Before the holidays we staged a 12-hour sit-in at the Mayor’s office.
Your calls, presence and support inspired ranking members of the mayor’s administration to reach out to us regarding negotiation.
However, our good faith response has been met with a disappointing silence. Mayor Bottom’steam has added insult to injury by claiming she is willing to work with residents and then refusing meet deadlines(set by the Mayors own team) for an agreement, then refusing to even answer txt messages. At this point we are being stonewalled entirely.
In 2 weeks, Atlantans will gather to celebrate the City’s native son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On this 35th celebration of Dr. King’s life, legacy, and work, his birth city is experiencing many challenges that Dr. King gave his life to eradicating.
Atlanta ranks 5th out of 70 large cities for the rate of evictions, averaging 800 evictions per week! Atlanta’s parks and underpasses are crowded with unsheltered people, as City police continue to enforce quality of life ordinances that criminalize poverty and the poor. Atlanta’s affordable housing inventory is woefully deficient and Atlanta’s Black legacy residents are being displaced by rising property taxes, code enforcement, and gentrification. The Black population a city once known as the Black Mecca shrank from 61% in 2000 to 54% in 2010 and now stands at 51%.
All of these troubling realities are a result of a history of giving sweetheart development deals to billionaires like the $2.5 billion Gulch scheme, using taxpayers’ dollars to build stadiums to host big parties like the Super Bowl for visitors, closing the Peachtree and Pine homeless shelter, evicting people with nowhere to go, and other failed policies, misplaced priorities and breached promises.
Despite the many pledges Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made on the campaign trail to long-time Atlanta residents and communities, 2 years into her mayoral term a Mayor named Keisha has not done enough for those Black voters who supported her. Many of the initiatives she has undertaken and policies she has implemented have put them further behind the 8 ball. Mayor Bottoms, who has embraced the title of “The Housing Mayor”, has declared her intention to run for a second term, despite having done little to remedy challenges she inherited and much to exacerbate them.
In the spirit of Dr. King’s words that “Every [wo]man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.” we will be gathering at the MLK March to celebrate the life, work and legacy of our hometown civil right hero and to highlight the challenges that persist and that continue to plague Atlanta’s legacy residents and communities. In present-day Atlanta, there is much to protest, including our specific demand that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Stop Displacing Black Families.