Lamar In The News

The city of Atlanta is looking at changing that and investing $500,000 to develop a plan to bring back people and jobs.

"We have all these wonderful things happening in downtown Atlanta, but really not a lot of synchronization," Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis told Channel 2’s John Bachman.

Atlanta looks at $500K downtown revival plan

Many of the local television networks have covered his success story of losing 100 pounds since October 2011. The same tenacity he has put into building a successful law practice and a political career, he is now applying to his fitness regimen often doing “two-a-days” at his local L.A. Fitness.
The confidence gained from the weight loss has inspired him to launch a fitness initiative from his Post 3 At-Large Council office to encourage others to incorporate exercise into their everyday schedules. The “Celebrating 100 With 100” series kicks off at the first of the year with Willis leading or joining running groups throughout the city.
Atlanta City Councilman’s dramatic weight loss inspires fitness initiative - Saporta Report

Atlanta Councilman to Run 100 Miles for Weight-Loss Challenge -

A city councilman is issuing a challenge to residents, but says he is not asking his fellow citizens to do anything that he has not done himself.

Excess weight has always plagued Atlanta councilman Lamar Willis and he has tried many times to shed the pounds, but it was not until a life-changing rejection that he decided to challenge himself and commit to change.

When you see Willis, you want to hear the explanation as to how and why he went from weighing more than 300 pounds to dropping over 100.

Councilman's dramatic weight loss

City Councilman H. Lamar Willis says his legislation is the product of a compromise reached between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office and Duncan Solutions, which operates locally as Park Atlanta. The compromise, Willis says, is what makes his bill different than previous city council attempts to fix the contract at the center of many complaints from drivers, businesses and residents for years.

Lawmaker says proposal cracks down on Park Atlanta

Proposed amendment gives parking laws some teeth 

On March 23, 2012 Councilman H. Lamar Willis joined Mayor Reed and a delegation of 20 Atlanta leaders on a trade mission to China.  The group visited 5 Chinese cities over the course on 9 days.  The articles below document the media coverage of the trip.

Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Delegation heads to China - CBS Atlanta

Nanjing, China's Southern Capital, Welcomes Atlanta Delegation - Invest Atlanta

Atlanta delegation travels through China, gathers rail ideas - AJC

Atlanta delegation returns from China, touts encouraging signals - AJC

Council seeks to oversee officers

Legislation scheduled to be debated today would allow Atlanta’s City Council to rein in some of the power of three independent city agencies tasked with enforcing ethics rules, investigating complaints against police officers and auditing the performance and finances of city programs and contractors...

Councilman H. Lamar Willis, who is sponsoring the legislation, said fears that the ethics officer’s authority or independence would be eroded are overblown.

The City Council would still have no control over ethics rulings, he said. But the council deserves more input on these important positions, he said.

“It is really about council making sure that we are exercising oversight,” he said. “It’s a reasonable amount of oversight, without being overbearing or interfering with the process. As it stands today, the council has no ability to stop a bad process.”

City Councilman H. Lamar Willis predicted sharp debates on which areas of the budget should grow and shrink. Willis said he is leaning against one proposal that had been discussed recently in City Council meetings: a cost- of-living pay increase for city employees.

"I’m not sure there’s the money to pay for that," Willis said in an interview Wednesday. "We're under the same obligation as any other organization in these times – to run as efficientlyas possible."

New tenant recommendations announced for Atlanta airport - CBSATLANTA: January 14, 2012

The city's procurement and aviation departments has recommended adding 150 new businesses. City officials said the new restaurants and retail shops would generate $51 million annually for the city. But getting support for the recommendation has proven to be difficult. The first round of proposals was rejected in September after Atlanta officials said too many lacked required documentation to back up their bids.

Wednesday members of the city's transportation committee, which must approve the recommendations before they can be implemented, went toe to toe with each other over the selection process.

"I still have many many questions about what has taken place, the information that has been presented to us today and how this process has gone along," said Michael Julian Bond, an Atlanta city councilman.

"I have sat through many processes where people have not been happy and unfortunately that is the bottom line in business, there will always be winners and always be losers," said Atlanta city councilman
H. Lamar Willis.

Despite the objections of Bond and councilwoman Felicia Moore, the recommendations were approved 4-2. 

Fain Elementary hosts dozens of professionals for annual career day - Talk Up APS: December 19, 2011

Representatives from AirTran Airways, Morehouse School of Medicine, IBM, as well as Atlanta City Councilman H. Lamar Willis were just a few of the representatives that participated in Margaret Fain Elementary School’s annual career day on December 9.

Some want to change focus of Atlanta police oversight board - AJC: December 12, 2011

An APD spokesman said Chief George Turner “believes a shift toward an ‘audit’ model would better serve the department and the public. Our research has shown that such a model is effective.”

City Councilman H. Lamar Willis, who sponsored the legislation that created the board, said the APD must first resolve its internal investigations faster and residents should feel they can get a fair hearing from the police.

"Until that changes," Willis said, "you can't just say ‘let's go to an audit model.' " 

Atlanta mayor’s film office plans meet some resistance - AJC: November 5, 2011

Reed’s proposed legislation would establish a new entertainment filming ordinance and a process for distributing permits and collecting fees. Reed, a former entertainment lawyer, said his team has studied film offices in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, New York and Miami.

But in Wednesday’s meeting, Councilman Michael Julian Bond said the proposed legislation would overregulate the industry.

“I don’t believe this legislation deserves any more work,” Bond said. “If you make it any more cumbersome for the industry to be here, it’s easy for them to go next door to Decatur, or out to Valdosta.”

Council member Lamar Willis fired back: “Not for any industry should we ever sacrifice or abdicate our responsibility.”

For now, the legislation has been slowed. 

After Pension Reform, Workers Demand Raises - WABE: July 4, 2011

"Pension reform helped everybody out," said City Council member H. Lamar Willis.

Willis knows employees sacrificed. But, without pension reform, he argued the city would have cut jobs and services to cover a more than $1 billion unfunded liability.

"They didn't do us a favor," said Willis. "We didn't do them a favor. We did ourselves a favor." 

Embattled APS Superintendent Leaves Office - AJC: June 30, 2011

Atlanta City Council member H. Lamar Willis has two children in Atlanta City Schools. Once a Hall supporter, now he questions all her claims made over her entire 12-year tenure as superintendent.

"I think it was a day that was a long time coming," said Willis. "Dr. Hall, I think, had some great gains that were touted along the way. Unfortunately, many of those gains are being questioned today."

Willis wants the Atlanta School Board to look into getting reimbursed for the financial incentives paid to Hall for improving test scores.

"I think as a taxpayer and as a parent with children in APS, the biggest question for me is what are we doing about all of the incentives that we gave her and those leaders in APS to have those high test scores," said Willis. 

City Considers Ending Free Parking Near Piedmont Park - Midtown Patch: May 11, 2011

Enforcement of the two-hour rule is labor intensive — it requires someone to chalk a parked car's tire then circle around in two hours to make sure the car is gone. Park Atlanta, a private enforcement company, has backed down neighborhood enforcement, Bond said, because it's not contracted to work residential areas.

Councilman H. Lamar Willis (Post 3 At Large) said enforcement is the key: "If you don't have enforcement, you're going to have people parking there illegally."

In cities like Pittsburg and Boston, he said, people have learned to follow the rules. "Nobody's ever going to be happy about parking tickets and boots," Willis said, "but the catch is it forces people to do the right thing."
Atlanta looks at $500K downtown revival plan