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Atlanta Business Coalition Updated City Candidate Evaluations

November 19,2009

The Committee for a Better Atlanta (CBA), a coalition of Atlanta businesses and business organizations, has re-released its Consumer Reports-style evaluations of the candidates running for Mayor and City Council to include recent election results in preparation for run-off elections December 1st. The CBA Voter Guide “scores” candidates on business issues important to the community at-large.

While “ethics reform” was the prevalent theme in 2005, many of this year’s candidates pointed to public safety and better financial management as the most important issues for this election. Infrastructure needs, specifically around water and transportation, ranked high as well.

CBA is pleased to report that 43 out of 51 candidates participated in our process. In addition, there are a number of qualified candidates running in this year's election as indicated by the fact that 15 candidates rated “excellent” in the CBA evaluation and 13 are “well qualified.”

To provide the best possible information on issues important to voters, CBA developed a detailed questionnaire for each city of Atlanta election and conducted personal interviews that probe candidates about high-priority community concerns. Committee members used a scale for scoring the responses to the questionnaire and the interviews, and an average was calculated for each candidate: 88 or higher is considered “excellent;” 79 to 87 is “well qualified;” 70 to 78 is “average;” and below 70 is “not qualified.”

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CBA strives to make the evaluation process as fair as possible across all races and only takes into account responses provided to the questionnaire and in the interview process.

Interviewers were provided extensive training to ensure consistency in evaluating candidates. Prior voting records were not considered for this purpose but may be included in future CBA processes. Finally, any outstanding ethics issues were not addressed by this process as the City of Atlanta Ethics Committee has its own process for addressing those issues.

The entire voter guide, including candidates’ scores and questionnaires, is available on CBA’s web site: www.betteratlanta.org. CBA encourages its members to distribute the guide to their employees.

CBA has evaluated candidates for elected offices since 1997. This year’s CBA members include:
100 Black Men of Atlanta
AGL Resources, Inc.
Americas Mart
Atlanta ApartmentAssociation
Atlanta Board of Realtors
Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors
Atlanta Business League
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
Atlanta Hotel Council
Atlanta Restaurant Council
Atlanta Licensed Beverage Council
Atlanta Urban League
AT&T Georgia
Bank of America
Buckhead Business Association
Buckhead Coalition
Building Owners & Managers Association
Business Wise Incorporated
Central Atlanta Progress
Council for Quality Growth
Georgia Beverage Association
Delta Air Lines
Equifax
GE Energy
Georgia-Pacific Corp.
Georgia Power Co.
Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
McKenna, Long and Aldridge
Metro Atlanta Chamber
SunTrust Corp.
Turner Broadcasting System