TELLING STORIES, CHANGING THE CONVERSATION

Bottoms up: Keisha Lance Bottoms wins as Atlanta’s next mayor

in Politics & Social Justice by

A hair-splitting win by Democrat, Keisha Lance Bottoms in the Atlanta mayoral race, but opponent Mary Norwood, an Independent says, “It’s not over yet.”

Norwood who refuses to call the race, also calls for a recount. She says she is waiting for absentee ballots from the military and provisional ballots that will be tabulated by Thursday.

High-Stakes Battle

A contentious political election wrapped around race, gender and Trump, Bottoms was supported by sitting mayor, Kasim Reed, while Norwood was backed by former African-American mayor, Shirley Franklin. The race drew so much attention that California Senator, Kamala Harris and New Jersey Senator, Cory Booker, both of whom are Democrats, flew into Atlanta to show support for Bottoms.

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Bottoms’ win marked a line of black mayors in the city for the last 40 years, but the victory proves to be pyrrhic. Her win magnifies the racial divides that still exist.

An election entrenched in black-and-white politics used Trump as a key component to shape candidates.

In an Atlanta mayor forum hosted by a local radio station, other candidates pointed out that Mary Norwood who is white, refused to denounced current president, Donald Trump; though she stated that she disagreed with any policies that reinforced, “… racism, any bigotry, any violence, any supremacy of any type …”

At-large city councilwoman, Norwood, was the front runner in the mayor’s race that would replace Kasim Reed who termed out. Her platform, ironically, focused on including all neighborhoods, implying that the predominately black city prioritized certain communities.

Mary Norwood

Atlanta is one of the largest cities in the south, and the largest African-American majority cities.

The changing demographic, more whites moving into the city and away from the suburbs, and at least two decades of gentrification by whites and affluent blacks, draw a complex negotiation of power and politics.

 

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