Kasim Reed

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Muhammad Kasim Reed
Kasim Reed 2011.jpg
59th Mayor of Atlanta
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 4, 2010
Preceded byShirley Franklin
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 35th district
In office
January 2003 – September 1, 2009
Preceded byDonzella James
Succeeded byDonzella James
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
In office
January 1999 – January 2003
Preceded byHenrietta Canty
Succeeded byFran Millar
Personal details
Born(1969-06-10) June 10, 1969 (age 45)
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sarah Elizabeth Reed
Alma materHoward University
ReligionUnited Methodism
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Muhammad Kasim Reed
Kasim Reed 2011.jpg
59th Mayor of Atlanta
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 4, 2010
Preceded byShirley Franklin
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 35th district
In office
January 2003 – September 1, 2009
Preceded byDonzella James
Succeeded byDonzella James
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 52nd district
In office
January 1999 – January 2003
Preceded byHenrietta Canty
Succeeded byFran Millar
Personal details
Born(1969-06-10) June 10, 1969 (age 45)
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sarah Elizabeth Reed
Alma materHoward University
ReligionUnited Methodism
WebsiteOfficial website

Muhammad Kasim Reed (born June 10, 1969) is the 59th Mayor of Atlanta; he was officially inaugurated on January 4, 2010.

A Democrat, he was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1998 to 2002 and represented the 35th District in the Georgia State Senate from 2003 to 2009. After serving as campaign manager for Shirley Franklin's successful Atlanta mayoral campaign in 2001, he ran for the position in 2009 as Franklin was term limited. He was one of two candidates to advance from the November 3 general election and went on to win the runoff election on December 1, 2009.

Early life and education[edit]

Reed was born in Plainfield, New Jersey,[1] but his family moved to Fulton County, Georgia, when he was an infant.[2] He was born and raised in a United Methodist household, although his father considered converting to Islam around the time he was born, during the early years of desegregation, and he was named Mohammed to the consternation of his minister grandfather.[3] Reed graduated from Fulton County's Utoy Springs Elementary School and Westlake High School.[2][4]

Howard University[edit]

He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1991 with a degree in political science. During a takeover of the Howard administration building in 1989, Reed, a college sophomore, served as an intermediary to attempt to convince Howard officials not to accept Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater's resignation from the university's board of trustees.[4] He also made $40,000 as an entrepreneur running a jewelry business that he started at age sixteen.[5]

In 1990 Reed was invited to comment on the Persian Gulf War military buildup on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Also, in November of that year he was featured in Black Enterprise.[6]

Reed interned for Joseph Patrick Kennedy II. During his internship he learned about a federal dollar-for-dollar matching grant program and as a senior and the undergraduate trustee on the University's Board of Trustees, he instituted a $15-per-semester student fee increase that would be matched by federal taxpayers, with monies earmarked for the university's endowment. The fees were expected to total nearly $300,000 per semester.[7][8] The estimate was conservative in the sense that it only assumes the fees from slightly more than 75% of the 12,000 students.[9] The four-year totals would approach a $2.4 million addition to the endowment.[10] Reed earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1991. He then earned his juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law in 1995.[11] In 2002 Mayor Reed was appointed as the youngest General Trustee to serve Howard's Board of Trustees and continues to serve on that Board.

Legal career[edit]

After graduation from law school Reed joined the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP.[11] and later became a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, an international law firm with offices in Atlanta.[2]

Political career[edit]

Georgia State Representative[edit]

In 1998 Henrietta Canty (1975–80, 1990–98), resigned her Georgia House of Representatives 52nd district seat to run for Georgia State Insurance Commissioner.[12] Seven candidates vied for her seat in the July 21, 1998 Democratic primary election.[13] Reed was the leading vote-getter with 36.6% of the vote, finishing well ahead of community leaders Horace Mann Bond and Eric V. Thomas, the second and third place finishers, respectively.[14] This resulted in a head-to-head August 11 run-off election, which Reed won with 60.6% of the vote, against the second-place finisher, Horace Mann Bond II, who had received 19.1% of the vote in July.[15] He was unopposed in the November 3 general election.[16]

In his 2000 re-election campaign, Clarence Canty, the son of Henrietta Canty,[17] contested the seat,[18][19] but Reed won the July 18, 2000 Democratic primary by a 77.0%–12.7% margin.[20] In the November 7, 2000 general election, he was again unopposed.[21] In the House of Representatives, he represented a predominately African-American constituency in south Atlanta.[22] Reed served as a member of the House Judiciary, Education, and Congressional and Legislative Reapportionment Committees.[11]

