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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

The Atlanta Leaders for 100% Literacy (ALL) movement, which brings together 139 community members from a range of professions, aims to hire a new superintendent who can intervene with students and improve district literacy rates.
“Atlanta Leaders for 100% Literacy” demands district focus
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The Atlanta Leaders for 100% Literacy (ALL) movement is urging Atlanta school board members to underscore the urgency of hiring a superintendent...

Physics teacher’s home is Mayor Reed’s ‘lucky house’

Atlanta+Mayor++Kasim+Reed+%28right%29+talks++to++attendees+of+a+fundraiser+about++his++goals++for+his+second+term.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (right) talks to attendees of a fundraiser about his goals for his second term.
Atlanta Mayor  Kasim Reed (right) talks  to  attendees of a fundraiser about  his  goals  for his second term.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (right) talks to attendees of a fundraiser about his goals for his second term.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has had quieter months. Facing re-election in November, Reed has been involved in a wide range of issues during the month of March. After Reed controversially endorsed a plan for a new Atlanta Falcons stadium, the Atlanta City Council officially approved the proposal on March 18. The previous week, Atlanta had been named the city with the most Energy Star-certified buildings. And on March 20, Reed attended the Global Cities Initiative forum, sponsored by the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase to highlight the region’s assets and announce a strategy to boost the city’s competitiveness.

In the middle of this whirlwind stretch, Reed stopped by the house of Grady physics teacher Jeff Cramer and his wife, Ann Cramer. The Cramers hosted a fundraiser for Reed on Sunday, March 10, at their Inman Park home. Although Reed currently faces no opposition in his re-election campaign, the Cramers said they wanted to host a neighborhood gathering so the community could get to know him.

“I just want folks to know him like I know him and have that same commitment to him,” Ann Cramer said. “It’s not a matter of whether he’s going to win or not.”

Jeff Cramer said they were asked to host the event by Reed’s re-election committee.

“The re-election committee likes to find a place in each neighborhood where people can congregate, and the idea is just to meet people so the people know the candidate,” he said.

At the event, Reed emphasized the improvements Atlanta has undergone during his first three years in office, from “the most sweeping pension reform of any major city in the United States of America,” to the creation of “the largest police force in the history of the city.” Reed also discussed his support for the Atlanta BeltLine, a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, deepening the Port of Savannah and funding for infrastructure and the arts.

“We didn’t stop investing; we didn’t make excuses because of the tough times, so in the teeth of all of the hard decisions we were making, my council colleagues and I got together and we said, ‘What can we do right now to strengthen our city?’” Reed said.

Reed also affirmed his conviction that “Georgia is getting ready to return to its forward-thinking roots,” and he expressed optimism that Hillary Clinton could win the state in the 2016 presidential election, should she get the Democratic nomination.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall and Kevin Green, the president and CEO of Midtown Alliance, a community organization, both said they came to the event to show support for the mayor.

“I’ve lived in this city for 26 years, and I really think what we’re experiencing now is the most enthusiasm that I’ve ever seen, in terms of just great things happening, a lot of momentum, a lot of very positive feelings, and a lot of that comes from great leadership,” Green said.

Pat Gardner, state representative and Chairwoman of the Atlanta delegation in the Georgia House of Representatives, also attended the event. She said she is a “big fan” of the mayor.

“I respect that he understands the process in the legislature since he’s been in both the House and the Senate,” Gardner said. “He knows how our system works, and his leadership skills have really helped our ability to work in a compromise way with both the city and the county and the state, and that’s really important for Atlanta.”

Ann Cramer emphasized that the purpose of the event was not solely to raise money.

“It wasn’t folks who just brought big checks; it was folks who came because they cared about the community,” she said.

This was not the first neighborhood gathering the Cramers hosted for Reed. They held a similar event for Reed before his 2009 runoff election against Mary Norwood, which is why Reed refers to the Cramers’ house as his “lucky house.”

Ann Cramer describes their house as “a place that we can open the front door,” since they have also hosted events for Gardner, state Rep. Margaret Kaiser, state Sen. Nan Orrock, Councilman Hall and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

Gardner said these gatherings were a key to her election.

“I had a lot of meet-and-greets when I was campaigning, and I discovered that some people didn’t even know the people on their street, and when we got together for a meet-and-greet, they not only got to know me, but they got to know their neighbors, and that’s a very basic part of building a community,” Gardner said.

In an interview with The Southerner, Reed said it was important for him to spread his message to tight-knit communities like Inman Park because “there is no more important validator than a neighbor.”

With a second term very likely coming, Reed said he has big plans for the future.

“I plan on playing a major role in recruiting a new superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools,” Reed said.

He also said he plans to improve the city’s infrastructure by spending $250 to $300 million without raising property taxes, and to “strengthen the financial condition of the city of Atlanta” by continuing to grow the city’s cash reserves.

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Physics teacher’s home is Mayor Reed’s ‘lucky house’