The election for Atlanta’s next mayor had plenty of talking points, with race being one of them. Newley elected mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is the second black woman holding the position since Shirley Franklin in 2002 while her opponent Mary Norwood could’ve been the first white mayor in 40 years.
Georgia, a red state, has a long tradition of electing African-American mayors. This didn’t made the race easy for Bottoms since she lacked local Democratic endorsements. Norwood, a conservative-leaning independent, had plenty of support from LGBTQ communities as well as a wave of bipartisan co-signs like Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Peter Aman, Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and ironically, Shirley Franklin.
But one unlikely co-sign helped bring new life into Bottoms’ campaign. In the months leading up to elections day (Dec. 5), Atlanta’s hip-hop community showed their support to Bottoms through social media. Acts like Killer Mike and T.I. broke down Bottoms’ initiatives while social media cool kids like Mr. Hot Spot aligned his positive-vibe agenda to her campaign.
Hollywood also showed up with their support by sharing Bottoms plans to improve education for Atlanta’s children. Others not connected to a certain issue like Usher and industry great Chaka Zulu used their hometown status to discuss factors like inclusion for all residents. NBC News reports Atlanta has experienced a new wave of residents moving into the city, creating more lavish properties but less methods of integration.
For lack of a better words, gentrification has hit Atlanta.
“The white community now is different,” former mayor Andrew Young said. “We’ve grown so fast, and we’ve been so successful, that we haven’t worked on integration with the new people.”
It could also be why so many famous faces decided to use their platforms to led support to Bottoms.
Prolific African-American politicians like Democratic Maxine Waters, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were great co-signs for Bottoms, but hip-hop’s top leaders proved that strength really does come in numbers. Barack Obama may have introduced this practice during his legendary presidential election, but its interesting to see it executed at the local level.