Controversial Athens-Clarke County commissioner unexpectedly resigns

Mariah Parker made national headlines four years after winning election by only 13 votes
Mariah Parker was elected only two years ago to the commission.
Mariah Parker was elected only two years ago to the commission.(WGCL)
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 4:26 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2022 at 4:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - An Athens-Clarke County commissioner, who won their first political office by only 13 votes in 2018, is resigning after winning reelection last year.

Mariah Parker made national headlines four years ago when they raised their fist and took the oath of office with their right hand on Alex Haley’s autobiography of Malcolm X. On Monday, in a lengthy Twitter post, Parker said they are resigning on August 31.

Parker’s announcement came after a was driven by a recent meeting in which a small group of people in the local government met to identify loopholes real estate developers could use to decrease access to affordable housing.

“We all feel it, but many are scared to say it: the Mayor & Commission are elected, but it’s money that governs,” Parker wrote in a 17-segment Twitter posting. “Housing cartels buy up whole blocks of Black neighborhoods -- as JW York has done in East Athens-- while families scramble in the face of eviction.”

Parker also criticized their alma mater. “The University of Georgia, with a billion dollar endowment and an immensely wealthy Board of Regents, sits pretty by keeping thousands of essential workers in poverty. The same is true for the corporate chains that dominate our food landscape by paying workers pennies; a bloated insurance bureaucracy that picks and chooses what care you can receive -- almost every aspect of our daily lives is more or less decided, not by local politicians, but profitability.

“With the Republican state legislature working to stymie progress at every turn & a federal government that could but chooses not to guarantee housing, healthcare, & good jobs, the hands of the Mayor & Commission are bound & bound again.”

Parker won a seat that was vacated by Harry Sims, who held the seat for 25 years. They defeated Taylor Pass, 28, grandson of the late civil rights activist Evelyn Neely, by earning 638 votes to Pass’ 625.

Parker also has a music career as a rapper who goes by Linqua Franqua.