“Al” Elbert Arthur Bartell was born on January 12, 1956 in Hagerstown, Maryland. He grew up on the farmland of Pamplico, South Carolina, a town of less than 2,000 people.
Completing high school in the first desegregated classes of the 1970’s, Al was accepted into the United States Air Force and served in air base ground defense and conflict resolution situations overseas during the Vietnam era.
After eight years of honorable military service, Al sought and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration management from Saint Leo University in Florida, first chartered in 1889. In addition, he participated in post-graduate research in the area of public policy management at Clark Atlanta University.
Well known for his mediation expertise in public policy management, Al has acquired mediation certification through five distinguished national and international mediation certification programs.
Throughout his life, Al has pursued a career of public service. In the mid to late 80’s, Al became instrumental in violence prevention in the nation’s capitol. During that time, his efforts included working with young black males to decrease incidences of violence in Washington, D.C.’s inner city communities. In the 90’s, Al went on to establish his experience in the area of community-based, capacity-building initiatives, building a network of relationships that have continued to grow with his public service work.
Since the turn of the century, Al has been working with major planning initiatives throughout Georgia, particularly in transportation – and the federal mandate for public engagement. Al has been convening public dialogue on the need for leadership in the Southeast, such that community engagement resources get allocated to the same degree as administrative and technical engagement resources for long-range planning initiatives, especially through the state regional commissions and metropolitan planning organizations.
As a public policy leader, Al is known for his nonpartisan governance approach, focused on leadership and performance management.
He first became involved in politics in the mid-80's, impacting city council races in the Southeast region of the nation. Al ran for higher political office in the early 90’s, running as a candidate for GA State Senator, Public Service Commissioner and Lieutenant Governor.
Al found that the divisive rhetoric of the two major parties was ensuring that little progress was made in addressing the issues of most importance to citizens. He then took on being an independent public policy leader and candidate in an independent movement throughout the Southeast region of the United States.
As an independent candidate, Al has run for public office as U.S. Senator, Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, Atlanta City Council President, and Mayor of Atlanta, most recently in 2017.
On March 3, 2020, Al qualified to be a candidate in Georgia's 2020 U.S. Senate Special Election to fill Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat.
Al accepted Sen. Isakson's challenge to bring a consensus-building, bipartisan approach to public policy in the United States Senate for the citizens of Georgia.
U.S. Public Policy Leader Al Bartell remains committed that neighborhood, community, faith, and small business leaders have access to the public policy process to the same degree as lobbyists, special interest groups, and corporations.