In Doraville we talk a lot about our diversity – and to be sure, that’s one of our greatest assets. But diversity isn’t only about different ethnicities, much as I love our diversity in that way. So many communities are segregated not just by race but by age and income level too, and when you think about it, this doesn’t make much sense. A college student or blue collar worker has different housing needs than a growing family or a successful business owner, who in turn has different needs from a retired senior on a fixed budget. I feel strongly that people shouldn’t need to leave their communities as they grow up, have children, grow wealthy, or grow old.
Communities should have housing and services available that alleviate social isolation and foster neighbors helping neighbors, younger folks helping seniors, business owners mentoring workers and creating opportunities for them, workers being able to live near their jobs and avoid energy wasting and traffic inducing commutes. A more conscious approach to urban planning can allow for this to happen more naturally, and this is what I will advocate and support in terms of zoning, infrastructure and tax incentives.
Participating in Design Doraville has taught me that most people really want similar things in a place to live – public safety, beautiful spaces, good schools, and economic opportunity – regardless of their background. I don’t want to lose good residents because they’re too poor nor because they’re “too wealthy” and want to move elsewhere. I want to live in a community that serves us all.