While in office, in 2001 Reed served as the campaign manager in Shirley Franklin's successful election campaign to become the 58th Mayor of Atlanta. As a campaign manager in an election occurring in the shadow of the September 11 attacks, he surveyed potential voters' perceptions of the propriety of the campaign's advertising broadcasts because at the time certain ads were thought to focus on sensitive topics.[23] After winning the election, Franklin chose Reed as one of two co-chairs on her transition team. In this role he was charged with identifying and reviewing candidates for cabinet-level positions.[2]

In the 2000 election the 52nd House district had been entirely contained in Fulton County.[21] After the decennary redistricting, the district by this number was entirely within DeKalb County, Georgia, in the November 5, 2002 election, which was won by Fran Millar.[24]

Georgia State Senator[edit]

In 2000 the 35th Georgia State Senate District was entirely contained in Fulton County, and State Senator Donzella James was an uncontested Democrat the November 7 general election.[25] In 2002 four-term incumbent Senator James vacated the seat and contested David Scott and an other contenders for the Georgia's 13th congressional district, which was created after the 2000 census when Georgia added two new congressional districts.[26] When Reed first ran for election in the 35 state senate district in the 2002 Democratic primary, it included 19 precincts in Douglas County, Georgia, and 333 in Fulton County.[27] The district includes the southern portion of Fulton County (Atlanta, Alpharetta, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Hapeville, Mountain Park, Palmetto, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Union City) and the northeast portion of Douglas County (Douglasville, and Lithia Springs).[28] Reed won the district's five-way primary on August 20, 2002, with 65.8% of the vote,[27] and then he was uncontested in the November 5, 2002 general election.[29] In 2004 James contested Reed for the seat she had held before him, but he won the July 20, 2004 Democratic primary election by a 58.8%–41.2% margin.[30] He was uncontested in the November 2, 2004 general election,[31] and he has been uncontested in his 2006 and 2008 primary and general elections.[32][33][34]

In January 2006, Reed introduced a bill to authorize scholastic teaching of the textbook The Bible and Its Influence by the non-partisan, ecumenical Bible Literacy Project. The bible curriculum bill, which came a few years after Democrats opposed Republican attempts to promote teaching a translation of the scriptures, was an attempt to preempt a Republican attempt to display the Ten Commandments in schools. Faith is an area where Georgia Democrats differ from the national party.[35] The bill passed in the State Senate by a 50–1 margin on February 3,[36] and it eventually became law.[37]

Reed's committee assignments were the following: Senate Judiciary Committee, Special Judiciary Committee, Ethics Committee, Transportation Committee and the State and Local Government Operations Committee. He also serves as vice-chairman of the Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus. He has also served the Georgia Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as its chairman.[2] In addition, he was a partner at Holland & Knight LLP.[2] Previously, he worked in the music industry for Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.[11]

Mayor of Atlanta[edit]

Kasim Reed in 2009

A month before the February 5, 2008 Super Tuesday Georgia Democratic primary, Reed endorsed Barack Obama.[38] In March 2008, Reed announced an exploratory committee, named ONE Atlanta, to investigate his viability as a candidate in the 2009 Atlanta Mayoral election.[39] Two-term incumbent Mayor Franklin was term limited and could not run again.[40] His exploratory committee announcement was coupled with an announcement that he would be pursuing a Hillary Clinton-style coalition-building tour.[39] During the summer of 2008, ONE Atlanta announced that the exploratory committee had become a formal campaign committee.[41]

On September 1 Reed resigned from the Georgia Senate to run for mayor.[42] No candidate won a majority in the November 3 general election,[43] and Donzella James defeated Torrey O. Johnson in the runoff election on December 1 to replace Reed.[44]

In the November 3, 2009 election, Reed qualified for a December 1 runoff election against Mary Norwood.[45] According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reed had a winning majority in the runoff election that seemed destined to be contested by a recount.[46] The New York Times described the race as too close to call with 98 to 99 percent of the votes counted and Reed leading by only 620 of the 84,000 votes cast.[47][48] On December 9 after the completion of a recount Reed was declared the winner by a margin of 714 votes, after which Mary Norwood officially conceded.[49] Reed took office on January 4, 2010.[50]

Thomas Friedman has praised Reed in the New York Times for balancing the city's budget by limiting the pensions of city employees. This money was instead spent on the police force, as well as on community centers in poor neighborhoods (rather than on reversing the 42% increase in property taxes passed in 2009). He praises Reed as "combining a soft touch with a hard head".[51]

Reed announced his re-election campaign on August 26, 2013.[52]

Policy positions[edit]

