By Maggie Lee
Atlanta City Council’s president is asking voters to promote her to the mayor’s office this year, and to turn out an incumbent.
“This race is against the crime that is out of control in every neighborhood of our city. It’s against inequality of all kinds: racial, economic, education, and otherwise. It’s against corruption, which has eroded public trust,” Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said Thursday, in an online speech formally announcing her mayoral candidacy.
The No. 1 issue on everybody’s mind right now is crime, Moore said in an interview later Thursday with SaportaReport. The city is losing officers, and it’s hard to build those numbers back up, she said. Moore said in the next week or so, she’ll be rolling out a plan for getting more officers out on the street.
Every resident should feel safe in their homes, in their communities and in their interactions with police, Moore said. And city residents should get the services they pay for, and should be able to see what their elected officials are up to.
But she’s also thinking about ongoing things, like what the COVID-19 recession might do to the city’s budget.
And even though it’s traditionally difficult to win elections against incumbents (with their well-known names and standing campaign accounts), Moore said she wants to focus on some of the ongoing issues that she said can’t wait four more years.
“There are still all of those things that we needed to address: infrastructure, affordable housing, all of those things. Our unsheltered population, they still remain,” Moore said.
Moore has long had a reputation as a transparency wonk. As early as her days as a Council member for northwest Atlanta’s District 9, she published her office’s expenses and urged her colleagues to do the same. As Council president, she long pushed to set up the independent city inspector general’s office, among other transparency measures.
Moore has also made a point of building relationships across city lines. She’s an active member of the board of the Atlanta Regional Commission, a group for metro Atlanta’s counties. She’s also active in the Georgia Municipal Association, a club for the state’s cities. And she’s on the Georgia Freight and Logistics Commission — that’s important in part because it’s working on actual solutions to the state’s road traffic. But also because it’s a seat at a table convened by powerful Republicans in the Georgia House, like Speaker David Ralston.
No one knows yet how many peope will run for mayor. There’s plenty of time for others to join the race. Qualifying ends on Aug. 20.
Incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms confirmed about a year ago that she will run for re-election this year.
Campaigning and fund-raising will almost certainly get into seven figures altogether. Bottoms’ latest campaign finance disclosure shows her campaign has about $109,000 on hand. Moore has not yet run into a campaign finance disclosure deadline.
All 15 seats on Atlanta City Council are also up for election this year.
Election Day is Nov. 2.
(Header Image: Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore at the state Capitol in August, 2018. Photo by Maggie Lee)