Mayor Andre Dickens released his 40-person task force yesterday afternoon and did a media blitz with the AJC and Rose Scott. IMHO, previous Peach Pundit contributor, George Chidi’s substack piece was SPOT ON regarding the Dekalb Presser yesterday and the reasons behind it.
A general rule of politics is that if you’re explaining; you’re losing, and I’d respectfully say that’s what’s happening now.
I’ve been reluctant to say that the Mayor would only last one term, but I’m not now. I tend to not trust my own judgment until I hear it on the street from folks that are relatively not connected to politics.
A few things have contributed to my thoughts on this: the retirement of a friend in who told me before I read it in the news that Tortuguita’s autopsy was to be handled by Dekalb County because the GBI is so over burdened and to watch the civil suit. Concurrently, the Atlanta Municipal Clerk announced his retirement at the APAB meeting last Saturday. Folks seem to be retiring and leaving good government jobs like flies. Finally, community activists, not your stuffed shirts, have shook their heads at the Mayor.
I didn’t vote for Mayor Dickens, and I had hoped for better from him. But his administration has floundered under the mess left by Bottoms and his efforts to curtail voices that even question the City’s actions show he can’t stand up to level headed scrutiny.
This doesn’t make me happy to write. While I have never personally met him, I have been in small audiences with him and I know his gift of retail politics, his quick-on-his-feet responses demonstrate that he is clever, but for whatever reason, he won’t let this Cop City thing go, and it is the death nell of his re-election plans.
Dickens was wise when he chose to run. I was surprised, because I thought he would wait, but he broke from the aspirational pack of Westmoreland, Farohki, and maybe others who will eventually run for higher office. I have said quietly to friends he may be the last Black Mayor for a while in Atlanta, as our city is becoming whiter each day and the more affluent Black voters are choosing more business and stability than affordable housing and PADS expansion.
Anyone who has been watching politics in Georgia is watching our suburban areas diversify and our urban centers become more a whiter shade of pale. The implications of this make us a bellwether for the DNC, which George Chidi wisely alludes to in his piece. But Atlanta Influences Everything, and the traditional younger set are HOT about Cop City, Democratic members playing kickball with GOP members, and they see it as a tribal conflict rather than the compromise of the past. These are the folks the DPG could previously have bet on that if they vote (and that’s a big if), they’ll vote blue. But they can just as easily sit elections out.
Mayor Dickens has now learned the downside of climbing higher. It’s easier to fall from the pedestal. I hope his landing is as soft as his predecessor’s and she keeps a warm seat for him wherever she ends up after her departure from the White House.
Meanwhile, the rest of Atlanta waits for a Mayor who can be more than just one and done.