Dec 22, 2021 - News

The Atlanta stories that shaped 2021

An image of the front page of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution the day after Andre Dickens won the Atlanta mayoral election
Courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Y'all, too much has happened in the last 12 months. So we asked ask some of Atlanta's news editors to help us remember the top stories of the year.

The Atlanta Mayoral Election Kevin Riley, (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • “When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in early May that she wouldn't run for a second term, she seemingly acknowledged that the job had overwhelmed her,” Riley said.
  • After Andre Dickens put together a winning coalition, the new mayor “is faced with convincing Buckhead to stay as part of the city, while forces in the state legislature are working against him. And Atlanta finds itself before the nation and world to see if it can hold itself together with a new mayor,” he added.

The Atlanta Braves and Hank Aaron - Gavin Godfrey (Capital B News)

  • "The Braves winning the World Series is the story on the surface, but Hank Aaron's spirit and legacy carried that team," Godfrey says.
  • The famed hitter hired Braves manager Brian Snitker and mentored Freddie Freeman and Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker. "During the Braves World Series celebration at Truist Park, Hank's wife, Billye Aaron, said it best: 'The spirit of Hank Aaron pervades this space. He is here with us.' Yes, and we all felt him."

The Senate RunoffsSusanna Capelouto (WABE News)

  • Democrats flipping the state's Senate seats “shaped national policies in 2021 from the Infrastructure bill, to another stimulus package that is, according to some economists, in part responsible for the current inflation,” she said.
  • Yes, but: Capelouto reminds us that while Democrats took the Senate, they lost the third Georgia runoff for Public Service Commission. She called that “a bellwether to 2022. Democrats need to enhance their ground game statewide, and Republicans need to find candidates their base will not reject.”

"Can Forest Park keep its Hispanic residents? That may depend on police." Sonam Vashi (Canopy Atlanta)

  • “Hispanic leaders in the Clayton County city had tried to get the story out for nearly a decade without success,” Vashi said. “We only learned of this problem through deep community engagement.”
  • Canopy “learned the power of community-led reporting” by letting residents set the agenda and hiring two community members as reporters on the story, Vashi said.
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