In the lead-up to the Nov. 7 election of Atlanta’s next mayor, “Closer Look with Rose Scott” will feature 20-minute conversations with the candidates in the race. Scott interviewed current City Council President Ceasar Mitchell on Oct. 4.
Ceasar Mitchell is proud of his deep ties to the city of Atlanta. Not only his political ties — he’s currently the city council president — but his personal ties as well.
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Mitchell was raised in Atlanta. His dad was an Atlanta police officer and his mom was a school teacher, he told WABE’s Rose Scott.
“I bring an abiding love for this city, I was born and raised here to parents who love this city and invested everything that they had in this city,” Mitchell said. “I’m raising my family in this city. My wife is also a public servant in this city. For me it is all about service, I come from a family of public servants and I have lived my life in service.”
Despite the reputation that Mitchell and Mayor Kasim Reed do not see eye to eye, Mitchell said that hasn’t stood in the way of the council accomplishing things he’s proud of.
“There have been some really critical issues that this council and the administration have faced and dealt with over the years, and we have done that in many cases in a very successful fashion,” he said.
He also said he believes the tension between mayor and city council president is natural. Mitchell said he has no personal problems with Reed.
For voters who may be looking for something new at city hall, Mitchell insists he’s not a part of the current administration, despite leading the council. He noted the branches of government do working collaboratively, but are very much separate.
Like some other candidates in the field, Mitchell stressed the importance of establishing solid partnerships between the city and other entities, including Atlanta Public Schools.
However, Mitchell said he is the best candidate to make this happen because of his longstanding ties to the school district.
“I’m not going to have to introduce myself to anyone at APS. My mom was a public school teacher in APS, my grandmother was a public school teacher,” he said. “My wife actually is a public school teacher in APS. I’ve worked over the last 15 years with APS in a very collaborative fashion.”
Mitchell said step one is inviting the superintendent to the mayor’s cabinet meetings.
“We’re going to find ways to work together as it related to improving educational outcomes, looking for fiscal collaboration, as well as making sure that every young person in this city has the ability to get to school in a safe fashion,” he said.
“I truly believe the city of Atlanta is a place of promise and I want to make sure this city meets its promise to every young person and every senior citizen and everybody in between looking to find that promise.”