Caycie Dix, one of the Democratic candidates for the Post 2 County Commission seat, has never run for office before but said she feels this is the work she has been called to do.
"To run for elected office is not something you wake up one day and decide you want to do. I believe that's my calling," said Dix. "That's where I'm supposed to be. That's where I can effect the most change in the county."
She said the county commissioners make the ultimate decision on what happens in the county.
"There are some things that I've identified that need to be changed in the county and the only person that can do that is the county commissioner."
The Rockdale County High School alum, who recently turned 30, said she always had an interest in politics and knew she would be running at some point. She is the first person in her family to graduate from high school and the first to go onto college, at Mercer University, and to law school, Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.
Most recently, she worked with the U.S. Census Bureau as a Partnership Specialist for DeKalb County.
Dix was born in the Atlanta but grew up in the county. As a young girl, she was mentored by adults around her, in school and church, and now is a mentor herself to teens going through the DeKalb County juvenile court system with minor charges. She also leads Girl Scout Troop 10574 and is a trustee at her church New Hope Baptist.
One of the main areas she would focus on as commissioner would be the youth of Rockdale County. She pointed out there were 24,000 youth estimated in the county but only one Boys and Girls Club and main community gym, the JP Carr Center.
"With the youth, we don't really have many options as far as different activities for the youth to engage in," she said. "When they have idle time on their hands, they find other things to do which often aren't positive."
She said she would look at federal or state grants to fund more activities.
She said she wanted to keep the commissioners more accountable and if elected, would hold various forums or events to allow more public input into the decision making process.
"So (the public) really understand why the decision was made, versus the commission saying this is how it's going to go and that's it," she said.
Attracting business to the county and working with existing businesses would be another priority.
"Whether it's a sign ordinance or liquor license ordinance that may not be favorable to businesses already here, so we're sustaining those businesses and making sure we're doing all we can to help our existing businesses to grow."
For example, she said she would look into allowing establishments that serve liquor to serve until 2 a.m. instead of midnight, to generate more revenue.
"As a county we have to become innovative in coming up with different revenue streams."
When asked about her lack of experience, Dix pointed out the only way to gain experience for the job of commissioner is to be elected commissioner. Dix said she would bring to the job her legal training and analytical skills.
"Not only do I understand the legal parameters and issues that often come with various decisions that are made by the county. I'll also be able to utilize my analytical skills and I'll be able to weigh the pros and the cons of a decision before it is made.
"To be an effective county commissioner, you have to have good analytical skills, good financial skills, good people skills. Based on my previous experience, all those things are evident."
She is vying for the Democratic nomination for the Post 2 Commission seat against Courtney Dillard in the July 20 primary. The winner of the primary will face incumbent JaNice Van Ness in the November 2 general election.