Politics

Meet Atlanta Mayoral Candidate Mary Norwood

Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood spoke with Rose Scott in an ongoing series with the candidates on the ballot for the city's highest office.
Credit Eboni Lemon / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

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 Councilmember Mary Norwood on Oct. 17.

Mary Norwood has been in the public eye for more than 20 years. She said her experience is what sets her apart from the pack.

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“I do have 25 years of serving the entire city, I have tremendous trust from citizens all over this town,” Norwood, an at large member of the Atlanta City Council, said.

“I believe my message of transparency, of caring about every community, of protecting communities and preserving neighborhoods resonates with the voters. They know I am who I say I am and I am true to my word so they can trust me to make sure that they do have the quality of life they deserve.”

If elected mayor, Norwood said she will focus on doing the little things right before focusing on grander efforts. For instance, when it comes to economic development, Norwood said the city first needs to focus on the basics.

What’s important is that in order to get economic vitality to communities that have literally been neglected for several decades, the basics have to be done, so the abandoned buildings need to either be torn down or renovated and put back to purposeful use,” she said.

“The basics of what a city is supposed to do for its citizens, those need to be taken care of. Then we have a great opportunity to have the kind of investment that we want to see across the entire city.”

At a recent mayoral forum candidates were asked about racial profiling by police officers, one of Norwood’s opponents has attacked her response in a radio ad. In an interview with Closer Look’s Rose Scott, Norwood responded with; “I believe that racial profiling absolutely exists, there is no question about that.”

“I have support all over the city, I am absolutely connected to the community and I know their concerns,” Norwood said.

Norwood said she would focus on the relationship between city hall and the Atlanta Public Schools, if elected mayor.

For example, she said she would implement an emergency notification system because “there has not been the communication that there needed to be when there is an emergency at the city level that’s going to impact the school children.”

Ultimately, Norwood said it all comes back to her experience.

“I think it is extraordinarily important for us to have our politics as good as our people,” she said. “I say the people of Atlanta are better than our politics, I intend to have the citizens of Atlanta feel that their city has represents the best of Atlanta every single day.”