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Brown, Esteves, Norwood ready to serve Atlanta
by Nicole Dow
December 31, 2013 10:11 AM | 2029 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cynthia Briscoe Brown
Cynthia Briscoe Brown
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Jason Esteves
Jason Esteves
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Mary Norwood
Mary Norwood
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Former Atlanta City Councilwoman and mayoral hopeful Mary Norwood is ready to be sworn in to her old Post 2 at-large seat Monday, while newly elected at-large Atlanta Board of Education members Cynthia Briscoe Brown and Jason Esteves will just wait one week later to be sworn in Jan. 13.

Norwood was first elected to the council in 2001 and served until 2009, when she decided to run for mayor, losing to Kasim Reed in a runoff. She said public safety is her top priority once she is back in office.

“If people are not safe or do not feel safe 24/7, then nothing else matters,” Norwood said.

Other issues she intends to focus on are land use, transportation, greenspace and sustainability.

“I am looking forward to working with all of the council,” she said. “The Northside council members have done an outstanding job. We’ve got great representatives in Yolanda Adrean, Howard Shook, Felicia Moore and Alex Wan.”

Norwood said she has been involved in local community service since the early 1990s. She beat incumbent Aaron Watson in the November general election with 52.77 percent of the vote.

Brown and Esteves will be among six new faces on the nine-member school board. Both said selecting the best superintendent for Atlanta and giving more support to students, teachers and principals as opposed to focusing on the central office will be among their priorities.

Brown beat Seat 8 incumbent Reuben McDaniel, the board chairman, in the December runoff with 65.82 percent of the vote. In the Seat 9 race, Esteves defeated opponent Lori James with 71.39 percent. He will take the position being vacated by Emmett Johnson, who did not seek re-election.

Though both are newcomers to public office, Brown and Esteves have first-hand experience with public school systems. Brown, an attorney, has a son who is a senior at North Atlanta High School and a daughter who graduated from the school in 2010.

“I’ve been involved [in the Atlanta school system] for so many years as a parent, as a volunteer [and] as an advocate,” she said.

Esteves was a Teach For America middle school teacher in Houston, Texas, before going to law school. He is an attorney with McKenna Long and Aldridge in downtown Atlanta.

“As an attorney, I’m often looking at big, complex issues and breaking them down to try to come up with practical solutions and bringing people together around those solutions, and on the board we’ve going to have some pretty big things that we’re going to have to decide on,” Esteves said.

Calls and emails to Watson, McDaniel and Johnson seeking comment on their tenures were not returned at press time.

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