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Rinker Challenging Archibong For Atlanta Council Seat

If elected, Matt Rinker would become the second openly gay city council member.

Matt Rinker announced on his website that he'll will run against incumbent Natalyn Archibong for the District 5 seat on the Atlanta City Council.

District 5, which like other districts, has changed boundary lines which will go into effect following the 2013 elections. It retains its historical neighborhoods such as East Atlanta, Kirkwood, East Lake, Reynoldstown and Lake Claire. It also adds some new communities, such as portions of Old Fourth Ward and North Ormewood Park.

Rinker is openly gay and, if elected, would become the second gay Atlanta council member, joining Alex Wan of District 6, Project Q said.

Rinker, 35, told Project Q he works as a property manager in East Atlanta. His website says he grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, graduated from Longwood University and moved to the Atlanta area in 2004.

In an interview with Georgia Voice, Rinker said Archibong has not addressed the most pressing problems of Atlanta, such as crime. He said:

"Our neighborhoods are no safer for Ms. Archibong’s three terms on council — in fact by most statistics crime is up. Aggravated assault is up. Auto thefts are up. Burglary is up. Robbery and larceny are both up in our neighborhoods.

"Too many of our streets are not a safe place for our kids to play. Too many of our seniors don’t feel safe in their homes. Too many homeowners have to pay large insurance premiums because of the zip code we chose to call home." 

Another issue may be alcohol sales.

Rinker told Project Q that he supports returning bar closing times to 4 a.m. Also, Archibong voted against putting a referendum on the ballot to allow the Sunday sales of alcohol in package and grocery stores.

The referendum easily passed in 2011.

Candidates have announced they're running against incumbents in two other East Atlanta Patch city council districts.

  • In District 1Robert Welsh plans to run against Carla Smith. District 1 covers about 20 neighborhoods, including Peoplestown, Summerhill, Grant Park and Ormewood Park.
Dana Blankenhorn February 08, 2013 at 02:52 PM
We have lived in Kirkwood since 1983, and it has grown increasingly safe over time. I can't speak for Old Fourth Ward and Ormewood Park, but most of District 5 has becoming increasingly safe while Councilwoman Archibong has been in office. But I really don't think that a city councilperson can be held responsible for the crime rate, up or down. That's not what the job is about. It's about being responsible to the community, which she is, and about what the councilperson supports and pushes while in office. I'd like to hear Mr. Rinker talk about that instead of giving me boilerplate about "crime."
Ron February 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Holding the Council person responsible for crime levels is like holding the Police Chief accountable for the high school graduation rate. Nice try, but makes no sense whatsoever if you understand how the system works. Councilpersons are local legislators, just like state legislators. They vote on ordinances and resolutions, not on how the police department works. Is Mr Rinker also saying that State House and Senate officials are responsible for crime levels in their districts? The irony of returning bar closings to 4 AM is that crime will increase as a result. Anyone familiar with crime statistics knows that. Streets safe for kids to play on? On a dead end street perhaps, but really, are there parents out there who send their kids out to play in the streets, unsupervised? Its the guns, dude. Do something about the guns, and then you'll start making progress.
Arthur David February 12, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Ron, you are spot on! I know who I'm not voting for!

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