Your multi-media mayoral wrap-up, and Reed on race: ‘Two Atlantas is not Atlanta at all’

Keith Jennings (left) and William Boone, political scientists at Clark Atlanta University, hold a news conference at Paschal's restaurant. Bita Honarvar/

Today in the contest for mayor of Atlanta:

Councilwoman Mary Norwood pointed to an audit of the city’s water services as proof that City Hall is in disarray;

Council President Lisa Borders promised to get a little meaner, a little more aggressive, and accused Atlanta’s journalists of failing to subject Norwood’s record to scrutiny.

Responded Norwood:

If [Borders] thinks that the administration has been giving out good, accurate, and up-to-date financial information during the time she has been President of Council, she hasn’t been paying attention and needs to read the paper more.

Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office just confirmed that Kasim Reed has resigned his state Senate seat, in preparation for his formal jump into the mayor’s race — set for Wednesday. Qualifying to replace Reed in the Legislature begins Sept. 8 and ends at noon Sept. 10. Election is Nov. 3, the same day as the vote for mayor.

Two mayoral events occurred at Paschal’s this morning. The first, a presser held by Clark Atlanta University political scientists William Boone and Keith Jennings, in defense of that “black mayor” memo, drew most of the attention. Here’s the WSB-TV video:

But also at the restaurant was Reed, the former state senator, who gave a speech that addressed the same topic of race and mayoral politics. The audience was a group of clergy — the vast majority of them African-American.

The campaign provided the complete text, which can be downloaded here. But below are a few worthwhile excerpts:

Each of us in this room is joined with thousands of other Atlantans in having both a sincere and deeply vested interest in the future of our city. We are Atlanta and Atlanta is us. Like ships wedded at anchor, we rise and fall on the same tide. At a deep level, we all feel this indivisibility.

We are equally aware — and compelled by circumstance to discuss — our growing sense that the tie which binds us — our beloved Atlanta — is at a crossroads. Many, who exceed me in both wisdom and years, consider the perils we are facing today to be unlike any Atlanta has previously encountered. Their concern is palpable. Their prescription for the problem: Leadership. The way we will overcome these challenges: Together.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, people perish.” This is a very powerful verse because it lays out the inherent truth that the mind of man demands a brighter future to conceptualize. It requires an image of an august community to better organize and inspire communal effort. Painting this picture is the role of a true leader.

So much of what Atlanta has become was born of a racially-inclusive vision shared, and expressed, by men like William Hartsfield, Maynard Jackson, Ivan Allen and Ambassador Andrew Young. They saw Atlanta as a city with the courage and character to rise above bigotry and division. To the credit of its citizens, Atlanta has embraced, and largely preserved, the progressive ideals of its forebears. With these principles, our city has flourished — in their absence, it may falter.

One Atlanta is a strong Atlanta. Two Atlantas is not Atlanta at all….

I call upon the citizens of Atlanta to judge my candidacy on the quality of my character, my
qualifications, and the merit of the ideas I am proposing — and nothing more. Yes, I am a black mayoral candidate in a majority black city. However, I am confident enough in the leadership I can provide to ask that my race not be a consideration of any voter.

I forgo any inherent electoral advantage it may yield, and seek only the advantage that comes from the power of my ideas. The tests of our time are too great to for this election to be mired in the politics of discord, division and distraction. I am campaigning with the welfare of all Atlantans in mind. I am running to bring security, prosperity and hopeful optimism to all our communities. Such was the aspiration of Atlanta’s greatest leaders — such was the aspiration of those who believed in their towering vision.

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38 comments Add your comment

Ghost of Teddy K

September 1st, 2009
5:07 pm

Spin all you want Clark Atlanta professors, but you are nothing but racist idiots. By the way, Ms. Borders, how about admitting that you were in on the memo instead of trying to yell at the media about their reporting.


September 1st, 2009
5:09 pm

Borders is taking off her velvet gloves LOL. What’s a velvet glove anyway? Sounds like more whining from the Borders campaign. Woe is me! Give me a break.


September 1st, 2009
5:13 pm

How did Borders become the victim in all this again?

Atlanta Voter

September 1st, 2009
5:15 pm

Lisa is the best qualified candidate and has support from across all of Atlanta. I think you underestimate her at your own peril!


