Jan 3, 2022 - Politics

Andre Dickens moves into City Hall this afternoon

Andre Dickens, wearing a suit, addresses the media
Soon-to-be-Mayor Andre Dickens. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

A few hours from now, Atlanta begins the next chapter of its political history as Andre Dickens takes the oath of office to become the city's 61st mayor.

  • In addition, nine members of the Atlanta City Council — including Dickens; Cleta Winslow, its longest-serving lawmaker; and Felicia Moore, the council president, who lost to Dickens in an early December runoff — will make way for their successors.

Driving the news: At 1pm, elected officials, civic leaders and residents will gather in Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech — Dickens' alma mater — to begin the three-hour inauguration.

  • A diverse group of faith leaders will lead prayers, Shirley Franklin and Keisha Lance Bottoms will deliver remarks, and singer Kathleen Bertrand will perform, according to the schedule. After the ceremony, Dickens will extend an emergency order related to the COVID pandemic signed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (and set to expire at the end of her term), a spokesperson tells Axios.
  • Until Dickens announces his own cabinet, he will inherit a team from Bottoms, including Jon Keen, the city's chief operating officer, who has agreed to stay on board for an a few months.

What we're watching: Following his inauguration, Dickens will get back to forming an alliance with Buckhead residents and leaders opposed to cityhood and building bridges with state leaders like Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston.

By our count, the incoming Atlanta City Council will include two Iranian-Americans, one Asian-American, four openly LGBTQ members, two new members who have previously served on Council, and six members under the age of 40 — up from three.

Dickens' kicked off Saturday with a citywide volunteer service day, an open-air block party at Pullman Yards in Kirkwood, and a streaming interfaith prayer vigil yesterday afternoon.

  • Notable names that helped plan the festivities include W. Imara Canady, Candice Coleman Franklin, Kenneth and Akilah Saffold, Ryan Wilson and Lindy Radow.

Get involved: People who want to attend the inauguration must register at Moving ATL Forward.

  • The ceremony will also stream online at Moving ATL Forward and city social media channels. It will also air on Channel 26 and Atlanta City Council TV.
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