How Keisha Lance Bottoms will keep Atlanta inclusive as mayor

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Keisha Lance Bottoms makes a pretty simple pitch for becoming Atlanta’s next mayor. The two-term City Council member says she wants to continue her work of making the city a better place for all of its residents.

“Being in office means that you can do something better for the community,” Bottoms said on a new episode of Podcast Q.

And Bottoms admitted that her reasons for running are a little bit selfish, too.

“I can tell you that it very selfishly is about my children and I say that because it’s about making this city a better place for them and this city will not be a better place for them if it’s not better for everyone’s kids in each of our communities. At the end of the day, Atlanta is a place that’s always been known as a land of opportunity. And if we have families and communities that are being left behind then it’s not much opportunity for anyone,” Bottoms said.

As mayor, Bottoms said she would continue to use the mayor’s office as a bully pulpit to support LGBT issues. Her commitment to LGBT equality is drawn from experiences with LGBT family members, the city’s diverse population and even her mother’s gay dance partner in the 1970s.

“Atlanta has always led the way in terms of us being an inclusive city. And we really have led the way for the nation and the world. Obviously you can go back to the 1960s and the work that was done in this city on behalf of the Civil Rights Movement. As you talk about issues that are that are facing the community as it relates to equality in general, Atlanta still has a responsibility to lead the way and we can not be a major city and a major player in this world and sit back and watch any one group be discriminated against, especially because of sexual orientation,” Bottom said.

You can listen to the new podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

On the new episode, Bottoms also talked about how the city should fight HIV, homelessness, the Beltline, deprioritizing marijuana possession and being a “big fan” of Chief Erika Shields – the first openly gay leader of the Atlanta Police Department.

“I think that she’s done a phenomenal job and I think that Chief Shields would be a great police chief under my administration,” Bottoms said. “She would certainly be at the top of my list as a candidate to continue as police chief.”

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