Atlanta mayor responds to governor, creates advisory council on reopening the city

On the same day Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made his plans to reopen the state known, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she was creating an advisory board for reopening Atlanta.

The mayor issued a statement late Monday evening responding to the governor's plans to start reopening the state by the end of the week. It reads:

"More than 19,000 Georgians have tested positive for COVID-19 and the numbers continue to increase. It is the Governor’s prerogative to make this decision for the state, but I will continue to urge Atlanta to stay at home, stay safe and make decisions based on the best interests of their families."

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Earlier in the day, the mayor issued an executive order directing Chief Operating Officer COO Joshua Williams to co-chair an advisory council along with attorney Robbie Ashe and Ingrid Saunders-Jones that will outline a framework for reopening the city. They will be responsible for developing the steps needed to end the stay at home order issued by the mayor.

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The council will be comprised of representatives from Atlanta organizations and businesses including representatives from:


Atlanta Public Schools

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Atlanta's Chief Health Officer 

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University 

Morehouse School of Medicine

Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce 

Atlanta Business League 

Atlanta Committee for Progress

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Falcons/Atlanta United

Atlanta Dream

Atlanta University Center

Board of Regents

It also will pull representatives from the restaurant industry, arts and culture, the faith community, small businesses, the music, film, and entertainment, the retail industry, and the communications and cable industries

“Reopening the city must be executed in a cautious manner that is best suited for Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms. “The Advisory Council will provide the necessary input and buy-in from Atlanta stakeholders to outline a safe and thoughtful framework to get our economy back on track without endangering public health.”

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Ashe helped oversee the city’s response to helping those who found refuge in Atlanta following Hurricane Katrina and Saunders-Jones is a known advocate and formerly served as Senior Vice President, Global Community Relations, and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation.

“The Advisory Council will also work toward an equitable reopening structure, keeping in mind the needs of women, members of the LGBTQ community, young people, seniors and homeless or displaced individuals,” a release to FOX 5 from the mayor’s office stated.

The mayor said the council must have their framework presented to her by May 15.

On Friday, Mayor Bottoms continued to urge people to stay at home. In a tweet the mayor said, "The numbers speak for themselves. PLEASE STAY HOME." 

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