Ivory Lee Young Jr.

District 3 Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr. died today at the age of 56, according to a press release issued by the city.  

Young had been on leave since early September to undergo a stem-cell transplant in his ongoing battle with cancer. 

“My faith has never been stronger. The grace and mercy of Jesus Christ has been with me from the moment of this diagnosis,” Young said before undergoing treatment.

A native of Butler, Alabama, Young has served on the Atlanta City Council since January 2002. The district he represented is comprised of several communities on the westside of Atlanta, including English Avenue, Washington Park and Vine City. An avid Atlanta Falcons fan, he helped oversee the completion of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, also located in District 3.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a statement on behalf of she and her husband: “Derek and I offer heartfelt condolences to the entire Young family. His love of God, family, and community was evident in his word and deeds. I was privileged to call Ivory a colleague and friend and am eternally grateful for his love and devotion to our city.”

Atlanta City Council members also issued statements on Young’s passing.

From Michael Julian Bond: “I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of my dear friend and colleague Ivory Lee Young, Jr. He and I have worked closely together for more than 25 years and in our shared westside communities. He was a prince of a man, a dear friend and a respected colleague. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Shalise, and the Young family.”

From Cleat Winslow: “Ivory was truly a bright light on the city council. He was a committed leader and positive role model to the constituents in District 3. As a resident of Vine City, he recognized that it was a challenged neighborhood, but he stepped up to the plate and was able to give back to the community in many ways, including the construction of Cook Park. He also believed in students getting a solid education and assisted with the reopening of M.R. Hollis Innovation Academy in his district. During his tenure, he expanded parks, enhanced streetscapes, and contributed to the rebirth of west Midtown to help strengthen and further stabilize the northwestern portion of his district. He was a true champion of the people. He will be missed not only as a colleague, but also as my friend.”

From Council President Felicia Moore: “With the passing of Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr., the Atlanta City Council has lost a veteran legislator, cherished colleague and dedicated community advocate. Our hearts are deeply saddened by his death as we send our prayers and unwavering support to his wife, Mrs. Shalise Steele-Young, and family. Councilman Young fought as hard for his constituents as he did for his own life, during a long battle against cancer. May he be remembered for the measurable accomplishments he made on behalf of citizens in Southwest Atlanta and most of all, for his indomitable human spirit.”

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.