Posted on 28 June 2012.
Shannon Jenkins, Associate Writer, Lifestyle & Culture
Someone very close to Ken Britt isn’t happy about his bid for Georgia House of Representatives. His name is Loki, and he’s a Jack Russell.
“He doesn’t like this campaign at all because I’m not there,” Ken said of his pet.
Hopefully Loki has plenty of chew toys because Ken doesn’t appear to be losing interest in his quest for the District 56 seat, which recently came up for grabs when incumbent Kathy Ashe decided not to seek re-election. Ken faces Mable Thomas for the seat, and since there is no Republican opponent, the new representative will be decided in the July 31 Democratic primary election.
“I would have regretted it if I had walked away from the opportunity to at least try to gain office,” said Ken. “I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to put to work my background in the community and business.”
If Ken were a high school senior, his yearbook bio would make even the most overachieving student look like a slacker. Among his extensive community service and activism are board positions with Georgia Equality, AID Atlanta, the Human Rights Campaign and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. After working with Georgia Equality, Ken dipped his toe in the political pool by helping elect qualified LGBT people to office, starting with Representative Karla Drenner.
“I realized through watching the political process that as LGBT people we are not going to get our rights unless we got involved in the political process,” said Ken, who retired as executive director of the law firm Alston & Bird in 2009 and served in the Georgia Legislature as a registered lobbyist volunteer in 2011.
Ken also worked on the successful campaigns of Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner and became very involved in the Victory Fund, a national organization that strives to get LGBT people elected to public office.
Considering his background, becoming a politician seemed like a natural next step for Ken
“I’ve done a lot of political work behind the scenes and I felt it was time for me to step up to the plate and see if there was some good I could do,” he said.
GET TO KNOW KEN BRITT
Hit the Road Running
“I already have relationships with people like Alex Wan and Joan Garner and other city council members and state representatives and senators. I can put the team together to help get things done for District 56.”
A Logical Perspective
“I’m not naïve enough to think I’m going to make major changes in the Legislature considering the political environment. What we can do is stop bad things from happening (or try to stop them from happening) and try to enact some laws that will help the people we represent.”
The Needs of District 56
“There’s great need on the south side for economic development. The south side doesn’t have the goods and services that our citizens have in the north side. So there are all kinds of potential and opportunity for economic growth and development there. Another issue in the district is jobs. A lot of people are in an economic crisis and are looking for work. Public safety is an issue north and south. Economic development, transportation and education are other issues I’d work on.”
“I come from a working class background. My mother is Italian American. She was the first American-born sibling in her family. We moved to Atlanta when I was in my early teens. My father was a mechanic early in his life. My grandfather and uncles were barbers. They were working class people and they were Italian immigrants who moved here in the 1920s with the mass immigration from Europe.”
“My family moved to Tucker from Brooklyn. The change from New York to Atlanta was quite a traumatic experience but it turned out to be a great one for me. Growing up for me was typically normal—whatever normal is.”
“The Army was a great experience for me. I was fortunate that although I was in the Army during Vietnam, I was assigned to duty in Europe. I was in a tank battalion and did administrative and legal work while I was there. It made me grow up and become independent and self-sufficient and gave me good training for the rest of my life.”
The Meaning of “America”
“Freedom of choice. To be able to live openly and free. To be able to make your own decisions with your life without being controlled by government. I think government should be there to help but shouldn’t be intrusive.”
Favorite ice cream
Spare Time? What’s That?
I’m a food junkie. I don’t cook so I’m at restaurants all the time. I love theater. I work out a good bit, although I haven’t worked out lately because this campaign has been crazy.”
Celebrating Independence Day
“A typical Fourth of July for me would be to watch the parades on television and then spend the evening watching fireworks with friends.”
To learn more about Ken Britt, please click HERE.