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 2, Jon Jones says he'll go against incumbent Kwanza Hall, who has served since 2005. Some of the neighborhoods in District 2 include Inman Park, Candler Park and Old Fourth Ward. It also includes Poncey-Highland and Midtown.
- In District 1, Robert Welsh plans to run against Carla Smith. District 1 covers about 20 neighborhoods, including Peoplestown, Summerhill, Grant Park and Ormewood Park.