better jobs for Atlantans and help local businesses thrive, and will continue to champion Atlanta as a destination for growing businesses. I am focused on ensuring that while the city continues to entice Fortune 100 enterprises, it remains diligent in its support and recognition of the small businesses that employ so many Atlantans.
I will create an Atlanta Department of Labor to serve as a centralized city department for all labor needs, including:
- Dedicated liaison to organized labor
- Ensure their inclusion in major development discussions (FIFA, Super Bowl, federal grants, etc.)
- These discussions have occurred without labor represented, and that has to change
- Watchdog/investigator for labor law violations
- Advocate for changes in state law
- Ensure compliance with federal labor laws
While on the Atlanta City Council, I:
- Co-sponsored and passed legislation requiring city government to pay a minimum hourly wage of $15.
- Sponsored and hosted the “Blacks In Tech” policy conference, focused on advancing efforts to bring more diversity to STEM fields.
- Helped create 21,000 new jobs and $3.3 billion of capital investment in Atlanta as the Invest Atlanta Board Secretary.
I have also excelled in creating jobs and economic opportunities through my work in the private sector:
- Created a program at TechBridge that has provided free training IT to nearly five hundred low-income people to get certified in technology skills, allowing them to get IT jobs averaging $60,000 per year working for companies such as Accenture, Coca-Cola, Ga Power, NCR, Anthem, and Google.
- Formed agreements with Microsoft, AirBnB, Georgia Power, Accenture and others to ensure that part of their workforce comes from the TechBridge program I created to provide free IT training for low-income people.
- Co-founded a retail furniture business with his sister and grew it into a multi-million dollar business with over twenty employees.