Mayor Kasim Reed

Without mentioning President-elect Donald Trump by name, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed pushed back against the incoming administration’s promises of mass deportation of immigrants and what some believe are rollbacks on civil and human rights. Read the full text of his statement below.

Atlanta is proud to be a welcoming city.

Atlanta is a city that historically has stood up for the civil and human rights of everyone, but we live in uncertain times. We know that many Atlantans are fearful and concerned about their families. They question whether their freedoms will be upheld and lawfully protected. They worry that they will suffer persecution from a surge in bigotry.

The City of Atlanta is the dominant cultural and economic center of the Southeast. My administration is determined to use the full strength of that position to lead with policies that uphold and enhance the civil rights of all our residents.

Any threat to our constitutionally guaranteed liberty is a threat to all Atlantans. We will continue to vigorously protect and support immigrant students who are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. We value the economic and cultural vitality these young people bring to our City.

Atlanta will not tolerate acts of hatred against our residents and visitors. We will prosecute crimes of this nature to the fullest extent of the law. If you are the victim of a hate crime or intimidation, I urge you to call 911 and report it. It is the sworn duty of Atlanta Police officers to protect and serve our people regardless of their country of origin, the religion they practice, or the language they speak.

It is incumbent upon all of us to find the strength in our differences and the comfort in our common identity. I ask all Atlantans to open their hearts and minds to ensure that our City remains on the right side of history as a community that is welcoming and inclusive of all its neighbors.

As Mayor, I pledge that your government will not waver in its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and will remain open and welcoming to all.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.