Rep. Gardner: Solving MARTA Woes Will be Key in 2013

Residents of neighborhoods in west Atlanta's NPU-T received a first-hand report on what Democrats like Pat Gardner will be fighting for in 2013.

The Georgia State legislature is set to open its 2013 session in the coming days, and the minority Democrats, such as District 57 Representative Pat Gardner, are gearing up for some tough fights ahead.

The District 57 boundaries run from Morningside to SW Atlanta, including portions of Virginia-Highland, Midtown and neighborhoods east of Downtown Atlanta. Gardner has represented District 57 for a dozen years and last summer defeated Rep. Rashad Taylor to secure the seat in the state legislature.

In the video above, Gardner firstly brings up MARTA as one of the key issues that she will fight for underneath the golden dome. From the Transportation Committee, Gardner plans to work with the new executive director and the State to, "give MARTA at least the freedom to move forward."

Gardner said that she thinks the majority of representatives at the Capitol, think Marta is a good idea, but that the problem is more with perception. She said, "we need to talk about the fact that we all use MARTA, and that it is going to make our city thrive."

An additional issue that will be a hot topic early in the session, will be that of a new stadium for the Falcons. When she brought up the topic at the neighborhood meeting, residents immediately moaned with a general opinion that a stadium was not welcomed, yet was already a done deal.

Gardner said that no matter how you feel about the issue, now is the time to be part of the discussion. "My strategy, always, is to try to get in there at the table and to figure out how you can make the deal the best for our communities. And I mean the residents who live around the Dome."

The room was left with a feeling of hope for 2013, but also with a measured bit cynicism too, as the representative informed the meeting that there are only 60 Democrats in the Georgia House of 160 members. It may be a hard push, but Gardner says she is up for it.

What are the issues on your mind that the Ga Legislature should tackle in 2013?


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