Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will be joining President Joe Biden’s Administration in an official capacity. Bottoms will be named Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in the coming weeks. The news was first reported by Axios

Bottoms will replace Cedric Richmond during a time when the Biden Administration is facing the headwinds of inflation, rising gas prices, floundering approval ratings plus policy fights within the moderate and progressive wings within the Democratic Party.

With this appointment, President Biden is attempting to signal a re-commitment to the African-American voting bloc that championed his campaign in 2020. Bottoms will be a key surrogate to promote Biden’s policies and then hope to sway opinions that the president is charting the right approach.

Bottoms was a key surrogate during the 2020 Presidential Campaign. Additionally, Bottoms was on President Biden’s shortlist for Vice-President.

Only the second woman to be elected to Atlanta’s highest office, Bottoms was designated a “Woman to Watch in 2018” by Viacom’s BET Network. She has also been profiled by  Atlanta, Georgia Trend, Ebony, Essence and Politico magazines, where she was named “the most prominent Black female executive in the South – and one of the few in the entire country.”

Moreover, Bottoms is the only mayor in Atlanta’s history to have been elected to all three branches of government, serving as a judge and city councilmember before being sworn in as mayor.

Stacey Abrams announces teacher raises in education plan

Stacey Abrams delivers a speech at the Democratic Party of Georgia state dinner on Friday, May 13, 2022 in Atlanta. (Photo By: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Sunday afternoon, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced she would raise the salaries of the state’s K-12 public school teachers. Abrams proposes to raise base teacher pay to $50,000/year and raise the average teacher salaries to $73,500. Abrams says the plan would be paid for by relying on existing revenue from Georgia’s budget. 

“We are losing the fight for our children’s future,” Abrams said Sunday as she accepted the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators. “We need a governor who does not see education as an election year gimmick, but sees our responsibility as a guarantee for the strongest future for our people.”

Currently, Georgia ranks 21st in the United States in teacher pay.

Governor Brian Kemp included in the new state budget the $5,000-a-year pay raises that began in April for state and university employees and turned a $2,000 bonus K-12 teachers are getting this year into a pay raise.

However, Kemp campaign spokesperson Cody Hall described Abrams’s pay raise proposal as, “a ton more state spending (with no plan to pay for it all) which would lead to: higher inflation and higher taxes.”

Abrams believes she can pull off the raises if Georgia’s tax collections exceed 3% annually. 

“As the next governor of Georgia. I know that we can actually expand Medicaid in Georgia, and increase teacher pay, and still not raise a single dollar in taxes, and have money left over to fix some more problems in this state,” Abrams said.

Abrams also says she’ll make technical college accessible to more Georgians, by restoring tuition-free technical certificates and diplomas for students with a 2.0 GPA. Additionally, Abrams says she’ll work with the Technical College System of Georgia to “ensure funding aligns with strategic priorities for the years ahead and is available for technical colleges to attract students.”

Herschel Walker falsely claimed he is a member of the FBI and Cobb County Police

FILE – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during a Donald Trump rally for Georgia GOP candidates in Commerce, Ga., March 26, 2022. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

More than 100 Republican Primary winners continue to back former President Donald J. Trump’s belief that the 2020 Presidential Election was illegitimate. One man, Herschel Walker, claimed earlier this week he was a member of the Cobb County Police Department. However, his statement is not true. 

Walker, who is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat, Raphael G. Warnock, has fought against claims that he graduated from the University of Georgia, fought against allegations his business defrauded the U.S. Government and promoted a mist that could kill the coronavirus on contact.

Monday, Walker claimed he was previously an FBI agent and worked with the Cobb County Police Department. However, Walker was bestowed the title of “honorary deputy,” which holds no official power. Secondly, Walker participated in training at the FBI’s school in Quantico, Virginia. 

In January, the Daily Beast unearthed a 2020 podcast appearance from Walker, in which he promoted a “mist” that he falsely claimed would “kill any COVID on your body,” even though there is no known mist or spray that can prevent COVID-19.

“Do you know, right now, I have something that can bring you into a building that would clean you from covid as you walk through this dry mist?” Walker told conservative host Glenn Beck in August 2020. “As you walk through the door, it will kill any COVID on your body. EPA-, FDA-approved.”

Since then, Warnock has run a campaign ad with Walker’s claims, casting the former Georgia running back as an out-of-step Trump-backed Conservative.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...