Here’s some news that most folks didn’t see coming…
Keisha Lance Bottoms has had one helluva first term as mayor of one of the most consistently growing cities in America. Atlanta has become the home for film and television productions, the headquarters of numerous Fortune 500 companies, the epicenter of police reform protests, and a city that has been under siege with violent crimes and murders. Not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was determined to ignore. Mayor Bottoms plate was full every single day with complicated issues that required immediate attention.
That said, she also became an extremely polarizing figure to many Atlantans who were deeply unsatisfied with the decisions she made and the messaging she put forth. Of particular note was the speech she gave last summer following the police killing of Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in the city’s southwest neighborhood. When protests and civil unrest engulfed downtown Atlanta and the ritzy Buckhead area, Mayor Bottoms stood in front of the camera and emotionally chided the crowds for burning police cars, attacking the CNN building, and looting some businesses. Many of her detractors were turned off that her ire was aimed at the angry protesters and not as much at the reason why they were so angry. To make matters worse, she gave the Atlanta Police Department a new $218 million budget (about 1/3 of the city’s funds) during an era where the call to “defund the police” has gained significant traction in the public discourse, especially among the younger, newly invigorated voters.
Last night, Mayor Bottoms shocked a great many people when she announced that she will not be seeking re-election for office in 2021. She wrote an open letter via DearATL.com to express why she made her decision.
“As Derek and I have given thoughtful prayer and consideration to the season now before us, it is with deep emotions that I hold my head high, and choose not to seek another term as Mayor.”
She also posted the following video to her Instagram account this morning.
Where do you stand on Mayor Bottoms’ decision? Are you glad to see her go or are you upset at the backlash she has been receiving?