Photo Credit: courtesy of Mariah Parker
Activist, hip-hop artist and Flagpole cover girl Mariah Parker is running for Athens-Clarke County Commission in District 2, she announced this weekend.
Parker—a doctoral student in linguistics at UGA who's also known by her stage name, Linqua Franqa—had been running Tommy Valentine's Commission District 9 campaign manager, but is now striking out on her own.
She'll face Taylor Pass in the race to replace Commissioner Harry Sims, who resigned to run for mayor, and represent East Athens. Another announced candidate, teacher Mark Martin, has dropped out. It's possible other candidates could jump in during the official qualifying period Mar. 5–9.
Parker said she's running because the commission needs a full slate of progressives to enact policy. From her announcement:
“District 2 is a district of hard work and problem solving. My neighbors wake up everyday faced with unique challenges but overcome these issues bravely and creatively,” says Parker. “They deserve recognition for these efforts in the form of fair wages and an equal share in meaningful work in industries of the twenty-first century. They deserve affordable and sustainable transportation options, access to affordable child care and youth development programs, access to jobs training programs and improved relationships with local law enforcement.”
Parker will also fight for a comprehensive, citywide anti-discrimination ordinance and is exploring policy which will expand access to healthy food options in the district.
“Mariah Parker is the type of passionate, knowledgeable leader that Athens needs,” says Valentine. “I’ve seen, first-hand, her ability to inspire people, promote progressive solutions, and build new coalitions. I’m thrilled to see her expand our movement by seeking to represent her neighbors in District 2.”
Parker said she has already raised $1,400, including contributions from Valentine, District 9 commissioner and mayoral candidate Kelly Girtz and Frances Berry, who is running Patrick Davenport's campaign against incumbent Sharyn Dickerson in District 1.
She will make a formal announcement at 3 p.m. Monday at artist Broderick Flanigan's studio in Triangle Plaza and host a campaign launch party at 5 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 4 at her home at 387 Flint St.