Atlanta’s Moment of Decision
Reed A Strong Candidate for Atlanta Mayor
Kasim Reed, the son of a courageous civil rights worker, has a strong chin and a personality to match. People either love his matter of fact-ness, or they loath it. With Kasim, you know on which side of the issue he stands. He is for an idea, or he is against it. One thing is sure, his steadfastness, once locked in, is unmovable.
It is three weeks from the election, and Reed will need that sturdy chin and the courage of his father to withstand the onslaught of negative campaign antics that will come at him.
A month from the election, an independent poll has Reed with a double-digit lead over five primary challengers. Reed gets the nod from 18 percent of voters. His nearest challenger is City Council President Felicia Moore, who received the approval of eight percent of polled voters. Moore’s percentage is down two points from the ten percent she received in September.
Despite Reed’s lead, 31 percent of voters polled were undecided. It is safe to predict that the undecided voter will elect Atlanta’s next mayor. With a third of the electorate undecided three weeks from the election, this presents an enormous potential for negative campaigning, largely absent this year.
The other top candidates in the field, Moore, Councilman Andre Dickens, Councilman Antonio Brown, and silk stocking lawyer Sharon Gay have largely avoided an all-out negative campaign against Reed.
Thus far, the brunt of damaging accusations about Reed are those pushed by WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. These two media outlets were stiff-armed during the Reed administration over the outlets’ request for open records. A fight ultimately won by the media conglomerate.
This week, a group calling itself “The Affordable Housing Defender” circulated an essentially anonymous email addressed to Atlanta with the subject, “Anybody But Kasim.”
The email is not signed. TAHD has metaphorically thrown a rock and hidden its hand.
While the email acknowledges that Reed is a strong leader, it takes issue with his vital leadership attributes. It declares that Reed is not the strong leader needed to solve a multitude of problems in Atlanta.
“The Affordable Housing Defender” does not recommend an alternative to Reed, nor describe any leadership qualities, or spot on public policy positions, of any of the other candidates that would make them better than Reed.
Instead, TAHD dashes head-long into an ugly diatribe presuming it knows what was “embedded in his [Reed] psyche long ago in his childhood development process.”
Who makes an unscientific, unfounded allegation about another’s childhood then publishes it widely as if there was truth to the rant? How much more personal and mean-spirited can a political attack be during any political campaign?
TAHD’s email sends Atlanta to a YouTube channel encouraging voters to “cancel Kasim….”
However, the about section on YouTube does not provide any information. There are no names of individuals associated with TAHD or a position statement about their objectives. This group has wholly hidden its identity. The only clue about the identity of TAHD is the fact TAHD employed a nationally known voice-over expert to deliver their assault against Reed. It is the only glimpse behind the veil where they hide.
At this writing, the YouTube channel has two subscribers and 363 views.
Without casting any aspersion on any of the other candidates in the race to become Atlanta’s 61st mayor, Kasim Reed, is the only candidate that has the strong leadership skills that the city needs. Reed’s strong-willed persona is necessary to combat the crime wave, policing, affordable housing, employment, growth, annexation, gentrification, and the future viability of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as an Atlanta asset, attacks by WSB-TV, the AJC, and TAHD, notwithstanding.
Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is the author of a book on Negro Leagues Baseball, The Duke of 18th & Vine: Bob Kendrick Pitches Negro Leagues Baseball. He writes feature stories for Black College Nines. Com. Harvey is a member of the Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, HBCU and PRO Sports Media Association, and the Legends Committee for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Harvey is an engaging speaker. Contact Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.