Keisha Lance Bottoms
Occupation: City Councilmember representing District 11; attorney
Previous experience holding elected offices: City Councilmember representing District 11.
Other community service experience: I have volunteered with numerous community organizations and have served on the Boards of Families First, the Children’s School, Andrew and Walter Young YMCA, Atlanta Board of Service (Centers of Hope), Central Atlanta Progress, and YWCA of Atlanta.
What is motivating you to run for the Mayor’s Office?
I got into this race to make sure that every Atlantan has a chance to succeed. The problems facing us — schools that aren’t preparing enough of our young people, an economy that too often works best for the wealthy and well-connected, a housing market leaving too many of our residents out, a transportation system that too often slows us down, and neighborhoods that don’t always feel as safe as they should — are connected, and the solutions must be too.
What role do you see Buckhead as playing in the city’s civic life?
Buckhead residents are among Atlanta’s most engaged with respect to politics and civic life, and you serve as a model of civic and political involvement for neighborhoods across the city. Your leadership has been crucially important in moving Atlanta forward — and keeping City leadership accountable — on issues from public safety to taxes to infrastructure. I look forward to working closely with Buckhead residents on Atlanta’s most critical issues as mayor.
Are you satisfied with the Atlanta Police Department’s efforts to fight crime in the neighborhood? Would you suggest any other strategies?
APD has made significant strides in cutting crime across the city, including in Buckhead’s neighborhoods. Incidents of crime are down about 35 percent since 2010, and 10 percent year to date. But there is more to be done. That’s why, as a councilmember, I worked with APD to station patrol cars at gas stations in response to a disturbing spate of robberies, and I am proud to say that that proactive intervention is seeing results. I have released my proposal to partner with APD, neighborhoods and the business community to expand current pilot programs for cameras, sensors and officer housing.
What is your position on the proposal for a new park capping Ga. 400 in central Buckhead?
The Ga. 400 park has the potential to improve the quality of life in the area and to provide critical green space in an area that is ripe for more. But my experience leading the successful redevelopment of Turner Field taught me the paramount importance of a fully transparent process that seeks and incorporates community input. So far, the Ga. 400 project has not operated with the transparency and engagement residents expect from a project of this magnitude. As mayor, I will work to ensure the decision-making process around this project is transparent and accountable.
Describe a policy or program you would enact or improve that would directly benefit Buckhead.
We all know that, here in Atlanta, we rise or fall together. That is why, in addition to the “Safe Neighborhoods” proposal referenced above, my “All Rise Atlanta” platform promotes comprehensive solutions for improved roads and transit access, stronger support for students and families, better access to jobs and opportunity, and increased residential affordability. Whether we realize it or not, each of these issues affects the life of every Atlanta resident, from Southwest Atlanta to Buckhead.