Nov 18, 2021 - News

How Atlanta's next mayor wants to stop Buckxit

Illustration of the map of the city of Atlanta with the Buckhead neighborhood breaking off.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Over the next three newsletters we’re asking Andre Dickens and Felicia Moore how they’d address big issues other than crime if elected. (You can read about their crime platforms here.)

First up: Buckhead cityhood.

Why it matters: Buckhead’s exit from the city proper would blast a $100 million hole in City Hall’s budget (not to mention the schools), weaken the metro region’s ability to compete for jobs, and further divide, opponents (and the reports they’ve commissioned) say.

Andre Dickens: The two-term council member says he’s already talking with state lawmakers from both parties and civic groups and people out and about in the community about stopping the movement.

  • “[I’m talking to them to say ‘slow this down and give the next mayor the opportunity to prove him or herself as a mayor that will do what Buckhead actually said they wanted: keep the city safe and make sure they feel heard.”

Game plan: Part one is his SAFE Streets Plan. Part two: showing people that his administration hears their concerns and is acting on them, he tells Axios.

  • “Feeling heard and getting value for your taxes is what I’ll do as mayor,” Dickens says. “Feeling heard is something that is not exactly measurable, but you know it when you see it... I return calls. I am present. Feeling heard is about being seen as well as being heard.”

Felicia Moore: Atlanta’s City Council president tells Axios that, after she’s elected she will speak with people behind the Buckhead cityhood movement and try to convince them to remain in Atlanta. (Moore outperformed all other candidates among Buckhead voters earlier this month.)

  • Moore says people advocating for secession want the same things other Atlantans want: to get the city services they pay for and to feel safe while going about their daily routines.

Game plan: If elected, Moore said she will join forces with groups that oppose Buckhead City and meet with top legislators under the Gold Dome to do “all I can to lobby and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

“We are all going to stay together,” she says.


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