Friday, May 07, 2021

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms won't run for reelection

In a letter to her consitients Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that she will not be running for reelection.

Read her letter below:

Dear Atlanta,

My faith teaches me that to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose. Nearly five years ago, I entered a season of seeking to become Mayor of Atlanta---the city that generations of my family have called home for over 100 years.

My ancestors, direct descendants of the once enslaved, traveled by horse and buggy from the cotton fields of east Georgia, in search of a better life for themselves and their children in Atlanta. I have carried their belief for a better tomorrow in my heart, their earnest work ethic in my being, and their hopes for generations not yet born on my mind, each day that I have been privileged to serve as the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, the city that I deeply love.

Just three months into my term, we were hit with the largest cyber-attack in municipal government history, taking our systems off line for months, in exchange for a ransom that we would not pay. A far reaching and ever growing federal investigation into the prior Administration consumed City Hall, often leaving employees paralyzed, and fearful of making the smallest of mistakes, lest they too be investigated, or castrated on the evening news.

Yet, we persisted, passing sweeping ethics and transparency reform, ending our City’s longstanding contract with ICE during the family separation crisis at the border, raising the minimum wage for our employees to $15/hr and giving our police and firefighters the largest pay increase in the history of Atlanta.

We negotiated the redevelopment of the Gulch, the largest redevelopment in the Southeast in recent history. Combining commerce with compassion, community benefits included affordable housing, funding for workforce training, an affordable housing trust fund, minority and women participation requirements, along with a first of its kind requirement for minority equity ownership in the project.

The most consequential elections in our lifetime took place. With every second that I worked to elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Raphael Warnock, and Jon Ossoff, it was with Atlanta in my heart and the future of our country top of mind. Atlanta needed a partner in the White House, and champions in the Senate, and we now, we have them both.

As we worked to preserve and create affordable and workforce housing for teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, and other every day, hardworking people in our city, investing more than $500M in locally controlled funds and creating an affordable housing trust fund to offset rising property taxes, the world changed, almost in an instant.

A deadly pandemic swept our globe, touched my home, and a social justice movement took over our streets....and we persisted.

We served 119-thousand meals to those in need, infused $80M into our communities to offset the economic hardship many experienced because of the pandemic, worked with our partners to fund $42M towards tackling homelessness, and we addressed criminal justice reform, because our communities and our public safety partners, needed it to be done.

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.

The questions will be asked: “Can she fundraise?” YES. With the support of President Biden, I had the most successful single fundraiser of any Mayor in the history of Atlanta. “Can she win again?” ABSOUTELY. Multiple credible polls have shown that if the race for Mayor were held today, I would be re-elected.

“Is she afraid of the competition?” NEVER. I have engaged in several elections, facing multiple candidates, and never once have I cowarded from the competition.

“What does this mean for the Atlanta Mayor’s race?” It is my sincere hope that over the next several months, a candidate for Mayor will emerge whom the people of Atlanta may entrust to lead our beloved city to its next and best chapter.

“Is she running for another office?” While I am not yet certain of what the future holds, I trust that my next season will continue to be one full of passion and purpose, guided by the belief that within each of us is the power and responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

For my children, it means working each day to make Atlanta a safe place that they can call home.<:p€

For our city, it means working without ceasing, to create the beloved community that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamt of, one absent of hatred, poverty, and prejudice.

For our state, it means doing all in my power to work against the backwards policies pushed by some of our state leaders, including to restore the integrity of what some have tried to strip from us all, the sacred right to vote.

For our country, it means working to advance the agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration.

Despite the many unforeseen challenges that our city has faced, I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished, together.

As I have done each day over the many years in which I have served in public office, through the remainder of my term, I will make every decision, keeping what is best for our communities top of mind, and will continue to work diligently to improve the lives of those in our city.

I love you Atlanta. Thank you for the honor of serving as your Mayor. With Atlanta in my heart and Georgia on my mind,

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