September 1st, 2009
5:17 pm

If she’s so tough and qualified, why is she always whining? She should be careful what she wishes for because the media hasn’t necessarily held her to the fire either. Where’s her record? Oh that’s right she doesn’t vote and avoids voting when at all costs.


September 1st, 2009
5:21 pm

Lisa is nothing but a victim and as a similar strong black woman, I can’t believe that she is being portrayed as someone who had a hand in this. A victim to her own people – what a damn shame!


September 1st, 2009
5:22 pm

Two things Ms. Borders is good at – crying and quitting. Use that velvet glove to dry those tears.


September 1st, 2009
5:30 pm

Why would Borders have been “in” on the memo? She has in no way benefited from it being released. She has handled this whole mess very well. If I were here I would demand that the media crack down and make Mary Norwood answers a question instead of continuing to dodge tough questions. The media should not let Norwood get off so easy just because it’s obvious she has nothing intelligent to say.


September 1st, 2009
5:46 pm

I don’t know if Borders had a hand in the memo or not,but she had an honorable mention in it,as the one black candidate best suited to defeat the Norwood [white] candidate.She is definitely going to benefit by it.This memo will serve it’s purpose.


September 1st, 2009
5:48 pm

Lisa’s ties to Atlanta’s destructive and arrogant community of developers, her tin ear for true neighborhood concerns and, finally, her total invisibility as City Council President make her the least likely person for me to support. Yes, I know, the CCP only votes when there’s a tie, but she could have been a leader. EVERYone knew Cathy Woolard when she was City Council President. Lisa is a cypher. Her ideas for raising funds without raising taxes, including her plan to ‘monetize’ the city’s assets — naming rights for parks and making the APD training facility a money-making regional training facility (hmm, along with all the other regional and state training centers?) – do not impress me. I’m impressed with both Mary and Kasim, and am following them very closely. And Jesse Spikes? He’s got some terrific ideas, too.

cletus T rockafella

September 1st, 2009
6:34 pm

The bottom line is the negros and coloreds in Atlanta are pure racists. They continue to extend the filth of maynurd jackson, andrew young, bill campbell and the franklin trash.White folks need to govern Atlanta.


September 1st, 2009
7:53 pm

Its time to kick these recycled politicians to the curb! How do we expect to get out of this mess that the city is in by electing the same people that were either on the City Council when the hole was being dug or intricately tied to the current administration (Reed hired many of the clowns at City Hall as a part of Franklin’s transition team)?

Its time for a new direction! Its time for new leadership! Its time for Jesse Spikes! Jesse was an attorney for 30+ years and helped individuals and organizations alike to combat some of the toughest and most complex issues that one could face. He’s a proven problem solver! Not some career-politician that will say whatever they need to say to get elected. He’s definitely the most intelligent candidate in the race. How many of the candidates can say they’re a Rhodes Scholar? He’s in the customer service business. If you don’t provide great service to your clients as a corporate attorney, you’re toast!

If you truly want a change at City Hall, you should really consider Jesse Spikes for mayor. This race shouldn’t be about race. It should be about showing the door to the career-politicians that didn’t see this current crisis coming and electing someone that has the tools to get this city out of the ditch!

On another note, how ironic is it that everyone’s screaming the CAU professors are racist and the response is to vote for the white candidate (because she’s NOT black) to show the authors (that no one knows or cares about) that its not about race. Ha!

Voice of Reason #1

September 1st, 2009
8:07 pm

I’d like the AJC to publish voting records and the comparative platforms of the mayoral candidates. I haven’t seen that lately (since this flap, anyway). I don’t think Borders, as Council prez, has a lot to brag about and I’d like to see the others’ position on key issues.


September 1st, 2009
8:09 pm

It’s turned into a pissing contest. For a white guy that voted for Obama, it’s hard to take. William Holmes Borders would be ashamed of her. The president hasn’t done a thing he said he would. I guess blacks should stick to pig feet and tap dancing. They had a chance.

Voice of Reason #1

September 1st, 2009
8:17 pm

AJC, also show a flow diagram of who is “related” to/”in bed with” whom: Borders is part of Cousins properties–how? Reed was Shirley’s [what, campaign manager?] I don’t remember the progression, except that Lisa is the daughter of William Holmes Borders, the late baptist preacher.

Just wondering...

