Name: Sharyn Dickerson

Email Address:

Running For: Commission District 1

Are you a Democrat? I am an independent and not a member of any political party.

If elected, will you work to enact the ACCDC platform? (Attached in the email we sent you.) I do not support specific platforms of any political party but will work to support what the citizens I represent want.

Have you ever been a member of the ACCDC? If you have, please indicate your years of service and describe your work with the ACCDC. No

Please list all campaigns you have worked on, regardless of party affiliation, in either a volunteer or staff member capacity, on either the federal, state, or local level, and briefly describe your work on each. None

Please describe any work you have done in your community, either in Athens-Clarke County or elsewhere, in support of progressive causes.

  • ENVIRONMENT – From 1991 to 2005, I served as the Assistant Director of Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste and worked with a citizen advisory committee (still active today) to develop and manage the now Nationally acclaimed waste reduction and recycling program for our community. In 2005, began a private environmental consulting company and continued working with local governments throughout the U.S. to develop their waste reduction efforts. For the past nine years, my work has focused on supporting the bio-mass power industry by performing market research studies for power companies evaluating the development and/or acquisition of large scale, biomass and/or alternative fuel facilities to sustainably generate greener, cleaner power using urban wood waste for fuel.
  • EDUCATION – I served on the PTO of Whit Davis Elementary School for 11 years (2005-2016); three of those years (2009-2012) as President. Over the 11 years, I helped raise $60,000 through fundraisers that provided funds to our teachers to purchase additional educational resources that helped to supplement the funds from CCSD and the State.
  • HEALTHCARE – I have been both a Board Member and a volunteer with the Athens-based Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation (CBNLF) for 12 years and have helped raise close to $250,000 to help families with children who have been diagnosed with cancer. CBNLF provides financial assistance to these families by working with hospital personnel and social workers in Georgia to identify needs.
  • YOUTH/CHILDREN – I was a Member of the Kiwanis Club of Athens between 1997 and 2005, leaving after the birth of my third child. I served on the Board Member for three years between 1999 and 2002. In 2002, I received the George F. Hixson Service and Leadership Award for my years of service in both supporting and raising funds for a variety of local community service projects that supported the needs of our local youth.

Please list organizations and/or causes you have been involved with in any kind of substantial way.

  • Whit Davis Elementary School PTO; President 2009-2012, Member 2005-2016— 
  • Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation, Athens, Georgia, Board Member 2006-2011, Volunteer 2011- present —
  • Kiwanis Club of Athens, Board Member 1999-2002, Member 1997-2005 —
  • Solid Waste Association of North America, Georgia Chapter; Immediate Past President 2009-2011; President 2007-2009; Vice President 2005-2007; Board Member 1999-2011, Member 1996-2012—-
  • Southeast Recycling Development Council 2007-2012—-
  • National Recycling Coalition, Member 1994 – Present—
  • Georgia Recycling Coalition, Charter Board Member 1991– 1994, Member 1991-Present, Honorary Director 2016-Present—
  • Association of City and County Commissioners of Georgia; 2015-Present—
  • Athens-Clarke County Comprehensive Plan, Steering Committee, May 2017 – present —
  • Envision Athens, Co-Chair, May 2016 – present—-
  • Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, Athens-Clarke County Representative, December 2015 – present—-
  • Athens-Clarke County Lexington Road Ad-Hoc Advisory Committee, January 2015 – present—-
  • Athens-Clarke County Airport Authority, January 2015 – present—
  • East Athens Business Leaders Association, Member, 2015 – present—
  • Athens-Clarke Tomorrow, Staff Advisor 1993—
  • Athens-Clarke County Downtown Business Development Authority, Solid Waste Task Force, Committee Member 1992-1995—
  • Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Citizen Advisory Committee, Staff Advisor 1991-2005

If elected, what will be your policy priorities? Please describe 3 – 5 priorities.

My policy priorities for the next four years are:

1 – Reestablish Commercial Air Service at the Athens-Ben Epps Airport. Continue to work on reestablishing commercial air service to our community at the Athens-Ben Epps Airport. The Athens-Ben Epps Airport is one of only nine commercial airports in Georgia and a community asset that has the potential to increase economic development on the east side. A market study confirms there is a strong market for regional jet service to the three destinations of New York, Washington, DC, and South Florida (e.g.: Orlando). The study also supported the potential for daily hub service to Charlotte, North Carolina, which historically represented ACC’s last, fully successful service.

