The Busy Life of City Councilman Bauman

The Busy Life of City Councilman Bauman

One of the two Jewish Sandy Springs Council members, Andy Bauman provides a glimpse of his busy life of service.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

A graduate of Emory University School of Law, Andy Bauman cut his teeth in politics and government by serving as president of the Student Government Association, then as an intern at the Carter Center.
A graduate of Emory University School of Law, Andy Bauman cut his teeth in politics and government by serving as president of the Student Government Association, then as an intern at the Carter Center.

Entering his third term as a Sandy Springs City Councilman, Andy Bauman shared some of his accomplishments, activities, Jewish vibes, and behind the scenes humor. Bauman explained, “The work of a city council member isn’t full-time, and I often joke that it is my ‘night job.’ But even if not always ‘doing’ the job, I feel like I am always ‘on the job,’ as the issues that come up can be unpredictable and often 24/7.

In my first month on the council, in January 2014, Atlanta experienced “Snowmageddon,” and I was in constant contact with my constituents providing regular updates and helping out with some serious situations. It was also during that first year that all the critical decisions had to be made for our new city center.”

Bauman grew up in White Plains, N.Y., with southern roots and mom originally from North Carolina. Graduating Emory University School of Law in 1990, interested in government and politics, he was elected president of the Student Government Association. He was one of the first interns for the Carter Center working directly with President Jimmy Carter, wife Rosalynn, and Dr. Ken Stein on some of the early security and Middle East peace conferences. He recalled, “It was an amazing opportunity and an experience I will always cherish.”

Andy Bauman with wife, Dr. Debbie Bauman, and their children, Evan and Anna. They have memories of hanging out at the Sandy Springs Farmer’s Market which Andy co-founded.

In 2013, after careful consideration, Bauman decided to run for city council. He mused, “It never occurred to me that four others would join the race! It was a hard-fought campaign in which I came in first place, but without a majority. Then, I won the runoff and began serving my first four-year term.”

Looking back, he counts these accomplishments: building the new city center and leading the metro area in the delivery of efficient and responsive government services. He noted, “In a very difficult time for attracting and retaining first responders, our police and fire departments are the envy of the state. I often say that nothing unites our community more than in our support for our first responders!”

Weighing in on being Jewish, the late founding member mayor, Eva Galambos, was Jewish. When Bauman joined in 2014, Galambos had retired, and Bauman was the only Jewish member, and one of the very few Jewish elected officials in the state. They now have another Jewish member.

Andy Bauman greeted Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to Germany, while proudly wearing his America/Israel flag pin.

Bauman said, “The number of Jewish elected officials in Georgia remains very small. In Sandy Springs, I’m proud that we have (a) established a sister-city relationship in Israel (Mayor Paul and I and a delegation visited in 2015); (b) we have adopted a resolution condemning BDS; and (c) we were the very first city in the state to adopt a Hate Crime ordinance (which I introduced), more than a year prior to when the Georgia legislature adopted our state’s Hate Crime Law. I am also proud that the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center serves as ‘heart and home’ of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival!”

He summarized, “We have a large and vibrant Jewish population, and I have often said that there is no community more welcoming, safe, and full of opportunity for the Jewish community than Sandy Springs. We are home to many of the area’s prominent synagogues and most of the Jewish day schools. While our city doesn’t close for Jewish holidays, our council doesn’t meet during the High Holidays. I am very grateful to Mayor Paul for his long-standing support and friendship with the Jewish community, not just in Sandy Springs, but all throughout Atlanta.”

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