In a race testing racial harmony in Georgia’s largest city, some veteran black power brokers say their hold on power is being undercut by their past successes running the city.
“We haven’t always gotten the credit for that, no,” said former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who oversaw the early days of the city’s rebirth during the 1980s. “I brought in 1,100 companies from around the world – $70 billion in private investment – and generated more than a million new jobs.
“But most people think that’s automatic, that that would have happened anyway,” he said with a laugh.
Black mayors have occupied City Hall since 1973, but this year, a white City Council member is leading in the polls, even though two black civic leaders urged black voters to unite against her.