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Keisha Lance Bottoms is a soldier. Losing her in ATL hurts.

Famed House Speaker Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” And he was right. That’s why, when Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega duke it out for the District Attorney’s office, Philadelphians, and especially Black ones, must be fully engaged in that fight.

Black Philadelphians are the ones going to jail for crimes we didn’t commit. Black Philadelphians are the ones facing time when others get slapped on the wrist. We are stopped and frisked. We are the ones at risk. Black folks in Philadelphia better watched this DA’s race with a raised fist. Because this is our fight.

All politics is local. I mean, I’m glad Biden won. The atmosphere under Donald Trump was toxic, and hateful, and dangerous. But when I need a pothole filled, or my trash picked up, or the snow to be plowed, I don’t call Joe Biden. I call my councilperson, or the streets commissioner, or the mayor.

Mayors make all the difference in the atmosphere of a city. They can impact how we see ourselves and what we hope to achieve. They set the city’s tone, because all politics is local.

That’s why, when I learned that Keisha Lance Bottoms would not be running for reelection in Atlanta, my heart broke. She was the soul of that city at a time when Atlanta needed leadership. She was one of the voices that helped Joe Biden to win. She spoke to quell the violence that rose up from the anger of protests. She stood against the foolery that Trump and his minions brought to Georgia. And she did it all with the style and grace that only a sista can bring.

So while all politics is local, all leaders are not. Keisha Lance Bottoms is a leader. And even as she steps down from the stage in Atlanta, I hope one day she’ll step up to lead again.
Photo: ATL City Hall By. Netherlands Embassy

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