2 – Secure funding for an Eastside Library. Continue working with the Athens Regional Library Board to establish an eastside Library location to serve Barnett Shoals Elementary, Whit Davis Elementary, Gaines School Elementary, Hilsman Middle, and Cedar Shoals High School. Consider possible funding through a future Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax project.  

3 – Create a Municipal Broadband Network. Based on the recent staff report, work to establish a Municipal Broadband Network, with the goal of providing residents living in more rural portions of our community (e.g.: District 1) with secure and reliable internet access. Considering possible funding through a future Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax project.

4 – Finalize the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing. Identify funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019) budget to fund a Code Enforcement Officer to monitor and address multi-family housing ordinance violations. The idea is to focus on cleaning up housing complexes that have fallen into disrepair and provide incentives for redevelopment of these complexes, perhaps into mixed income housing where a portion of the units are affordable.

5 – Support the West Broad Initiative. Support the use of $2.85 million in SPLOST 2011 Youth and Community Enrichment Facility Partnership project funds to accomplish a catalyst project between the Unified Government, the Clarke County School District, and the Athens Land Trust. The project would address commonly identified needs of Youth Development, Job Training, and Entrepreneurship, while preserving and showcasing a key cultural heritage site: the Old West Broad School and campus.

Does your campaign have a platform? If so, please include a link here.

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour? I will continue to focus on what I can control at the local level with regard to wages, like I did when I voted to bring not only all ACC employees up to a living wage, but also the Athens Regional Library employees.

Do you support making it easier for workers to organize and join unions? Unions fall under Federal and State law, not local law. However, I will continue to support employees who advocate for better working conditions.

Will you support policies aimed at increasing the stock of affordable housing in in-town neighborhoods and making home-ownership more possible for ACC’s low-income residents? Yes

Would you support initiatives to help keep longtime Athens residents in their homes — people who are in danger of being pushed out of their neighborhoods by gentrification and rising taxes? Absolutely; however, I spoke with Tax Commissioner Meadows and learned that ACC has never “pushed out” or sold anyone’s house for failure to pay property taxes, regardless of whether they were in an area of gentrification or not. Through my work on the Georgia Initiative for Community House (GIHC), I am supportive and passionate about this issue and will continue to work to find sustainable ways to address the affordable housing shortage we are experiencing in our community.

Do you support equal pay for equal work for women? Yes

Should marijuana should be removed from the list of “Schedule 1” federal controlled substances? Yes

Should local law enforcement agencies be required to assist federal immigration law enforcement agencies with deportations? No

Should military-style weapons be accessible to civilians? Although I support measures that would make it harder for those with a documented history of violence or psychological problems to purchase weapons and commit acts of murder, firearms are regulated at the Federal and State levels and there is nothing we can do at the local level in Georgia on that issue.

Do you support repealing the Campus Carry law? Yes

Do you support incentivizing investments in clean energy and ending tax breaks and other perks for fossil fuel companies? Yes

Do you support increasing protections for wetlands buffers to help keep our waterways uncontaminated? As an environmentalist, I support protecting all aspects of our environment. To do so requires identifying the source of the problem (i.e. pollution) and then finding ways to address and stop it.

Do you support comprehensive non-discrimination legislation in ACC? To the extent allowable by State law and to the extent we can put into place mechanisms to stop discrimination in ACC. I recall listening on several occasions to Harry Sim’s stories about growing up here in ACC during the years of segregation. His stories, and those of others I know who lived through those times, really resonate with me.

Should it be illegal for public businesses and institutions to discriminate against LBGTQ people? Yes

Do you support the expansion of Medicaid in Georgia? Yes

Do you support the goal of Universal healthcare – healthcare as a fundamental human right for every American? Yes

Should all state education funds should be directed to public schools? Yes

What are your thoughts about how to secure safe schools for all students?

I think the “how” of securing our schools should be addressed by the CCSD Board of Education, as they are the policy-making body for the school system. However, I absolutely think securing our schools should be a top priority. For the past three years that I have been a Commissioner, I have supported through our annual operating budget, supplemental funding of School Resource Officers (SRO), that is ACC Police Officers at all CCSD Middle and High Schools. I plan to support SROs in the upcoming FY19 budget as well as funding to pay for increased security at the Athens Regional Library during after-school hours.

Do you support the current Teacher Retirement System of Georgia? Yes

Should legislation requiring electoral districts be drawn by an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission? Yes

Do you support restoring the full protections of the Voters Rights Act? Yes – I also support paper ballots. Moreover, if I were a State or Federal elected official, I would work to pass legislation for same day voter registration and will bring this up to our State Officials when they meet with us to review the recent legislative session.