PRIORITIES & PLATFORM
✔️ Responsive Leadership for All of Athens
Mara Zúñiga possesses strong leadership skills and a broad range of life experience. A leader should have knowledge of not only the problems that affect one sector of the community but the entire community. A leader should promote unity, not division. Unity cannot come unless the leader listens and takes time to understand the needs of the community as a whole. Responsive leadership is greatly needed to find common ground for the people of Athens.
Whether through a well-funded community program or as a high school class requirement, a life class should be available to residents who lack the skills for a strategic personal economic plan towards financial security. Bureaucracy has overtaken simple solutions and actions. Public education should not be the object of political agendas. Children need a physically safe and encouraging environment in which to learn.
Trust must be rebuilt between the community and the police. Safety is compromised when local government withholds support from the police department. Clear lack of support by our local government for our police department has given way to low morale within the department and has helped in shattering public confidence. I support our men and women who serve daily to protect the people of Athens.
TRANSPARENT SPENDING and COMMUNICATION
This government has spent money frivolously and without any thought or consideration of the taxpayers. There needs to be simple, understandable public education on the budget and clear documentation in government spending. Transparency is not only needed in government spending but also in government communication and associations.
- Provide transparency with access to an easy to navigate, plain language, consolidated government financial report
- Rebuild morale and restore funding (Innovate/New Technology) to our local law enforcement
- Focus on Community & Youth Engagement and Development like a Cadet Program, Sports with cops (emphasizing the 28% poverty rate)
- Create a Youth Services Division: High School internships/Guaranteed summer job program/ Work training/ GED/Mentor programs/STEM Programs/Drug & Gang Awareness/Entrepreneurship/ Parent Resources for children dealing with drugs & gangs
- Create a business-friendly environment for economic development, by promoting and developing entrepreneurship
- Promote workforce skills training to accommodate current and future needs of the business community (those outside higher education)
- Develop a Business-Church-Community Partnership to address local issues that affect the community as a whole
- Develop sustainable solutions to reduce homelessness
- Work with the State to provide long term solutions for addiction and mental health issues
- Assess and address aging and neglected infrastructure needs
- Promote sound environmental stewardship through policy development and education
- Promote Responsive Leadership through Town Hall meetings with Community, UGA students & Administration, Businesses, and Churches
- Partner with Board of Education, local businesses and Youth Services Division and create a partnership for a life Skills class at Career Academy