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District 56 state House candidates Q&A
by Caroline Young
July 25, 2012 10:04 AM | 1485 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Editor’s note: Two Democrats — Kenneth Britt and “Able” Mable Thomas — are vying for the District 56 State House of Represen-tatives seat vacated by Kathy Ashe, D-Atlanta, who is retiring. The district includes part of south Buckhead. Thomas did not provide information requested by the Neighbor, so some of her answers are based on information provided in previous articles.

o Name, age: Kenneth Britt, 63

o Occupation: retired law firm executive

o Education: “After serving in the United States Army and receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1973, I graduated from DeKalb College in 1975 (AA) and then attended Georgia State University on the GI Bill. I graduated from Leadership Midtown (Class of 1993), and Leadership Atlanta (Class of 1996). I have a certificate in management from the Emory Goizueta Business School. Additionally, I have at-tended many continuing education courses in busi-ness and other subjects.”

o Political experience: Delegate (Alternate), 2012 Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, N.C., Democratic Party of Georgia, Coordinated Campaign Committee, Member, 2010, Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, District six, 2010, Treasurer, Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, District Six, 2009, Campaign Chair, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Board of Directors, Democratic Party of Georgia, State Committee, Member, Elected from Fulton County, 5th District, Democratic Party of Georgia, LGBT Caucus, Founding member and Vice-Chair, Congressman John Lewis' 2012 Re-election Campaign, LGBT Community Liaison, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), National Board of Directors, Immediate Past Co-Chair, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) , National Foundation Board of Directors, Georgia Equality Project, Board of Directors, Co-Chair, Georgia Equality Project, Foundation Board of Directors

o Family: Single

o Why are you the best choice? “I have 40 years of proven experience and solid relationships in business, the community and in politics. At the end of 2009, I took early retirement from the law firm of Alston & Bird where I served for 30 years as the firm’s executive director. During my tenure, Alston & Bird earned the distinction of being named by Fortune magazine as one of the “100 best places to work in America.” The firm is one of a few companies to have earned this distinction for 13 years in a row. I have a proven track record of getting things done. I am reliable and accountable. With my background and skills, serving the people of District 56 in the General Assembly is a natural next step, and being their representative will be my full-time job. During the 2011 Georgia legislative session, I served full-time as a volunteer registered lobbyist representing Planned Parenthood Southeast and Georgia Equality, helping me hone my advocacy skills and further learned firsthand about the inner workings of the state capitol. …I am a public servant at heart. My motivation to serve as the state representative for District 56 is to continue my longtime community service and political activism, while leveraging my business experience. I believe it is now more crucial than ever to build collaborative coalitions toward common goals, by ‘reaching across the aisles’ in [the] Legislature. However, I am not naïve. I understand today’s partisan political environment. Nevertheless, the guiding priniples of fighting for what is right and serving as a voice for those who would otherwise remain unheard have convinced me that my service should continue by seeking election to the Georgia House of Representatives. I have been en-dorsed by Representative Kathy Ashe, the retiring District 56 incumbent [and several organizations]. As our representative for District 56, I will fight to revitalize our neighborhoods, stand up for our public schools and promote economic development and job growth. I have a record of fighting for equality and justice in our community and have longstanding relationships with key elected officials, including [District 5] Congressman John Lewis.”

o Top three issues: Jobs, education quality and economic development and community revitalization.

o Net campaign funds: $61,829.94 through June 30, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website

o Website:

o Name, age: “Able” Mable Thomas, 54

o Occupation: director of Greater Vine City Opportunities Program Inc., public speaker, strategic planner?

o Education: bachelor’s degree in public administration, Georgia State University, 1982; completed 30 credit hours toward master’s degree as of 2010

o Political experience: lost to Rashad Taylor in the 2010 District 55 House election (when she lived in that district, which has since been redrawn); elected to District 56 seat in 2002 and served for six years; elected to Atlanta City Council Post 1 at-large seat in 1997 and worked as presidential delegate in 1984 for candidate Jesse Jackson at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

o Family: single as of 2010

o Why are you the best choice? Not available.

o Top three issues: funding of public schools, economic development and a statewide anti-poverty initiative, according to her campaign website.

o Net campaign funds: Not available. She has not yet filed second-quarter campaign disclosure reports and owes $150 in fines for filing reports late in past years, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website.

o Website:

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