Clarkston mayor, City Council candidates to face off in forum
10/4/2013, 6:24 a.m.
The eight candidates vying for mayor and City Council seats in Clarkston will face off in a forum on Oct. 6 at the Clarkston Community Center.
The three-hour event, which will be moderated by CrossRoadsNews Editor/Publisher Jennifer Parker, begins at 3 p.m.
After a 30-minute registration period, the forum kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with the one-hour Mayor’s Panel featuring incumbent Mayor Emanuel Ransom and challengers Edward “Ted” Terry and Ibrahim Awow Sufi.
The five candidates seeking three council seats are incumbent council member Dean Moore, Ahmed Hassan, Birendra Dhakal, Christopher Busing, and Robert Hogan. They will face off at 4:30 p.m.
The candidate forum is supported by the city of Clarkston, the Clarkston Community Center in partnership with the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, the Burmese Chin Community of Atlanta, Clarkston First Baptist Church, Ethio-American Business Association, and the Refugee Women’s Network. Translators and light refreshments will be provided.
For the first time in the city where residents hail from more than 50 countries worldwide, three candidates – Sufi, Hassan and Dhakal – are former refugees.
The 2013 elections take place Nov. 5.
Alice Kim, director of civic engagement for the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, is helping to organize the forum. She said it is important for all citizens to become involved in their community and to make their opinions known.
“If they don’t exercise the right to vote, they become invisible,” she said.
Kim said it’s exciting to see the large turnout of former refugees for the Clarkston election.
“Too often immigrants are too busy to participate,” she said. “Their first goal is surviving. They just want to get settled, but now we see these new Americans taking pride and being involved.”
To win election, candidates for mayor must get 50 percent plus one vote. For the council, the three candidates receiving the most votes cast will be elected.
The Clarkston Community Center is at 3701 College Ave. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-585-8446, visit www.clarkstonga.gov/index.php/residents/ election-information, or contact City Clerk Tracy Ashby at email@example.com or 404-296-6489.