September 1st, 2009
8:17 pm

And, [off-topic]…has Lisa B. ever had a man? She looks like she could use a good hunk of man to soften up her countenance. Or is she ‘like’ Shirley [Luz]? Or maybe she just needs a make-over–eyeliner, jewelry, lipstick, grow/buy some hair, etc.–to look more feminine. All these hard-looking women. Geez.

Will Jones - Atlanta

September 1st, 2009
8:21 pm

Lisa Borders isn’t from Roman Catholic carpetbagger stock working its way upriver to Atlanta since the slave trade was outlawed. She is unabashedly a democrat with no ties, to my knowledge, to RNC donations, sentiment, or manner.

This isn’t about White and Black in the New Jerusalem, it’s about right or wrong, or better or worse, for American Prophet Martin Luther King’s hometown.

G-d has graced Lisa Borders as a woman and mother, she is one of us, an Atlantan, and, as a rule – though “all G-d’s chillun got wings” – due to centuries of injustice, like true Jews, Blacks are “on margin” closer to G-d. Those of us even partly rooted in Rome must work overtime to be free of Babylon: “the real Anti-Christ,” which took the blood of John and Martin, yet laying “unburied in the street.”

Blacks know it and all other would-be Atlantans, particularly a “White” who would be mayor, should as well.

That counts for much with those who wish Discernment of the Spirit. We were right about Obama’s being anointed. Any yet wishing further proof should YouTube his remarks at the funeral of true American, and brother of our martyred president, Ted Kennedy: open about being Roman Catholic and even more explicit about the predominance of his love for America and American Exceptionalism.

President Obama needs all the help we can give him. Civilization pivots on urban culture and Atlanta is the wheel-horse of Our Nation.

Perhaps Lisa Borders, up-front about who she really is and where she worships, is the best candidate for Mayor of Atlanta.

Voice of Reason #1

September 1st, 2009
8:21 pm

Uh…”strom”…go back to your grave where you came from. If you voted for Obama, you would NOT be so crass to have made that comment you made.

Fact: If you White people hadn’t started racism in the first place, there wouldn’t be any now. But it’s here and we STILL have to deal with it! ALL sides have work to do in their respective communities. Make constructive comments, not just spew vile. You are disgusting to have even posted and your ilk who make similar posts. Grow up!


September 1st, 2009
8:26 pm

Andrew Young, Shirley Franklin, every black candidate for mayor and much of Atlanta says the CAU/BLF memo was racist. CAU is disavowing the two professors.
Jay Bookman won’t say clearly that the memo was racist trash.
Cat got his tongue?
Not likely. Bookman’s formidable polemic talents are silenced because he lacks the courage to take on a part of the liberal coalition in Atlanta.
We can add coward to his record of hypocrisy.

U are ignorant

September 1st, 2009
8:54 pm

Stan, you are ignorant, just like strom. Isn’t that exactly what V of R is saying? You can’t change what you won’t acknowledge, stan.

Burroughston Broch

September 1st, 2009
9:47 pm

And while you’re at it, why not detail how she got her cushy job at the Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation. Looking at their website, in 2007 IRS 990 form (latest report) they had revenue of $3.9 million and spent $2.7 million raising it. Adding Ms. Borders considerable compensation package to the expenses won’t help the picture. But she’s not even listed on the website! My guess is that this is a quiet, convenient place for her backers to financially support her while she runs for a place to do their bidding.


September 1st, 2009
9:52 pm

I can tell you sweetheart,voice of reason, it won’t be long until you will be back on the back of the bus.


September 1st, 2009
10:15 pm

if we really have to go here…it’s white politicians that put america where it is….not african-americans…and obama is trying to rectify decades of raping this country.

the first amendments gives anyone who is an american citizen freedom of speech…so with all the trash white establishment papers put out…this one memo doesn’t compare.

can we stop this bullcrap and pick the candidate that is going to do the most for this city! i’m sick of racism…white america stole this country and then enslaved a race of people…what do you have to hold your head up about????!!!!


September 1st, 2009
10:18 pm

I know of Jesse Spikes and can imagine him as the Mayor of Atlanta, and admist all the confussion of the other candidates, I would choose him. The comments on racial issues are simply moot. Who can get the job done is all that really matters!!! Jesse has the political connections to move ATL in the right direction.


