More Details of NAN Mayoral Debate 2009
Now on APN you can read a report about what went down Thursday night at the Auburn Avenue Research Library when nine candidates for Atlanta mayor crowded on stage to discuss important issues.
Below is more information about Thursday’s debate we didn’t include in that story.
Some candidates kicked around ideas for closing the “academic achievement gap,” as one questioner put it.
Rod Mack said it is important for the city to “protect any kind of funds set aside for the education of our children.”
Tiffany Brown said the city’s recreation centers, half of which are currently closed due to budget cuts, should offer opportunities for young people to learn a trade.
Kasim Reed said he would turn the recreation centers into “places of hope” and extend the operating hours so children with parents who work late can stay out of trouble.
“Regardless of what the charter says, the mayor has to get more involved” with education, Reed said.
Candidates also shared the predictable reasons so many politicians use to explain what qualifies them for an office or why they want to hold that office.
Those running for mayor who are not elected officials tried Thursday to paint themselves as outsiders who “cannot be bought,” as Jesse Spikes put it.
Elected officials tried to distance themselves from current problems facing the city, pointing to their experience they promised to leverage to fix Atlanta.
Near the end of the evening, Robinson asked Reed how he would be any different than Mayor Shirley Franklin, who won her first election in 2001 thanks in large part to Reed’s management.
“I am my own man and running a campaign for a person does not make you the person,” he said.
Reed, along with Borders and Norwood, refused to take the bait when one questioner asked if each would identify the weaknesses of the others.
“I’m not going to evaluate the weaknesses of the other candidates,” Norwood said. “That is something you can figure out on your own.”
Borders deflected, as did Reed, calling Borders and Norwood “two distinguished ladies.”