Sen. Reed’s Non-answer to my question


So as I was saying I went to the Reed press conference yesteday, where he made numerous statements in response to the Black Leadership Forum memo (see below for his comments on that).

After Reed spoke, the floor was opened up for questions. As far as Sen. Reed’s response to my question, I must say I was completely disappointed.

The question was- Many Atlanta voters are independent, but there are working families–many of whom are Black–worried about issues of concern to them. What can you tell us about your platform as it relates to working families?

Reed’s response: “We all have posted our platform (on our websites). We have appeared in debates. There will be more debates. Clearly there are outlets where the candidates can (be vetted).”

What a complete non-response! As if people don’t know he already has a website and that debates are being held? Sen. Reed couldn’t come up with a single issue in his platform of concern to working families?

If Reed’s message yesterday, that the issues of the campaign are more important than race, then it seems to me he should’ve been happy to have the opportunity to actually focus on those issues.

As Michael Julian Bond told me when I shared this story with him, “You threw him a golden football, and he didn’t even fumble, he dropped it.” I don’t know much about sports, but that sounds really bad.

So I’m left to wonder whether either Sen. Reed didn’t really know what his agenda for working families is, or that he doesn’t have one; or worse, that he didn’t want to advertise his working families platform in front of the TV cameras (out of fear of alienating the middle to upper class, the business community, or developers)?

Here are the rest of the comments he made during his speech:

“I rose and was deeply saddened by the email I’ve seen widely circulated reagrding race and the mayoral competition. I believe Councilwoman Mary Norwood has a right to run and compete. I commend her for her public service. Based on the email I’ve seen, I call on Ms. Borders to denounce the statements from Aaron Turpeau, a supporter of hers.

“We’re on ground we haven’t been on in 10 years. We have a qualified White candidate who has served on Council. We must build upon the best tradition of Atlanta. [How people vote…] should be based on merit, not the color of one’s skin.

“I spoke with Maynard Jackson. His legacy is a city that would be united, not divided, along race and class.”

He also said it appeared to be a coordinated strategy of eliminating candidates.

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