Vincent Fort has been fighting for LGBT and progressive causes for two decades in the Georgia Senate. Now he wants to take that advocacy – and his vision for the city – to City Hall as Atlanta's next mayor.
"The mayor of the City of Atlanta has a national profile but more importantly than that it can impact the lives of Atlantans at a greater level than being in the state Senate," Fort said in a new episode of Podcast Q. "I have a vision and some ideas for what I want to do. I think it's an important time, a critical time in Atlanta's history to give back to the city."
Fort helped craft Georgia's first-ever hate crimes law, advocated for domestic partner benefits in the city, fought back "religious freedom" bills and other anti-LGBT legislation in the legislature, pushed for marriage equality and has attended scores of rallies, vigils and marches on LGBT issues. He said he would continue that work as mayor.
"We're going to do everything we can to maintain that progressive approach and make sure that Atlanta is the progressive, inclusive, welcoming city that we all want," Fort said.
"The best predictor of what I'm going to do is what I've been doing these last many, many years in terms of LGBT issues," Fort added.
On the new episode, Fort also criticized the city for not doing more to combat HIV. Atlanta has had the fifth-highest rate of new infections in the country, with Georgia ranking second among states. Even though public health issues are traditionally addressed by Fulton County, Fort said it's past time for the city to take a more aggressive approach. As mayor, Fort said he would create an office of HIV prevention and awareness in his administration.
"The fact of the matter is that you know you can literally walk from City Hall to neighborhoods where the epidemic is raging like a wildfire. And I am not going to sit by and let that occur and not get involved as a city leader," Fort said.