by Moxye Staff

A $1 billion housing affordability plan, ethics reform and an improved partnership with Atlanta Public Schools will top Keisha Lance Bottoms’ priority list, Atlanta’s 60th mayor vowed Tuesday as she took the oath of office at Morehouse College.

Bottoms, a former city councilwoman elected mayor in November after a divisive campaign, was sworn in during a ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.

Bottoms pledged to unite a city where racial, political and geographic differences played a major role in her narrow victory over then-Councilman Mary Norwood.

“We must become an undivided Atlanta locked arm in arm,” she said. “We must put our differences aside to join in a common mission to lift everyone up.”

Bottoms said she soon will roll out a $1 billion plan to increase Atlanta’s supply of affordable housing, a need that has become more critical as the city’s recovery from the Great Recession has driven up home prices.

“We cannot afford to stand aside and let prosperity drive people out of our city,” she said.

The new mayor promised sweeping ethics reform at a time Atlanta has been rocked by a bribery scandal at City Hall that became a polarizing issue during the campaign. She said her reform package would mandate lobbyist registration, increase disclosure requirements and clean up the city’s contracting process.

While the city government does not control Atlanta’s public schools, Bottoms said she will appoint a chief education officer to her senior staff to work to improve relations with Atlanta Public Schools.

Bottoms also pledged to continue the momentum begun by predecessor Kasim Reed in areas including transit expansion, the city’s financial health and Atlanta’s sustainability efforts.

Bottoms said she was “thrilled” to become only the second woman mayor of Atlanta, calling 2018 a good time for female leadership in the city.

Members of the Atlanta City Council also were sworn in during Tuesday’s ceremony, including eight newly re-elected council members and seven newcomers. Former Councilwoman Felicia Moore took the oath of office as the new council president.


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