Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed defended his recent record and went after his critics during an extensive and in-depth interview on “A Closer Look” Tuesday afternoon.
The conversation comes as the city and its government are busy with enterprise ventures, programs and problems. There are big infrastructure projects planned – including road and bridge repair. A new Falcons stadium is underway, and the future of Turner Field when the Braves leave is turning into a thorny and contentious issue with some community groups.
In a wide-ranging interview with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer, Reed discussed a number of crucial projects and hit back against criticism over potential plans for Turner Field and his seeming lack of support for former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter.
Reed first offered his thoughts on the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina last week and whether Georgia needs to enact a hate crimes law.
“I always think it’s good for the state to make a stance, take a position,” Reed said during the interview on “A Closer Look.”
“I think it’s definitely appropriate to have both a state hate crimes measure and a federal one because there really is no place for the kind of violence that we are experiencing based upon anyone’s race or religion or gender or sexual orientation.”
Reed answered questions on guns in churches, the Confederate flag, monuments and license plates. He discussed his choice of former city councilman and disbarred attorney H. Lamar Willis for the Fulton County Atlanta Land Bank.
The mayor is also trying to reach a compromise with the Atlanta Public School district on a battle over school property deeds and BeltLine funds.
He addressed the controversy over a new road at Fort McPherson – the future site of movie mogul Tyler Perry’s new film studio.
Reed even offered a glimpse into his possible future plans when his term as mayor ends in January of 2018. While he was not specific, he did not rule out another possible run for office when asked about his next political move.
"I think I have another election in me."
WABE's Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer contributed to this story.