Georgia state flag[edit]

Georgia State Flag
1920–1956 state flag
1956–2001 state flag
2001–2003 state flag
2003– current state flag
Battle flag of the Confederate States of America, known as the Dixie Cross or the Rebel Cross

Since the 1990s, the official State Flag of Georgia had been a controversial issue. After 2001 changes to the flag led by then-Governor of Georgia Roy Barnes, the governor was said to have been defeated by the political backlash. The 1956 version with the Confederate States of America battle emblem, known as a St. Andrew's cross, was a continuing topic of debate for southern heritage proponents.[53] Reed served as one of Governor Sonny Perdue's floor leaders in debates that led to the ratification of the current (2003) version of the state flag.[54] Reed's leadership in dealmaking with Senate Republicans kept the 1956 version of the flag off Perdue's statewide referendum on the flag in 2003.[39] The referendum was originally a two-part referendum pitting the 2001 version of the flag against the proposed version and conditional on failed ratification of a new flag considering other flags including the 1956 version. Under this format if the legislators did not approve the newly designed flag over the existing one they could have pursued other designs including the one with the controversial 1956 version of the flag. Reed and a contingent of black legislators from Atlanta limited the referendum to a single vote of preference between the 2003 version and the 2001 version.[39][55][56]

Gay marriage[edit]

On May 21, 2009, Reed caused controversy in Atlanta's LGBT community when he stated that he supported civil unions for gays, but not gay marriage.[57] In December 2012, however, Reed announced his support for marriage equality for same-sex couples.[58]

Transportation investment tax[edit]

