Gay civic activist launches campaign for Atlanta City Council

Add this share
A gay business consultant and real estate agent jumped into a crowded race to unseat an incumbent on the Atlanta City Council. 

Jereme Sharpe joins an expanding field of challengers hoping to oust incumbent Councilmember Michael Julian Bond from the Post 1 At-Large seat on the council. 

“I have the experience when it comes to organizing our neighborhoods and starting to lead us on the right track to a better future,” Sharpe told Project Q Atlanta.

Sharpe, 31, was born in Florida and grew up in Gwinnett County. The downtown Atlanta resident is a former board member of the Atlanta Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative. He’s now a licensed real estate agent and launched the Urbane Foundation, a consulting firm focused on alternative transportation, affordable housing and better business.

“So there were a lot of things I was already working on and I said hey this fits with what we need in the City of Atlanta and I’m going to run,” Sharpe said.

He was also motivated to jump into the council race after Evanston, Ill., became the first city in U.S. history to offer reparations to Black residents in March.

“I said wait a minute, you were able to get reparations at the city level? That’s when the light switch flipped on,” he said. “Reparations can be done on a local level and I’m gonna do it.”

If elected, Sharpe wants to improve public transportation, restructure the city’s housing processes and create better jobs with livable wages.

“If we can really fix those or at least get them in better shape or organized as they should be, we’ll be able to alleviate a lot of the other issues we have in our city,” he said.

Those issues include HOPWA, the city’s long-troubled federal housing program for low-income people with HIV. The HOPWA program is managed by Atlanta’s Department of Grants & Community Development. Sharpe would shift its management to the Atlanta Housing Authority and hire a HOPWA director.

“To my understanding, the [grant] money is there,” he said. “It’s the processes that need to be improved upon, and right now – yesterday.”

Sharpe would continue LGBTQ representation on the council. City Council member Antonio Brown became the first Black LGBTQ member of the council in 2019, but he is running for mayor instead of seeking a full term in the District 3 post.

“The LGBT community represents what Atlanta is,” Sharpe said. “It’s a part of Atlanta’s fabric, a part of Atlanta’s ethos. Representation is very much needed at all levels — at council levels, at neighborhood groups and across the city.”

Sharpe and Bond are joined in the council race by gay attorney Brandon Goldberg, educator Alfred Brooks and former Atlanta Board of Ethics member Todd Gray.

Other LGBTQ candidates running for Atlanta City Council include community organizer Devin Barrington-Ward in District 9, project manager Larry Carter in District 4, community activist Liliana Bakhtiari in District 5 and Mike Russell, who is running for council president.

Qualifying for Atlanta’s municipal’s races is in August and the elections are in November.

This story is made possible by Google News Initiative’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.

THE LATEST

Gay Atlanta apparel retailer ABETTERBUZZ debuts first physical store

Popular gay-owned online store ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods reached a milestone this month with the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store. ABETTERBUZZ was one of three...

HHS funds inject millions into Georgia’s HIV battle

The federal government awarded over $1 million to three Georgia health clinics last month to expand HIV prevention, treatment, outreach and care. The grants from the...

Longterm love, short-term disagreements and queer life passing you by

Whether it's longterm love, short term disagreements or queer life passing you by in the closet, everyone encounters moments when what they thought was, well, thought wrong. The Q offers advice.

Georgia Equality endorses seven LGBTQ candidates in local races

Georgia Equality weighed in with endorsements in several municipal races as early voting continues and Election Day approaches on Nov. 2. The endorsements also...

The best LGBTQ things to do in Atlanta this weekend

Kiss the weekend hello with LGBTQ events everywhere you turn. Even with a full week to go, Halloween creatures are already stirring as well. Keep...
17,446FansLike
7,001FollowersFollow
7,682FollowersFollow

PHOTO GALLERIES