City Council President Felicia Moore – arguing that Atlanta faces a “critical juncture” – launched her campaign for mayor on Thursday. She hopes to unseat an incumbent facing increasing headwinds over crime, police reform and coronavirus.
“I am ready, willing and able to chart the course with you, navigate the city’s challenges with you and manifest a vision for the city of Atlanta reflective of all segments of our population,” Moore said during a nearly eight-minute virtual announcement.
Moore would advocate for the city’s LGBTQ residents and others who “fight to be seen,” she said.
“I run for the men, women, girls and boys who have been told they don’t belong or have been told to stay in their place. I’m running for every one of the LGBTQIA+ community who still fight to be seen. I’m running for the unsheltered who need a place they can call home, for the business owners whose dreams provide the good jobs that lead to strong families, for leaders across sectors – I’m fighting for you,” Moore said.
Moore’s direct pitch to LGBTQ people is a continuation of her support for equality issues. She attends LGBTQ events, marches in the Atlanta Pride parade. She even backed marriage equality in 2012, when it was still banned in Georgia. In 2018, she also pledged to make fighting HIV a priority and to help clean up the city’s still-beleaguered housing program for low-income people with HIV.
Moore, 59, is the first candidate to formally announce a challenge to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The mayor, council president and all 15 council seats are up for election this fall.
But Moore said issues and not personalities convinced her to step into the mayor’s race.
“While there may be some worthy opponents, this race is not against flesh and blood. This race is against crime that is out of control in every neighborhood of our city. It’s against inequality of all kinds – racial, economic, educational and otherwise. It’s against corruption, which has eroded public trust. It’s unacceptable, and as your next mayor, I will end it,” Moore said.
Moore also touched on crime and policing – two hot-button issues driving city politics since racial justice protests emerged across Atlanta last year. Concerns over the city’s exploding homicide rate and crime in the wealthy enclave of Buckhead in recent months sidelined calls for Atlanta Police Department reform.
“Every Atlanta resident should feel safe in their homes and communities, in their interactions with law enforcement, and our police must be supported and empowered to do their jobs. We must transform the culture of policing in Atlanta and address the social issues which truly are at the root of crime,” Moore said.
Moore won the race for council president in a runoff in 2017 by defeating Alex Wan, an LGBTQ former city council member. She was first elected to city council in 1997 and served five terms.