Let’s Do It Again: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sworn in for 2nd term
By Titus Falodun Staff Writer | 1/10/2014, 10:02 a.m.
ATLANTA - The brutal cold of an unusual winter did not stop a near capacity crowd of more than 500 people from giving a warm reception for Mayor Kasim Reed, as he was sworn into office Monday, Jan. 6, as the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta.
“Today is a very special day for me,” Reed told reporters. “I’m so happy that I’m exhausted.”
The Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center served as the inauguration ceremony host venue, as Reed delivered his second inaugural address, where he expressed his enthusiasm for his plans to build on what he’s laid the groundwork for, during his first term.
“I am honored to have the privilege of serving the people of Atlanta for a second term,” Reed said to the audience, which included supporters, councilmen, dignitaries, residents and members of the business community.
“People have always believed in Atlanta as a place where anything is possible, and our challenge is to continue to create a place where families and innovators and entrepreneurs actually come to make those dreams a reality. With the help of our partners on the Atlanta City Council, we will continue to move our city forward,” he said.
In his address, Reed touted his record, mentioning the closing of the $48 million budget gap in one year and growing city reserves from $7.4 million to more than $127 million, passing a comprehensive pension reform that will save the city $500 million over the next 30 years, and the re-opening the city’s 33 recreation centers and ten Centers of Hope, among other things.
“I was a huge supporter of the mayor [last term] and I’m very proud to continue to support him and [the administration],”Atlanta resident Rashida Winfrey said. “I think he said it best when he talked about his record and how the city has grown, and how crime has decreased, how investment in the city has increased. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Reed’s overall message was about his commitment to public safety, infrastructure improvements and a comprehensive plan to support Atlanta’s youth, which his fellow public officials stated were pertinent issues.
“There is still a great opportunity for the county to work closely with the city in addressing criminal justice, public safety in our communities, economic development, health, and human services,” Fulton County Chairman John Eaves told The Atlanta Voice.
In his remarks, Reed eluded many of the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department that risk their lives, only to witness the criminals they arrest released.
“We’re talking about people that have been arrested 30, 40, 50, 60 times—arrest and convicted,” he said.
In his pledge to “double down” on crime in Atlanta, Reed announced his plans for Atlanta City Jail to address the issue of prison crowding. During his first term, Reed helped reduced the crime rate by 18 percent, while also adding more 800 police officers to the force, expanding it to 2,000 in total.
Reed also noted that by improving the educational system (i.e. high school dropout rates), the city could take a significant bite of the repeat offender rates, because many of the repeat offenders are youths.