Michelle Long Spears

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Status Challenger

Background

Michelle Long Spears has received degrees from the University of Houston, the University of Phoenix, and Georgia State University. She is the founder and CEO of NP Voice LLC, a consulting firm that facilitates communication between social impact organizations. Spears was appointed as an alternate member of the Dekalb County Board of Ethics in 2020, and she is a recipient of the John Cotton Dana Award and the Legislative Fellowship Award from the Georgia Senate and Georgia State University [5]. Spears has worked with nonprofits including the Community Foundation, Partnership for Southern Equity, and Mosaic Georgia [1]. Spears came under fire after describing the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement as a “racial uprising” in a forum on April 19, 2022 while answering a question about law enforcement [3].

Key Issues

Transportation

Spears supports the implementation of sustainable traffic-calming solutions [1].

Social Programs

Spears advocates for improved access to affordable, efficient county services. She plans to expand the mental health co-responder program with DKPD and the DeKalb Community Service Board [1].

Infrastructure

Spears prioritizes paving projects, flood mitigation, and waste management services. Additionally, Spears intends to ensure District 2’s inclusion in the SPLOST project list, improving mobility and sustainably completing a water and sewer system overhaul [1].

Law Enforcement

Spears supports an expansion of the use of technology, such as flock cameras, in residential and commercial areas. Spears believes it is important to improve police training while also addressing systemic issues within law enforcement agencies [1].

Housing

Spears supports working on zoning reform, inclusionary zoning, and tax policies in order to improve housing access and avoiding pricing out residents. Spears also stresses the importance of maximizing land usage and creating strong communities. She supports the establishment of a land trust and an affordable housing trust fund. Spears proposes a cap on property tax increases over time, the utilization of Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP) funding to build and renovate homes, energy efficiency retrofits, and stricter enforcement of county health code and property maintenance standards, especially with regards to rental properties [1].

Community

Spears plans to expand and enhance parks, green space, trails, and conservation areas [1]. 

Environment

 

Spears supports strengthening the county’s tree preservation ordinance, implementing a county-wide tree canopy survey to identify and begin to combat the urban heat island effect. She plans to strengthen the tree preservation ordinance by increasing fines and penalties for violations and tree removal fees [1].

Education

Spears plans to collaborate with the DeKalb County Board of Education, working to coordinate facility usage, after-school programs, and workforce development. She prioritizes creating plans for the usage of vacant properties owned by the Board of Education. Additionally, Spears supports legislation to give the Board of Education a seat on the Decide DeKalb Development Authority, with the goal of including the Board in future tax abatement decisions [1].

Endorsements

Jeff Rader, DeKalb County Commissioner for District 2; Ted Terry, DeKalb County Commissioner for Super District 6; Nicole Love Hendrickson, Gwinnett County Chairwoman; Maria Balais, Former Executive Director of Leadership DeKalb; Kathie Gannon, DeKalb County Commissioner, Super District 6; Gale Walldorff, DeKalb County Commissioner, District 2; Erik Clarkston, Mayor of the City of Chamblee; Chandra Farley, Former Candidate for Georgia Public Service Commission; Bill Floyd, Mayor of the City of Decatur; Jan Selman; Dr. Rev. William Flippin Jr.; Gabrielle Rogers

Sources

1 Official Website
2 Ballotpedia
3 Decaturish
4 Facebook
5 NP Voice