Carolyn Long Banks, the first Black woman on Atlanta City Council, dies at 82
Carolyn Long Banks, the first Black woman to serve on the Atlanta City Council, died Wednesday. She was 82.
Banks was an acclaimed civil rights activist and a well-known political leader.
She was elected to the council in 1980.
“Our community has lost a true trailblazer," Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond said. "Carolyn Long Banks will forever be known as a catalyst for extraordinary change in our city and across the nation. This is a somber moment for us all and I send my deepest condolences to her family. Throughout her life, she had an unwavering commitment toward social and economic justice. Her legacy with the Atlanta Student Movement and the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights will always serve as an inspiration. As the first Black woman to serve on our august body, she left an indelible mark on the community as an advocate for equality and opportunity.”
In the 1970s, then-Gov. Jimmy Carter appointed Banks to the Commission on Women. She also served as president of the National League of Cities and joined President Bill Clinton at the White House to sign his first piece of legislation, the Family Medical Leave Act.
“My heartfelt condolences are with the family of Carolyn Long Banks," said Andrea Boone, also a current member of City Council. "She was a remarkable woman who had a truly astounding impact on our community. As we mourn her passing, let us remember her legacy as a civil rights hero and as the first Black woman to serve on the City Council. She broke barriers and was a role model for leadership and social change. Let us keep her family in our prayers as we all seek comfort and peace during this time of mourning.”