Shirley Franklin

Infobox Mayor
name = Shirley Clarke Franklin

imagesize = 166px
caption =
office = 58th Mayor of Atlanta
term_start = January 7 2002
term_end =
predecessor = Bill Campbell
successor =
birth_date = birth date and age|1945|05|10
birth_place = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
death_date =
death_place =
nationality =
party = Democrat
spouse =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = Howard University
University of Pennsylvania
profession = Government official
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Shirley Clarke Franklin (born May 10 1945) is an American politician, a member of the Democratic Party, and, since January 7 2002, the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. The 58th mayor of Atlanta, she was the first female to hold the post and became the first black woman to be elected mayor of any major Southern city. [ Sharon Pratt Kelly (formerly Sharon Pratt Dixon) was sworn in as mayor of Washington on January 2, 1991, the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major American city. Washington, D.C. is also considered to be a southern city as it lies south of the Mason–Dixon Line. [ The Biography of Mayor Shirley Franklin] ] Franklin is the fourth black mayor of Atlanta, the latest in a line of African American mayors that stretches back to 1974.


Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Franklin received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Howard University, and earned her master of arts degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. [ [ City Mayors: Mayor of Atlanta] ] She is an Honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Political Life

Franklin served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Mayor Maynard Jackson. Subsequently, she was named Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager under Mayor Andrew Young.

Her 2001 run for mayor was her first run for public office. She won, succeeding Mayor Bill Campbell after winning 50 percent of the vote, defeating several candidates including Democrat Rob Pitts (33 percent).

Franklin made repairing the Atlanta sewer system a main focus of her office. Prior to Franklin's term, Atlanta's combined sewer system violated the federal Clean Water Act and burdened the city government with fines from the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2002, Franklin announced an initiative called "Clean Water Atlanta" to address the problem and begin improving the city's sewer system. [ [ Clean Water Atlanta Overview] ]

Mayor Franklin has come out against a Gay Marriage ban in the State of Georgia, calling it a distraction from "real issues." She has also been lauded for efforts to make the City of Atlanta "green." Under Franklin's leadership Atlanta has gone from having one of the lowest percentages of LEED certified buildings, to one of the highest. In 2005, TIME Magazine named Franklin of the five best big-city American mayors. [ [,8599,1050348,00.html Press Release] ] In October of that same year, she was included in the U.S. News & World Report "Best Leaders of 2005" issue. [ [ Shirley Franklin: The Pipe Dreamer] ]

With solid popular support and strong backing from the business sector, Franklin was reelected Atlanta Mayor on November 8 2005, garnering more than 90 percent of the vote. [ [ City Mayors: US elections 2005] ] Her popularity has led to increased speculation that she may well be a viable contender for a future Georgia governor's race. [ [ Shirley Franklin: Information from] ]

In February 2006, named Shirley Franklin one of its "8 in '08", a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run and/or be elected president in 2008. [ [ Parade Magazine] ] She is the only person the list to not be a Governor, Senator or Presidential Cabinet member, and one of two African-American women on the list; the other is United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. [ Parade Magazine] ]

On June 26, 2006, Shirley Franklin led the effort to have the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King given to his alma mater, Morehouse College, instead of being sold at auction: [cite web|url=|title=The Power of One|pages=5|work=Common Ground|date=2007-03|accessdate=2007-04-09]

On September 5, 2006, Mayor Franklin, along with a group of representatives from the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, went on a business trip to China to help Delta Air Lines win a direct route to one of the world's fastest-growing economies and lobby officials to open a Chinese consulate in Atlanta.Fact|date=February 2007

Franklin is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition [cite web| url=| title=Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members Retrieved on June 12, 2007] , an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino. She was 2007/08 President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.


Despite having won two mayoral elections convincingly, [ [ NPR: Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin] ] Shirley Franklin has nonetheless received criticism over her sweeping pro-business policies, [ [ Shirley Franklin: Information] ] which have resulted in increased property values and higher real estate taxes.Fact|date=January 2008 This has angered some segments of the city's populace who claim these policies are pushing the poor out of Atlanta.Fact|date=March 2007 In response, emphasis has been placed on affordable workforce housing as a key component of new development activities within the city including the Franklin-supported Belt Line project.Fact|date=March 2007

Franklin has also been labeled as an "anti-homeless mayor" for her policies regarding panhandling [ [] ] and prohibition of public feeding of the homeless. [ [] ]

Franklin has been criticized for the cost and results of a new brand and marketing campaign, budgeted at $4.5 million, made to coincide with the opening of the new Georgia Aquarium. [cite news |url= |title=Atlanta Looks to Sum Itself Up in Just Six Words |author=Bosman, Julie |publisher=New York Times |date=2005-11-17 |accessdate=2008-01-30] cite web |url= |title=Brand Atlanta criticism not daunting to new leader |author=Martin, Anya |publisher=Atlanta Business Chronicle |date=2006-09-01 |accessdate=2008-01-30] [cite web |url='s%20New%3A%20An%20Online%20Update%20for%20%3Ci%3EFrommer's%20Atlanta%3C%2Fi%3E |title=What's New: An Online Update for Frommer's Atlanta |author=Snyder, Karen K. |publisher=Wiley Publishing, Inc. |2007-06-13 |accessdate=2008-01-30] [cite news |url= |title=Rebranding Brand Atlanta |author=Mahoney, Ryan |publisher=Atlanta Business Chronicle |date=2007-09-28 |accessdate=2008-01-30] The campaign includes a new logo, banners, TV ads, and a hip-hop style song called "The ATL," written by producer Dallas Austin, which was met with mixed reviews. [cite web |url= |title=Re-Branding the City of Atlanta |publisher=NPR |date=2005-11-14 |accessdate=2008-01-30]

Franklin received more criticism in May 2008, when it was revealed that the City of Atlanta was facing a $140 Million deficit.Fact|date=May 2008


Mayor Franklin was the recipient of Profile in Courage Award in 2005, issued by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. The foundation praised her management of the city of Atlanta during the critical period of enormous deficit and loss of public confidence in government following the corrupt administration of Mayor Bill Campbell. [ [ Shirley Franklin] ]


External links

* [ CityMayors profile]
* [ Mayors Against Illegal Guns homepage]

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