Mayor Reed partnered with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to act as the "faces of the pro-TSPLOST campaign", TSPLOST standing for “transportation special purpose local option sales tax", which would have levied a 1% sales tax for ten years, from 2013 until 2022, to fund transportation infrastructure projects.[59] He supported passing the referendum because it "would add jobs and improve congestion" and "failing to pass the measure would be economically damaging" for Atlanta. He stated that he would "work with opponents on the next plan to ease congestion".[60]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Mayor Reed's civic leadership and service have been nationally recognized in publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Ebony, and Black Enterprise. He was selected as one of Georgia Trend magazine's "40 under 40 Rising Stars" in 2001, one of "10 Outstanding Atlantans" in Outstanding Atlanta, a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2000, and a Board Member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mohammed Kasim Reed - Lawyer Profile". Martindale-Hubbell.com. LexisNexis. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Senator Kasim Reed - District 35". legis.state.ga.us. Georgia State Legislature. February 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  3. ^ Mr. Reed Goes to Washington? - Georgia Rising Stars, October 2005
  4. ^ a b Williams, Dick (1989-03-11). "Ousting Atwater Is Costly Error by Howard Students". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  5. ^ Gardner, Katie (1989-04-09). "Student Entrepreneur - Minding Their Own Business". Washington Post (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  6. ^ Ladner, Joyce (1990-12-16). "The Killing Fields of D.C. - Are We Crossing A Line Into Anarchy? How Can We Cross Back?". Washington Post (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  7. ^ DePalma, Anthony (1991-06-14). "In a Year of Adversity, Good Turns on Campus". New York Times (New York Times). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  8. ^ "Increase Approved in Howard U. Fees". Washington Post (Newsbank). 1991-05-02. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Initiative for independence". Washington Times (Newsbank). 1991-05-16. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  10. ^ "Howard Students Give Endowment Fund A Lift". Washington Post (Newsbank). 1991-06-06. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Georgia General Assembly: 2003-2004 Session: Senator Kasim Reed (D-SS 35)". Georgia General Assembly. 2004-12-31. Archived from the original on 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  12. ^ Powell, Kay (2002-11-11). "Obituaries: Atlanta: Henrietta Canty, 74, former House member". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  13. ^ Crenshaw, Holly (1998-07-09). "Voters Guide 1998 - State House District 52 - Crowded field vying for name recognition". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  14. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 21, 1998 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 1998-07-29. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  15. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the August 11, 1998 Primary Runoff Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 1998-08-18. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  16. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 3, 1998 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 1998-11-20. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  17. ^ Wooten, Jim (1998-10-07). "Gatekeepers At Work - No reason to go where there are no votes". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  18. ^ "Voters Guide - Candidates in the July 18 primary provide background information and answer questions". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (Newsbank). 2000-07-13. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  19. ^ "Fulton Qualifying Candidates". The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution (Newsbank). 2000-05-04. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  20. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 18, 2000 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2000-07-27. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  21. ^ a b "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 7, 2000 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2000-11-17. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  22. ^ Sengupta, Somini (2000-09-30). "Urbane Atlanta Considers the Color of Its Late-Night Revelry". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  23. ^ Berke, Richard L. (2001-11-05). "A Nation Challenged: The Elections; Local Candidates Everywhere Focus on Terrorism". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  24. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 5, 2002 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2002-12-24. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  25. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 7, 2000 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2000-11-17. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  26. ^ "Voters Guide 2002: U.S. House State House and State Senate Contested Races". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). 2002-08-15. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  27. ^ a b "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the August 20, 2002 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2002-08-27. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  28. ^ "District 35: Kasim Reed - D". legis.state.ga.us. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  29. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 5, 2002 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2002-12-24. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  30. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 20, 2004 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2005-12-13. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  31. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the November 2, 2004 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2005-12-21. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  32. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 18, 2006 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  33. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the Tuesday, November 07, 2006 General Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  34. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the Tuesday, July 15, 2008 General Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  35. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (2006-01-27). "Democrats in 2 Southern States Push Bills on Bible Study". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  36. ^ Gutierrez, Bridget (2006-02-04). "Legislature 2006: Senate approves Bible classes in public schools". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  37. ^ Gutierrez, Bridget (2006-12-22). "State little help with Bible classes Law requires school board to create courses, but local systems are on their own to figure out how to do it". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  38. ^ Galloway, Jim (2008-01-07). "Kasim Reed joins Obama’s supporting ranks". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  39. ^ a b c d Galloway, Jim (2008-03-03). "Kasim Reed takes first step toward Atlanta mayoral bid". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  40. ^ Williams, Dave (2008-08-11). "Lisa Borders out of Atlanta mayor’s race". Atlanta Business Chronicle. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  41. ^ "Georgia State Senator Kasim Reed Nears $200,000 In Contributions For First 41 Days of Atlanta Mayoral Campaign". Kasim Reed for Mayor, Inc. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-11-29. [dead link]
  42. ^ Stirgus, Eric (2009-09-02). "Authors defend mayor memo Writers say document misinterpreted. Mayoral candidates and Mayor Franklin decry 'black agenda' message.". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. B1. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  43. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Special Election". Georgia Secretary of State. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  44. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Unofficial And Incomplete Results of the Tuesday, December 01, 2009 Special Election Runoff". Georgia Secretary of State. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  45. ^ Dewan, Shaila (2009-11-04). "Atlanta’s Race for Mayor Heads to a Runoff". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  46. ^ Stirgus Eric, and Ernie Suggs (2009-12-02). "Atlanta mayor: Reed leads in early returns". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  47. ^ Dewan, Shaila (2009-12-02). "Atlanta Mayoral Race Too Close to Call". New York Times Company. p. A20. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  48. ^ "Atlanta Mayor's Race May Head for Recount". New York Times Company. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2009-12-02. [dead link]
  49. ^ Reed in, Norwood concedes. New dawn for Atlanta | ajc.com
  50. ^ Suggs,Ernie. "Reed sworn in as Atlanta's new mayor". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  51. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. (2010-12-26). "Cut Here. Invest There.". New York Times. p. WK14. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  52. ^ Bell, Craig (2013-08-26). "Mayor Kasim Reed announces candidacy for re-election". WGCL. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  53. ^ "Georgia Flag - Rally Resumes for 1956 Banner". The Augusta Chronicle (Newsbank). 2004-01-12. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  54. ^ Galloway, Jim and Alan Judd (2003-04-23). "Final salute eludes flag- Late flap sends issue to House". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  55. ^ Galloway, Jim and Tom Baxter (2003-04-25). "Legislature 2003: Flag issue likely to flap till very end of session". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  56. ^ Galloway, Jim (2003-04-27). "Legislature 2003: Deal let both sides dodge Minie ball". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Newsbank). Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  57. ^ Schafer, Matt (2009-05-29). "Atlanta Mayoral Candidates Court Gay Vote". Southern Voice. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  58. ^ Mahtesian, Charles (December 11, 2012). "Atlanta Mayor Now Backs Gay Marriage". Politico. 
  59. ^ "Legislators Move to Plan B After TSPLOST Defeat". 1 August 2012. 
  60. ^ "Metro Atlanta Voters Reject TSPLOST". WSB-TV Atlanta. 1 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Georgia House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henrietta Canty
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 52nd district

1999–2003
Succeeded by
Fran Millar
Georgia Senate
Preceded by
Donzella James
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 35th district

2003–2009
Succeeded by
Donzella James
Georgia Senate
Preceded by
Shirley Franklin
Mayor of Atlanta
2010–present
Incumbent