Hours after qualify for another term in his "dream job" as Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed went on the defensive Monday for his home turf, challenging media reports critical of Atlanta and taking jabs at its lagging competitors.
Multiple media reports captured the 44-year-old former legislator in a state of civic exuberance, making his election over city councilwoman Mary Norwood (by just 714 votes) seem like eons ago. The most uplifting and/or antagonistic statement came at a Rotary Club speech after Reed officially kicked off his 2013 bid for four more mayoral years. "We are going to become one of the most successful cities in the United States, and we have reasserted our dominance in the Southeast," Reed said, according to the Saporta Report. "You haven't heard much about Charlotte recently, have you?" 11 Alive reports Reed has no concrete plans after mayorship, though his mother is disappointed he's not a senator by now. Asked to grade his first term, Reed called it "incomplete."
Reed also used the opportunity to air his grievances with a controversial New York Times article, the one that highlighted a study showing Atlanta ranked last in economic mobility in the United States. "For a region that's so challenged, there sure are a lot of people from New York who are moving here," Saporta quotes Reed as saying. Then Reed asked listeners to think big; he pointed to large projects activated during a crippling Recession, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the College Football Hall of Fame and the new Falcons stadium. "While Atlanta today is definitely an international city," Reed said, "the place I'm asking you to come along with me and help Atlanta become one of the leading cities in the world."
· Mayor Kasim Reed: Atlanta needs a therapist as it reasserts its dominance [Saporta Report]
· Kasim Reed kicks off reelection campaign [11Alive]
· New York Times: 'So What's The Matter With Atlanta?' [Curbed Atlanta]
[ABOVE: Reed photo via cvevent.com]