Remarks from Immediate Past Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (60th Mayor of Atlanta)
At the Inauguration of Newly-Elected Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens
Just four short and long years ago, I had the great honor of becoming the 60th Mayor of Atlanta.
My cousin was recently visiting my mom’s house over the holidays and looked at a picture in her home from the day that I was sworn in, and he said, ‘Oh, look at you… your eyes were so full of hope.’
I also reminded him that my face was a lot thinner, and my cheek bones more prominent, but I digress.
I’m certain that no one present on that day, in the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College, could have predicted that just three months later our municipal government would be crippled by the largest ransomware cyber attack in any city in America and just two years later, we would be hit by a global pandemic, economic downturn, experience a social justice movement that would forever change our lives.
There was no script for leadership, no manual upon which to reference, but I was reminded that within our DNA, as a city, is resilience, courage, and ability to think beyond the norm, and imagination to dream beyond all that seems possible.
In what was described as some of the most challenging times in the history of Atlanta, We not only survived, but we thrived, and together, we elected a President, a Vice President, two Senators and a new Mayor who believe the very best in who we are as a city.
We were and we remain ‘One Atlanta.’
As I took the oath of office four years ago, not only did I have hope for Atlanta, but a present reminder that before me had been men and a fierce woman who took our beloved city beyond the place where they found it and made it better.
Mayor-elect Dickens, on the election night, you said that you stood upon the shoulders of those who had come before you.
May you be dedicated like Sam [Massell], a visionary like Maynard [Jackson], courageous like Andy [Young], brilliant like Bill [Campbell], resolute like Shirley [Franklin], bold like Kasim [Reed], and optimistic like me [Keisha Lance Bottoms]… believing that our best days and in our most difficult of days, that all things will work together for our good.
Mayor-elect Dickens, as you chart the next and greatest path of our city, it is my hope that will you not only stand upon our shoulders, but you will take the best of what each who have come before you have had to offer our city, and my prayer is that you will soar. Our communities, our families and our children deserve nothing less.
I Corinthians 13:13 says three things will last forever, ‘Faith, hope and love.’ ‘The greatest of these is love.’
Mayor-elect Dickens, I know that you love our city, and, I know that the deep and abiding love that you have for Atlanta will make the work that you do, on behalf of all of our communities, endure forever.
‘For I know the plans I have prepared for you declares the Lord,’ ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
May God continue to bless and keep you.
I know the best for our city is yet to come, and I’m honored to pass the baton on to you and to call you my new mayor.
Last updated on January 6, 2022