Justin Holsomback

Justin Holsomback.


Occupation: IT Technical Recruiter, aquesst Strategic Search (Certified Woman Owned Business based out of Dunwoody)

Previous elected offices held: None.

Other community service experience: Several years of experience volunteering for Young Democrat organizations at the County, State and National level, primarily focused on youth based issue advocacy, helping members network with campaigns/electeds, and organizing in the electoral space. Current Democratic Party of Georgia Secretary.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

I am running for the Fulton County Commission because it is a position that can really help workers and families in Fulton. It can help drive innovation in the public transportation space, which in turn would bring jobs and opportunity to our citizens. It can directly impact pressing public health issues like HIV/AIDS and opiate addiction through the county’s Public Health Centers. The commission oversees our elections in Fulton, a system in desperate need of an overhaul. As my fiancée and I start our family in Fulton County, I want to help strengthen our community.

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

As an IT recruiter, I have had conversations with hiring managers at some of the top technology companies in the US. They would love to come to Fulton County and build offices, especially in District 2, but decide not to because their employees would have huge issues getting to work due to our lackluster public transit systems. In my opinion, access to stable, well-paying jobs is the most important factor in someone’s ability to access the American Dream. Expanding public transit through last-mile bus service and rail expansion is key to addressing this issue.

Why should voters choose you instead of the incumbent?

My campaign’s platform is built around and focused on Fulton County residents and workers. If elected, my number one focus over the next four years is what I can do as a commissioner working hand in hand with our local city officials to improve the quality of life for our residents. While lower tax rates can be beneficial to families, I believe the focus right now should be on building the systems and infrastructure needed to bring Fulton County into the future, and on making sure all of Fulton County’s families and residents are included in that future.

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

The science on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear, especially as we have gotten more data in the last few months. The two steps residents can take to have the greatest impact as we wait for a vaccine are to stay home whenever possible, and to wear a mask and socially distance when out. Fulton has done a great job in my opinion rapidly building an expansive and accessible testing system, but now we need to pivot to providing PPE to residents and building the systems needed to allow our neighbors to stay home.

What policy changes, if any, should result from this year’s protests about racism and police brutality?

I encourage your readers to search for “8 Can’t Wait” online. They did extensive research into 8 simple, common-sense policies such as requiring de-escalation, banning chokeholds and shooting at moving vehicles, and comprehensive reporting when force is used. After exhaustive comparative research, their team found that police forces with all eight of these policies in place saw 72% fewer killings on average than police forces with none of them in place. I believe there is overwhelming bi-partisan support to see things like these put in place, and I would work tirelessly with our cities to get that done.

What is an example of an area where the county and local cities are working well together, and what is an example of an area that needs improvement?

I have had a lot of conversations with local elected leaders of the cities in and around my district. The most common answer when I ask what is being done well is support for social programs like the libraries and arts funding. However, especially over the last few months, it has become apparent that our cities do not feel like partners with the county in response to COVID. Fulton County received $104 million from the federal government based on the populations of our cities, yet most of that money did not/will not make it to the cities themselves

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John Ruch

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