(L-R) Andre Dickens, Kasim Reed, Felicia Moore, Antonio Brown and Sharon Gay, the top five candidates for mayor. Photo: Atlanta Magazine

As Nov. 2 approaches, competition for the 2021 Atlanta mayoral election is heating up. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), “campaigns and their supporters are right on time for starting the intense and emotional negativity,” as early voting for local elections began on Oct. 12. A recent poll by 11Alive determined that 31% of voters are still undecided. Because of this large percentage, candidates are eager to quickly grab the attention of voters. This same poll determined the five most popular candidates for mayor, who met for a debate on Oct. 13.

Kasim Reed

Reed previously served as Atlanta’s mayor from 2010-2018. He is known for the development of Atlanta and its decline in crime, both of which he plans to focus on if elected. Although Reed is leading in support, some question his morals after a bribery scandal on some of his officials. According to Reed, the thriving economy that he left behind is at risk due to the recent spike in violent crime, or “a moment of crisis,” as he called it. “This surge is the issue in this campaign, and I ask you for your support and your vote,” said Reed.

Felicia Moore

Moore has served on the Atlanta City Council for two decades and has been its president since 2018. Moore also seeks to fight crime and has given reduction suggestions. She believes in creating “a 21st Century police department, where our officers see themselves as guardians and not warriors against crime.” Moore said that her number one duty is making sure citizens are safer. She believes in transparency and following through with what she says. “You are gonna see how your money is being spent and not abused,” said Moore. “Most importantly, you are gonna know that I’m accountable to you.”

Antonio Brown

If elected, 36-year-old Brown would be Atlanta’s second youngest mayor. He is a strong activist against racial, social and economic inequality. He believes that “our city leaders have failed us.” Since his election to City Council in 2019, Brown has assisted with police reform and diversion programs. His campaign brings up affordable housing and food for underserved communities. He wants to ignite a socio-economic shift and improve the future with proactive leadership.” We can create an inclusive ecosystem so that no Atlantan is ever left behind again.” Similar to Reed’s situation, Brown has also been accused of federal fraud.

Andre Dickens

A City Council member since 2013, Dickens has served as chairman of the Transportation, Public Safety and Legal Administration committees. Dickens hopes to “move forward in peace, productivity, and prosperity, equity, and safety.” He is an advocate for the community and assists in transportation and development. Dickens has a plan for safer streets and affordable housing, as Atlanta Magazine called him the “affordable housing champ.” He helped create the BeltLine Inclusionary Zoning Policy and push Atlanta’s minimum wage to $15 for city workers. “This election is about the future and the soul of Atlanta,” said Dickens. “I’ll make you safe and I’ll make you proud.” 

Sharon Gay

Gay is a private attorney who is involved in Atlanta politics and development. She held a role in financing new and renowned developments like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market. Also, she vows to look into development equity. At the debate, Gay describes that she is running for the people who do not feel heard by the city. “I’m running to be the mayor who will wake up all of those good guys and bring those groups together to address our challenges,” said Gay. “We are a great city; we need to think like it and act like it.”

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