Garry Guan

Garry Guan.

Occupation: Translator/interpreter

Previous elected offices held:  None.

Other community service experience: Past President of Rotary Club of North Atlanta (Formerly Rotary Club of North DeKalb), member since 1997; Past President of Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators; served as board members for Partnership for Community Actions, Inc., National Family in Action, Inc. and Asian American Resource Center, Inc.; and a graduate of Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute class of 2006.

What is motivating you to run for this office? 

Giving back to the country and the great state that provided me with liberty and opportunity to strive as an American by Choice, and seeing the threat of communist/socialist to this country. As someone born and grown up under Mao’s China, I could not stand by without doing my part to preserve the core values of America. I also hope to help heal the divide of the people in the current poisonous political environment with love, compassion and understanding, and with my innate moderation of the Asian culture and heritage.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? 

Continuing fight of the COPVID-19 pandemic, while trying the best to keep its impact on the economy. Both life and livelihood of the people are important, not just one or another. Safe community for our lives and business.

Why should voters choose you instead of the incumbent? 

With high academic accomplishments and broad, worldly view and experiences, I will bring new perspectives, new approaches and new solutions to the state legislature and with a better understanding and representation of our diverse communities. I will be fully accessible to the citizens and constituents, listening and learning their concerns and inputs instead of pushing any ideological personal agenda.

What would be your policy priority in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Just as the federal government leaves the decision in combating COVID-19 pandemic to the state, our state should provide its overall guidelines but also give more controls to local municipalities and counties, which are in a better position to assess their own situations and conditions thus taking the most appropriate actions. The state priorities should be in quick discoveries of the area that local government alone may not be able, or need state help to address, such as infrastructures needed for citizens and families to function during the pandemic, such as online accessibility for all the students.

What state law changes, if any, should follow as a result of this year’s protests about racism and police brutality? 

Georgia has already passed and the governor signed the hate-crime bill, which was one of the results of this year’s protests about racism and police brutality. We certainly should also be further looking into more diversity training for our law enforcement officers and seeking ways to enhance the officers with the communities they serve.

Tax abatements granted by governments to developers in such hot real estate markets as Brookhaven have been highly controversial. Should any changes be made in state law to the way abatements are delivered, and if so, what are they? 

I agree that tax incentive is a very effective way to attract economic development. However, smart growth should not be limited to simply economic and revenue growth. I believe more consideration should be given on the impact of the projects to the quality of living of the local population. Furthermore, new requirements to report tax abatements in financial statements will help make some incentives more transparent, but comprehensive incentive reports are still important.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.