September 1st, 2009
10:24 pm

“Civilization pivots on urban culture and Atlanta is the wheel-horse of Our Nation”… That may be the funniest thing I’ve read all week!

Nevertheless, I’m so very thankful my great-grandparents and grandparents had the sense to get out of Atlanta in the 50’s. Truly amazing that the shift in demographics in the city (i.e. “white flight”) and numerous mayoral elections based solely on race over a 30+ year period corresponds so clearly with Atlanta’s demise. Thank God for the suburbs.


September 1st, 2009
10:26 pm

I don’t know why you don’t mention martin liked white woman, it’s in the book. Ask Ralph David, he wrote the book and was punished for it.

Name (required)

September 1st, 2009
10:30 pm

Anybody but that idiot Shirley Franklin. I don’t care who.


September 1st, 2009
11:06 pm

This seems like a shot across the bow from the black power structure in Atlanta to a potential white mayor. A white mayor, if elected, would be much more beholden to her black constituents because she is white. Imagine the protests downtown is she crossed the wrong Preacher, closed the wrong community center, or if the police beat up a black suspect. It seems to me that a black mayor has more to prove to the white community than they do to the black.

ATL by way of TX

September 1st, 2009
11:19 pm

People this is all a smoke screen meant to take attention away from the issues, don’t fall for it! Please!

@ Intownwriter: I don’t agree with your views, but at least you are focusing on the issues. Exactly how many state and regional training facility are there? Please enlighten me, because I would really like to know. And what is that Mary and Kasim offer that impresses you so much? I love how you take to task the solutions Lisa offers, but make no mention of any plan offered by the other two candidates. So what is it? You like their wardrobes? Their hair styles? Please share. You also claim that Lisa “tin ear for true neighborhood concerns.” This about the woman who took on the task of becoming president of the Grady Foundation to raise funds for a level one trauma center that God forbid you or I ever need to visit. You have every right to support the candidate of your choice. But don’t slam one candidate without providing the reasons why you support the others. Makes your argument look very lame!

Alton E. Drew

September 2nd, 2009
12:12 am

The unfortunate thing about this race is the litanny of empty platitudes being issued from the lips of these candidates. Listening to Mr. Reed I have to wonder sometimes if he just happenned to pick up discarded drafts of an Obama speech, cut and paste, and decided to use them. In a city with relatively high unemployment and a blatantly increasing economic bright line between the city’s four main sectors, we need specifics from these candidates. The whispering of sweet political nothings into the ears of the electorate should be punished with rejection at the polls.


September 2nd, 2009
12:23 am

I’m just wondering how “Just Wondering” so quickly devolved into appearance and whether or not a female candidate has a man. How boorishly ignorant! What ruling does that have on her decades of executive experience or skill-set? Have your trolls spayed and neutered, AJC.

Chris Mathews is covered in his own spittle

September 2nd, 2009
1:56 am

Holy roosting Rev. Wright Wing Chickens, Batman.


September 2nd, 2009
2:33 am

Those of you who think the media aren’t asking the candidates tough questions (tho I think the AJC profiles of the Mayoral candidates has been terrific) should show up at some of the community forums that are going on all over town. Believe me, the NEIGHBORHOODS are asking some hard questions and posing some tough scenarios. One forum (that I know of) taped their Q&A. The link to the first weekend’s forums is here:
And the second weekend’s videos are here:


September 2nd, 2009
9:19 am

What’s that beeping noise I hear?

Sounds like someone’s put the truck into reverse.

Oh Intown Writer...

September 2nd, 2009
1:23 pm

The Campaign for Atlanta has direct ties with dear Aaron Turpeau.

You guys want some “connect the dots” -? OK, here goes:

Aaron Turpeau is listed on the Secretary of State’s web site as CEO of Keep Atlanta Beautiful.
Keep Atlanta Beautiful works out of the Mayor’s office – its web site is on the Mayor’s web page, and I am almost certain its members are appointed/hired at the pleasure of said Mayor.

Core members of Keep Atlanta Beautiful are core members of Campaign for Atlanta.

Campaing for Atlanta professes to be non-partisan.

Core members of Campaign for Atlanta are hosting political meet and greet’s for one candidate for District 6.

