Russell Edwards

Russell Edwards, headshot, smiling at the cameraCommissioner Edwards, District 7


Represents 5-Points, Milledge Circle, S. Milledge, Westview and Riverbend areas.
Russell’s Website
Professional and Civic Experience

Former Treasurer of the Downtown Athens Business Association
Vice Chair of Athens-Clarke County Citizen Advocacy
Founder of People for a Better Athens
Former Chair of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee
Graduated from University of North Carolina-Asheville and UGA School of Law
Party Affiliation
Primary Ballots: Russell Edwards exclusively takes Democratic primary ballots.
Donations: Donated to Jim Martin (D) for US Senate in 2008, Roy Barnes (D) for Governor in 2010, Deborah Gonzalez (D) and Jonathan Wallace (D) for State House in 2018.
Ran for Office: Ran for US House, District 10 as a Democrat in 2010.

Official member of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee.

Inferred Party: Democrat

Signature Policies

A Family-Friendly Athens: During his 2018 campaign, Commissioner Russell Edwards’ main campaign promise was to make Athens a safer place for people of all ages. For example, pedestrian and bicyclist safety was a top priority of his during the FY 2020 budget negotiations with his fellow commissioners. He was successful at securing infrastructure to improve safety for those walking and biking along Riverbend Parkway, for example. He was also an advocate for moving our city’s firework display on 4th of July to downtown, to give families something they could do together in that area of town.

Tax Reform: Edwards has vocally supported freezing property taxes for those living on fixed incomes.

Other Issues

Strong Opposition to Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers: Edwards has a strong dislike of gas-powered leaf blowers, which create noise and air pollution. At the March 3, 2020 voting session, he went so far as to call them “distopic” and essentially asked for them to be banned! It seems he is fine with electric leaf blowers, though. In the same speech, he also called for the reduction of plastic waste.

Voting Record

  • 2020
    Accept Agreement with the Classic Center: absent
    Support the Pre-Arrest Diversion Program: YES
    Start a Community Energy Fund: YES
    Declare State of Emergency, Banning Public Gatherings: YES
    Order Athenians to Shelter in Place: YES
    Urge Leniency for Rent and Mortgage Payments: YES
    Refuse to Pay Attorney Bryan Sells: YES
    Move Confederate Monument, Close College Square: YES
    Establish Goal of Reducing Police Funding: NO
    Adopt the FY 2021 Budget: YES
    Make Masks Mandatory: serving as mayor pro tem
    Resolve that Black lives matter: serving as mayor pro tem
    Delay BLM resolution: serving as mayor pro tem
    Start “parklet” pilot program: YES
    (More information about 2020 votes)
  • 2019
    Reconsider Designating SPLOST Projects: YES
    Accept $250,000 Settlement with Taylor Saulters: YES
    FY2020 Goals and Objectives:YES
    Designate SPLOST Projects: YES
    Expand ACCPD Vehicle Program: YES
    Adopt the 100% Athens Resolution: YES
    End cash bail for local ordinance violations: YES
    Delay Bike Lanes on Hancock Ave: NO
    Remove Mention of Classic Center Arena from SPLOST 2020: NO
    Approve Final SPLOST 2020 List: YES
    Pass Along State Legislative Requests: YES
    Reorganize Animal Control: YES
    Approve the Neighborhood Leaders program: YES
    (More information about 2019 votes)