Lyndsey Rudder

Lyndsey Rudder.

Occupation: Deputy District Attorney

Other community experience: I am a member of the Springlake Neighborhood Association. I do volunteer training statewide for the State Sheriff’s Association. I volunteer with Project Open Hand.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

As a prosecutor and mother of two young children, I am deeply concerned about the direction of our district. The district is plagued by crime, neighbors feel unsafe in the community, and businesses are being directly targeted by violent protestors and looters. Crime and business are extrinsically linked and recognizing the correlation between these two principles is key to the success and safety of the district. I have entered the race because we – the district – deserve better; we deserve a leader willing to stand up and fight for our community.

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

Our district is on a dangerous cycle. Our crime rates are drastically increasing, reaching decade highs. This crime bleeds into our economic sector, harming business growth, reducing recruitment and deterring business. As crime goes up and business growth goes down, neighbors, pillars of our community, and businesses are leaving our community. As people leave, property values and tax revenue decrease, harming our ability to fully fund our education system and other public services. I know that lack of education and services increases one’s chance of ending up in the criminal justice system. My opponent is perpetrating this cycle.

Why should voters choose you instead of the incumbent?

If you feel unsafe in your home, if you are scared to pump gas into your car alone, or nervous to shop at your neighborhood stores then the choice is clear: Vote rudder.  My opponent has voted in favor of criminals time and time again. As a prosecutor and deputized law enforcement officer, I know how to reduce crime. If you feel frustrated, worried and concerned about virtual learning and how it may negatively impact children’s academic, emotional, and developmental success then the choice is clear: Vote Rudder.  I am the only candidate in the race that has helped parents and community members fight for a plan to return to in-person education. I

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

My policy priority is to ensure that we reduce the cost of healthcare and provide coverage to those suffering from this pandemic, that we develop a plan to return our children to the classroom as soon as it is safe to do so, and that we renew the Pandemic Business Protection Act, which protects businesses, schools, health care providers, hospitals, sports programs and individuals who have reopened. My opponent did not vote in favor of this necessary protection for our businesses. It requires renewal and voting in favor of this is one of my largest priorities for the 2021 session.

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

I commend leadership in the capital for passing Georgia’s Hate Crime law. My opponent voted against HB838, the Hate Crime Law for First Responders and Law Enforcement. While I absolutely denounce police brutality, 99% of our men and women in blue are incredible public servants who wake up every day to put their lives on the line to keep each of us safe. Just like each of us, they too should be free from hate crimes and bias-motivated attacks. While we can explore reform options and consider more training for law enforcement, we cannot defund, demoralize or destroy our police.

Buckhead this year has seen an increase in gun crimes and street racing. What state law changes, if any, should be made to tackle these crime problems?

We must reduce gang-related activity; reduce our revolving jail and prison doors; prevent violent felons from receiving signature bonds and low bonds; strengthen our juvenile programs to deter our youth from a life of crime; and we absolutely must return to “proactive” vs. “reactive” policing and restore the morale of our law enforcement community. I am very familiar with the numerous state laws that penalize illegal street racing and associated activity. Currently, the laws are not being enforced and/or the penalties for these activities are traffic offenses or low-level misdemeanors.

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John Ruch

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