Thursday, February 10, 2011

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Newark, New Jersey Mayor, Corey Booker, tends to get most of the press as one of the examples of a new generation of effective political leadership from the African-American community. And rightfully so. Whether he is shoveling snow during the worst blizzards in the history of his city, riding the streets late at night urging kids to get off the street and go home because of the city's curfew, in board rooms and suites selling Newark, or with city officials wrestling with crime and budget challenges, Booker is a breath of fresh air and a joy to see and read about. But Corey Booker is not the only such example...

Kasim Reed is the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. Only in office a year, Reed has already made tremendous progress...

"When Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed took office in January 2010, the city had only $7.4 million in reserves and was laying off firefighters, a last resort in municipal budget control. Reed has more than sextupled Atlanta's reserves to $58 million, largely through pension reform, all while maintaining a 70 percent approval rating along the way."
"Kasim Reed is making history ... by pulling a hurting Atlanta into financial stability. Reed balanced the city's budget by shifting pension standards for city workers, since pensions were draining more than 20 percent of the city's tax revenues. When union picketers protested, Reed welcomed them into is office in small groups where he explained, with charts, that reform was necessary to keep any pensions in play. Reed's cuts on pensions let him reopen 16 recreation centers and expand Atlanta's police force."

Reed comes to the office of Mayor with an already impressive resume.

"Prior to his election, Mayor Reed established a track record of leadership during his 11 years as a member of the Georgia General Assembly.  He was first elected in 1998 as a State Representative and served two terms. From 2002-2009, he served in the Georgia State Senate, where he was Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus."

"As an undergraduate member of Howard University's Board of Trustees, he created a fundraising program that has contributed more than $10 million to the school’s endowment since its inception.  Mayor Reed was appointed as Howard University's youngest General Trustee in June 2002 and remains a member of the Board of Trustees."

It's great to see young people like Corey Booker and Kasim Reed, providing such stellar leadership. They aren't the only ones, but they are show us what we have to look forward to.

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