Meanwhile, Anne Fauver of District 6 has floated legislation/an ordinance to address ethical conflict of interest issues. Two of the six candidates for District 6 are on the City’s extended payroll/service, one thru Atlanta Beltline Inc, the other thru the board of Atlanta Development Authority. (Another member of the ADA board – Miss Shirley Franklin.)

I am thoroughly convinced that there are only two political parties in the City of Atlanta – those who feed from the City Trough, and those who do not.

Will Jones - Atlanta

September 3rd, 2009
6:53 am

This is the greatest city in the world. Let us act like it.


September 3rd, 2009
8:09 am

Eight people killed in Brunswick, murder in Effingham Co., child molesters in Fayette Co. golf communities and Bartow classrooms, plus scores of suburban meth labs. I’m glad I live in Atlanta where it’s safe.

Will Jones - Atlanta

September 4th, 2009
6:13 am

In life there is Nature’s G-d, and the mutuality of birth all humbly – or forgetfully – share.

From there Society and Art (”Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.” evolve for good or ill.

Advantages in information transfer and mutuality mark cities as the human development best enhancing security, culture and industry: Political Œconomy.

In the Arc of Time it is clear that Whig Utopian idealism institutionalized in America’s Founding, Sacred Documents and Creed – the Jeffersonian American Revolution which Dr. King called “the global revolution” in his speech explaining why we should not be in Rome’s Vietnam – forms the pinnacle of human endeavor to be cherished by all who would be of G-d: Free, Righteous, Honest, Just, and Prosperous.

America, however, was not created in a vacuum.

Everybody has cancer and the planet is full of it: crime, war, evil, abomination, perversion, death – and “an engine for enslaving mankind” all who would know and honor Our Founder, Thomas Jefferson, should understand.

Live wrong and the cancer wins. Live right and the cancer just does what it’s supposed to do in a healthy body.

America’s “light” shines brighter now that Barack Obama is Our President. May G-d shed His grace upon us all.

Come election time for mayor let us make sure Atlanta’s next mayor doesn’t have a murderous drug-lord for a son-in-law, nor a cousin from a corrupt police force to act as our chief tolerating, condoning, permitting, or overseeing illicit activity.

Evil near and far must be swept from our land and from our city. America has cancer and we who made Barack Obama president know it.

“Doctor” Obama is only part of the cure. We, the sovereign People, must “get out in front of him” to prevent the faction which killed John and Martin – the “Fifth Column” servants of Anti-Christ – from doing the same to him, for he is anointed.

Bush and Cheney have gotten away with committing 9/11 for a reason.

They invaded Iraq after Saddam changed from Federal Reserve Note Dollars to Euros for oil payments for a reason.

Bush’s father and Nixon have gotten away with killing President Kennedy to send us to die in Vietnam for a reason.

The Branch Davidians at Waco, who the County Sheriff said were good and decent people, were invaded and massacred for a reason.

Atlanta became “the Wal-Mart for heroin” for the U.S. Southeast, after multi-generational Vatican banker Rockefeller-minion Bush invaded Afghanistan – heroin free under the Taliban and now supplying 93 percent of the world’s heroin – for a reason.

Ms. Kathryn Johnston’s calls to 911 breaking up the heroin sales on the sidewalk in front of her house got her killed for a reason.

The linchpin for sussing this out is personal moral authority – integrity: In each individual, and more importantly in those we make el-ect.

We must take the lead in solving America’s problems that our posterity, and that of our children, be secured anew, and that we make America what G-d intended it to be: the New Israel.

What better place from which to do it than the World’s Greatest City, “on a hill,” Atlanta, Georgia, the New Jerusalem? Let’s claim it.

Which candidate has G-d graced that Atlantans know is truly worthy of The Dream? It is G-d’s dream and we must live it. Those whose lives do not reflect that dream must not be made el-ect – that Atlanta continue to rise from the ashes of existence. Wealth is created and The People is G-d’s creation. Those who abuse and oppress The People are not of G-d.

Sunset from the upper dining room at The Varsity last night, and the fireworks from Tech, proved once more just how great it is to be a part of Atlanta. Let’s work at it together. Obama’s Atlanta’s president. May we be an open hand to those who love and live America’s ideals and a fist more powerful than all of Stone Mountain’s granite to those who don’t.

Annuit Coeptis
Death for Treason