Atlanta Skyline

Leadership is changing in the city of Atlanta as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms steps down and Mayor-Elect Andre Dickens is sworn in next January.

Credit: Associated Press


The Panel:

Heath Garrett — Republican strategist 

J.D. Capelouto — Local news reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Kristal Dixon — Reporter, Axios

Dr. Kurt Young — Department chair of political science, Clark Atlanta University


The Breakdown:

1. Sen. Isakson's former chief of staff reflects on his legacy 

Garrett said Isakson's approach to politics is becoming less common in the modern era.

  • Isakson often called-out members of his own party. In a 2019 interview, he spoke to Political Rewind's Bill Nigut about working with President Donald Trump. 

Sen. Isakson weighed in on working with now-former President Trump.


2. Atlanta's Mayor-elect Andre Dickens prepares to take office, tests positive for COVID-19. 

  • Dickens took to social media to announce he tested positive Monday. 
  • When he takes office in a couple of weeks, he said he plans to keep on the city's chief operating officer Jon Keen.
  • Dickens also said he plans to keep on Atlanta's police chief, Rodney Bryant, for a 100-day contract.
  • Clark Atlanta University professor Kurt Young said the key to reducing crime in Atlanta may require a larger, more comprehensive response from city leaders beyond the mayor's office.
  • Dickens will be sworn in as the 61st mayor of Atlanta on Jan. 3, 2022. 

Young said solutions to Atlanta's crime problem will come through comprehensive reform.


3. The future for the Buckhead Cityhood movement.

  • Axios' Kristal Dixon said Atlanta Public Schools stands to lose $232 million in the budget if Buckhead secedes.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's J.D. Capelouto said Dickens plans to work with state legislators to stop the cityhood movement.


4. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' legacy 

  • Bottoms announced she wasn't seeking reelection in May.
  • During her term, she led the city's response to cyberattacks, political unrest after the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • She leaves office with a $181 million in reserves.
  • Dixon said questions remain about affordable housing in the Atlanta metro.

    Dixon commented on affordable housing.

  • Bottoms posted a Christmas ornament with the words 'One Atlanta' yesterday, alluding to the Buckhead cityhood movement, after her final public press conference as mayor.

Tomorrow on Political Rewind: 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein is our guest host.