Atlanta City Councilman, Antonio Brown, entered the mayoral race Friday afternoon, announcing his intent on the steps of City Hall surrounded by his family, friends, social media influencers, supporters, and staff.
Brown represents District Three, which contains English Avenue, Vine City plus Atlantic Station, and West Midtown. Brown is known for his activism in social justice, speaking out for the marginalized and poor communities, advocating for the rights, safety, and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community seeks to “Reimagine Atlanta.”
“People are no longer asking for a seat at the table. They realized that they are the table, and elected officials are just invited guests to that table,” Brown explained.
If Brown wins, he would become the youngest Mayor in Atlanta’s history, at age 36. Elected to the city council in 2019 to fill the late Ivory Lee Young’s seat, Brown has served less than a full term and before serving on the council was unknown politically in Atlanta.
During his speech, Brown outlined this reimagining of Atlanta by transitioning the political power away from Atlanta’s elite and placing it back into the hands of its citizens.
“I ask that you join me as we begin the journey of reimagining Atlanta together,” Brown said. “A journey to create an inclusive ecosystem, that reimagines public safety and empowers safe communities, improves our transportation and our crumbling infrastructure provides quality jobs and affordable housing while recognizing the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”
Brown said Atlanta’s leaders have created a facade of a Black mecca of the South, which has resulted in generations of underserved communities ‘stuck in a continuous cycle of poverty, struggling to survive every day, feeling left behind and unworthy.’
Antonio lightly touched on the indictments of fraud and false bank statements from 2020. According to the July 29, 2020 indictment, Brown sought “to defraud several financial institutions by taking out loans and making credit card purchases — and then falsely claiming that he was the victim of identity theft and was not responsible for the charges or repaying the loans.”
In a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern Georgia, federal prosecutors say the alleged criminal activities go back as far as 2012 and include $60,000 in auto loans to purchase a Mercedes-Benz C300 and a Range Rover.
He is also accused of falsely claiming on a loan application that his salary for one year was $325,000. Brown stated outright they are false and that he would not be running for mayor if there were any validity to them.
“There will be those who attempt to divide and distract us and place many obstacles in our way, they will bring up the charges that have been levied against me,” Brown explained. “So let me clear that up right now, once and for all: I am absolutely innocent.”
He went on to say the time for perfect politicians is done, people want politicians that are real and are working for them.
Brown’s announcement comes one week after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to not run for re-election.
“Young people are leading the way, just look around at all the young activists and people here. Antonio is a part of a generation of people unafraid to take on big politics and fat cats. He knows who he is and the people he is fighting for. It’s refreshing! It’s a good time to be an ATLien!” Atlanta resident Ernesto Allen said.
Brown joins Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, Sharon Gay, attorney and aide to former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, and Councilman Andre Dickens in the Mayoral race.