Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

New Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will deliver the keynote address at the Buckhead Coalition’s invitation-only annual meeting Jan. 31, in one of her first major appearances since her election last month.

In a nod to the bruising electoral battle against Buckhead resident and former City Councilmember Mary Norwood, the event’s theme will be “Tying Atlanta Together,” according to Sam Massell, the coalition’s president and a former Atlanta mayor himself. He previewed a gift that he said all attendees will receive: a crystal statuette of a handshake.

For Bottoms, it will be a victorious return to the event where she appeared a year ago with seven other candidates in a luncheon Massell had orchestrated as an unofficial mayoral campaign kickoff forum. It also will be a visit to a neighborhood that heavily favored Norwood, whom the Coalition had formally endorsed.

Massell said the Coalition is keenly aware of the politics and manners involved in Bottoms’ visit, and of the city’s political divisions demonstrated by her razor-thin win – by less than 1 percent.

“It seemed appropriate we should definitely be upfront about the importance of Atlanta being united,” said Massell.

Read the rest of this story at Reporter Newspapers.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.