RE-ELECT MELISSA LINK Athens-Clarke County District 3 Commissioner

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Serving the people of Athens these past 3+ years has been the greatest honor of my life. I work hard every day to empower citizens, build community, protect neighborhoods & the environment, support transportation options, and encourage affordable housing to make for a more just, democratic, and equitable Athens for all. With your help, we have made great progress--I hope you will re-elect me so that together we can continue the hard work to make Athens the best possible community for all of us.

 

Please visit my platform page to read more about my views on important issues affecting our community:

Neighborhood Protection - Jobs/Economy - Sustainable Transportation - Smart Growth

Environmental Protection - Cultural Preservation - Open Communication

 

Athens is a special place. From our bustling historic Downtown to our quaint & friendly neighborhoods, from the University of Georgia to our rolling hills & meandering river, from our celebrated music scene to our countless charities & civic organizations, our sense of commuiy is who we are and we are at our finest when we put our community first.

District 3 is a particularly exciting and diverse district and in my 25 years in Athens, I have lived in five different neighborhoods throughout the district. The district includes much of Downtown and the commercial corridors of Prince Ave., West Broad, and Hawthorne Ave. as well as vibrant in-town neighborhoods including Hancock/Reese, Rocksprings, Brooklyn, Boulevard, Buena Vista, Cobbham, a corner of Normaltown, Sylvia Circle and the North side of Prince Avenue to Jefferson River Rd. It also includes public housing communities including Rocksprings, Broad Acres, and the new Columbia Brookside community. The district stretches down the North side of W. Broad to the river, and all the way out Chase St. and Newton Bridge Road to include Kathwood, Vincent Drive, industrial and rural areas, suburban neighborhoods, retirement communities, and apartment complexes. I am dedicated to serving the people from every corner of this district and my first priority is to embrace our diversity for the betterment of our entire community.

There is so much to love about Athens, yet so much work to do. We face terrible economic inequality while housing prices soar and wages stagnate. Corporate gentrification is driving locally-owned businesses out of our downtown cultural center as a proliferation of luxury student hi-rises threatens the small-town character for which we are renowned and many of our neighborhoods are becoming increasingly unaffordable for a diversity of our citizens.

I've been a community activist for most of my 25 years in Athens. I did not just start paying attention to the issues when I decided to run for office, I ran for office because I've been paying attention and speaking out for a very long time. I believe that we can only begin to solve our problems when we commit ourselves to talking openly about them. I have proven over and over again that I am not afraid to talk about difficult issues, and as your Commissioner I continue to ask the difficult questions and demand answers AND action--I don't just sit on the commission, I stand up for you! Times are changing and we must face our challenges head-on while seizing exciting opportunities to guide us into a brighter tomorrow. With so many resources at our fingertips—a world-class university, a world-renowned creative culture, and a truly diverse community of involved citizens—together we can find creative solutions for all our problems.

As your Commissioner, I strive to communicate openly with constituents, look at all sides of every issue, seek out the most credible evidence, always ask questions, invite citizen collaboration, and consider the overall well-being of the entire community first and foremost with every decision. I’ve been working side-by side with many of you for some 25 years, speaking out on issues including neighborhood protection, affordable housing, voter access, smart growth, sustainable transportation, environmental conservation, and cultural and historic preservation. And I’ve joined many more of you in volunteering for cultural and community organizations, as well as civic boards and committees. As a writer and editor, my work has appeared in both local papers and several magazines for many years, I’ve served as managing editor for education and environmental academic journals. I know how to reach out to the community, communicate the issues, check sources, and conduct comprehensive research.

In order to grow a healthy local economy, not only must we lure new industry to provide the right jobs for our particular workforce, but we must support and grow local businesses, ensure affordable living, provide accessible services, protect our resources, encourage our creative culture, and maintain our unique identity. Like so many Athenians, I know what it’s like to work hard and struggle to make ends meet while getting around mostly by foot, bus, and bike.

My first duty as an elected official is to empower citizens, reaching out to my constituents to share information and encourage their input on issues, particularly those who are traditionally left out of the decision-making process. It is my highest priority to implement policies that ensure a better life for the too many among us who have less than enough. I truly believe that when those at the bottom are able to get ahead, we are all lifted a little higher. Please join me in rising up together for an even better tomorrow.