In this overwhelmingly negative political climate, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Our federal government has been taken over by a mob of grumpy old white men and much of the progress made in the Obama years is slowly being stripped away. Because of this, it is now even more important that we get engaged with our local politicians. Atlanta is changing, and it's up to us to fix it.
On Thursday, March 23 at the Krog Street Tunnel green space, Liliana Bahktiari announced her run for Atlanta City Council, district 5. The district contains ADNA, Fourth and Sand, Central Atlanta Neighbors, Old Fourth Ward, Sweet Auburn, Fourth Ward West, Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, East Atlanta, Lake Claire, East Lake, Ormewood Park, and Grant Park.
During her announcement speech, Bahktiari spoke about her international volunteer work, fighting for women's rights, environmental rights, and water accessibility.
"I became everything I am in Atlanta... Everything that shaped the Atlanta that I know, the city of Other - the working class, our immigrants and minority communities, the DIY and grassroots art movements, the People of Color that uphold the legacy of this city. We're seeing it all disappear."
A 29 year old Atlanta-native, Bahktiari has been a major activist and supporter of the local arts & queer communities. She has served on the board of Lost and Found Youth and is a current board member of gloATL. She attended Georgia State University and owns a house in SE Atlanta with her longtime partner, Kris.
"The feedback we have already gotten, combined with everything we heard while considering the run, makes me realize this is absolutely the right thing to do. It's very easy to sit on the sidelines and judge. It's much harder to serve from the inside and it forces you to be in the spotlight and be accountable and practice what you preach," Bahktiari said in a prepared statement.
Follow her Facebook page for more updates.
All photos by Jon Dean