In 2019 I provided the funding necessary to revive the DeKalb Regional Land Bank Authority. The Land Bank is a valuable tool to fight blight and get abandoned properties revitalized and into productive use. The Land Bank became functional in 2022 after a board was appointed and an administrator was chosen to oversee the daily operations, property acquisition, sales, and legal transactions on behalf of DeKalb County. The Land Bank is a valuable tool in creating affordable housing.


In 2019 to increase financial literacy and home ownership, I entered a partnership with Operation Hope and RBC Bank to open Operation HOPE DeKalb. To date, the partnership has created 89 new homeowners and issued more than $22 million in home loan funding and down-payment assistance to first-time home buyers. Financial dignity training, small business education and wealth building balance the program offerings.


Founded in 2020, the DeKalb County Small Business Summit is designed to support small business development, while providing ongoing business education and resources to ensure the success of local small businesses. This annual event features business experts in a variety of areas including funding, marketing, digital technology, franchising, and incentives. How to get start a business, pitfalls to avoid, and tips for sustaining and boosting a small business are covered.


The Non-Violence Initiative aims to decrease incidents of violence and increase student retention rates through violence prevention and mental health-based education. The initiative utilizes a conglomerate approach that enlists diverse professionals, community partners, parents, educators, service providers, and trained professionals to assist in implementing positive change.


The Weekly Chat is an engaging podcast created with community in mind. Moderated by Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, each episode features informative conversation on issues relevant to DeKalb. Podcast listeners explore local, national, and global issues through the lens of content experts, community leaders, citizens, and individuals on the front-line.


At home, in neighborhoods, and in school, many young people face difficulties that can interfere with learning and their personal growth and success.  Young people need caring adults who will mentor them during turbulent times and not give up on them. The Lock-In focuses on four major areas: social and mental preparedness, conflict resolution and communication, ignorance is no defense, and mentorship. This year-round program features several community partners and has had over 500 participants. The program includes midnight basketball, personal enrichment workshops, and promotes higher education.


DeKalb Cancer Week spreads cancer awareness and encourages annual prostate and breast screenings. Created as an educational tool to support annual screening programs, the website houses important facts on various forms of cancer and the importance of annual testing and detection.


The E.M.B.A.R.C. Community Youth Farm is a 58-acre farm featuring South DeKalb’s first Park Naturalist, edible environments, a state-of-the-art green house, raised garden beds, a pool, pickle ball, tennis courts, bee farming and local growers. Phase II development includes a state-of-the-art country store with an Food Drug Administration (FDA) approved kitchen for the development of jellies, jams, and preserves to be sold as a part of the entrepreneurship training program.


Authored Trail Resolution creating a dedicated funding source for the development of trails and paths to expand transportation options and economic development, while enhancing the quality of life. With a goal of connecting DeKalb trails ultimately to the Atlanta Beltline to foster connectivity and economic development, as a part of the 22-mile continuous loop of tails that unite our counties and communities. The Trail Resolution led to the funding of theTrail MasterPlan to develop a long-rang priority trail and path development plan.


The Metro Atlanta region is expected to increase by 1.8 million by 2050. With increased residents and cars, mass transit is critical to the future of DeKalb. Mass transit facilitates economic development and transit-oriented development. In 2022 I brought all municipalities and regional partners together to discuss a course of action, but due to a vote by the BOC discussions were halted. I look forward to working with regional partners and municipalities to adopt a comprehensive solution and course of action to meet the needs of all DeKalb residents.


In June 2021, I engaged Discover DeKalb to retain a world-class destination specialist to conduct a comprehensive market analysis to determine the feasibility of an event epicenter. The study points to The Assembly and PDK Airport as the ideal locations - ongoing discussions continue.


South DeKalb Mall is the gateway to South DeKalb. Its revitalization is critical to the transformation of South DeKalb as an economic anchor. In 2022 formal conversations began when Ryan Gravel was retained to create an aspirational mixed-use development plan that includes green space, entertainment, and housing. In 2023 a Tax Allocation District and Opportunity Zone was created to provide the framework needed to facilitate future growth.


DeKalb COVID Info was created to disseminate critical information to the community in response to the global pandemic. The website proved invaluable at the height of the pandemic and was widely recognized for its comprehensive approach to public health information dissemination. Designed by Lorraine Cochran-Johnson the website featured global data on known Covid cases, death rates, and the latest information on vaccination locations, research, and safety standards. The comprehensive campaign included billboards, digital marketing and print advertising.


Let's Vote DeKalb is a grass roots, community driven effort in association with the Indivisible Georgia Coalition, DeKalb Democrats, and the NAACP. It is a non-partisan organization created to encourage greater voter participation through active community engagement and strategic voter initiatives geared towards schools, places of worship, community centers, and community mobilization. As a body the organization seeks to ensure 100% voter participation among DeKalb residents.


The DeKalb County District 7 Glass Orb Projectwas a celebration to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of DeKalb County. Participants found hand-blown glass treasures created by Decatur Glass Glassblowing at various parks throughout DeKalb. Each limited-edition glass orb carries a special 200th Anniversary seal designed by Lorraine Cochran-Johnson and is marked with a unique number for tracking - making each orb a limited edition and collectable piece or art.

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