Lauren Kiefer

First-time candidate Lauren Kiefer will announce her bid for Brookhaven mayor today.

A small business owner, Kiefer serves as the interim executive director of the Peachtree Creek Greenway and chair of the Brookhaven Arts and Culture Commission. 

She has also served as a board member of the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and HUB404 Conservancy. She served on the advisory board of the Marcus Autism Center and on the Oglethorpe University President’s Advisory Council. She is current class member of Leadership DeKalb. 

She hails from Illinois, where she started a software company, and attended Illinois Institute of Technology and Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Kiefer and her husband moved to Georgia in 1995. They have two adult children who live locally. Kiefer moved to Brookhaven in 2020 from Peachtree Corners.

Kiefer said she is running because she wants to see Brookhaven continue to grow and thrive. She also wants to reevaluate the city’s methods of operation, she said. 

“I’m concerned that the new public safety building is three years behind schedule and 50 percent over budget, and despite this situation, the current administration rushed into the new City Hall construction which is an even larger and significantly more expensive capital project,” Kiefer said. 

Kiefer is critical of the city’s proclaimed commitment to social justice and equity. 

“Their actions do not support that, as is evidenced by giving the architect a no-bid contract in order to expedite the groundbreaking of City Hall. The architect is qualified, and their team may have been awarded the contract anyway, but there was no reason to rush into the contract,” said Kiefer. “Our citizens deserve more.”

Kiefer has collected $56,000 in campaign fundraising from 130 donors, 30% of whom are Brookhaven residents. According to her campaign, this is the fastest start for any campaign in the city’s history. 

“I’m so thrilled at this outpouring of early support for my campaign. I am so excited to hit the ground running and keep engaging with the Brookhaven community and working towards building a better Brookhaven together,” she said. 

The Brookhaven municipal election is Nov. 7. Candidates must qualify with the city manager between Aug. 23-25.

The winner of the November election will succeed current John Ernst, who is in his second and final time as mayor.

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.