I am a proud son of Gwinnett.
I’m Kirkland Carden and I want to be your next County Commissioner for District One. I’ve decided to run for the Board of Commissioners because I care about the future of our community. We live in a time of great change—socially, politically, and technologically. In order for Gwinnett to continue to flourish in the future, we have to change and adapt with the times. It is important to preserve the best of our past, but at the same time we have to be prepared for what is to come. Issues I care strongly about include: transportation, more inclusive and transparent government, and providing economic opportunity for all.
I’m the oldest of five children, with two sisters and two brothers. My family moved to Duluth, Georgia in 2004 where I graduated from Duluth High School Class of 2007. I grew up in Gwinnett County and this community is my home. I regularly attend Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. If you are reading this then most likely you share my dedication to the betterment of Gwinnett County.
From an early age, my mother Regina Carden instilled in me the importance of faith, public service and hard work. After 36 years of service she retired from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, where one of her responsibilities was to help address veteran homelessness. I hope to continue my mother’s legacy of public service by eradicating chronic homelessness in Gwinnett County.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University. I’ve always had a strong interest in local politics and I believe in the possibility of our democratic system to effect change. Attending Georgia State University made me grow as an individual and strengthened my commitment to public service. My senior year, I was elected as the Vice President of Georgia State University Young Democrats. Working with the Young Democrats gave me an amazing opportunity to learn about leadership. I was humbled and inspired to be able to work with some of our dedicated state party leaders.
During my studies I also learned that “givers gain” — you can’t generate positive change by sitting on the sidelines. That motivated me to work with AID Atlanta as a volunteer helping with healthcare education in the LBGTQ+ community. During my junior year of college, I received my first experience working in state government. In the 2014 legislative session, I worked as a Legislative Aide for Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, whose endorsement I’m proud to have earned.. My experience in Senator Henson’s office opened my eyes to many of the issues Gwinnett was facing.