THE HONORABLE SHIRLEY CLARKE FRANKLIN
Shirley Franklin became the 58th Mayor of Atlanta, winning a landslide
victory in November 2001. Having never been an elected official, Shirley
Franklin redefined history by being elected as the city’s first woman Mayor
and the first African-American woman to serve as Mayor of a major southern
Her public service career began in 1978 where she
served as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs under Mayor Maynard Jackson.
Under the leadership of Mayor Andrew Young, she was later appointed as the
nation’s first woman Chief Administrative Officer or City Manager, where she
was responsible for all the daily operations of a city that was a $1 billion
corporation with nearly 8,000 employees and was charged with guiding the
development of Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new
municipal court building, and 14,000 net housing units. Ms. Franklin
continued her public service as Executive Officer for Operations during the
third term of Mayor Jackson.
In 1991, Ms. Franklin joined the Atlanta Committee for
the Olympic Games, Inc. (ACOG) as the top ranking female executive, serving
as senior vice-president for external relations. While in this position, she
was instrumental in the development of such legacies as the Centennial
Olympic Park and served as ACOG’s primary liaison with various labor unions,
civil rights groups, neighborhood/community organizations, and
Following Governor Barnes’s election in 1998, Ms.
Franklin served on his three-person transition team and in 1999 accepted the
Governor’s invitation to serve on the Georgia Regional Transportation
Authority (GRTA), where she was elected vice chair. In April 2000, Ms.
Franklin resigned from GRTA and officially declared her candidacy for Mayor
Shirley Franklin offers the citizens of Atlanta
experienced leadership matched with a vision and passion to making Atlanta a
safer, cleaner city; creating a better city for families, seniors, and
children; and creating a more open, responsive, and effective city
government. She has a proven record of balancing the city’s budget for eight
consecutive years, filling over 200 police vacancies, advocating for
affordable housing, and building coalitions across racial, gender,
socio-economic, and cultural boundaries.
Ms. Franklin’s commitment to her community is
exemplified by her active service on over 30 boards and committees. She
currently serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee and
treasurer of the Democratic Party of Georgia. She has served on a variety of
other boards including: Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Spelman College,
East Lake Community Foundation, Charles Drew Charter School, King
Baudouin-U.S. Foundation, United Way, Paideia School, Atlanta Symphony
Orchestra, National Black Arts Festival, Community Foundation, Georgia State
Arts Council, and Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Ms. Franklin has received numerous awards and honors
during her career including the 1995 Legacy Award from the Big Brothers-Big
Sisters of Metro Atlanta, the 1996 Woman of the Year Award from the YWCA,
the Georgia Women’s Policy Group’s Outstanding Woman of 2001, and awards
from the League of Women Voters and the Abercrombie Lamp of Learning Award.
Over the course of Ms. Franklin’s outstanding career,
she has been featured in Business to Business, Ebony, Jet, Heart & Soul,
Savoy, and Glamour magazines, and the New York Times, and
was recently chosen as one of Atlanta’s movers and shakers in Jezebel magazine.
A native of Philadelphia, she
earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Howard University and
continued her education earning her Master of Arts degree in Sociology from
the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Franklin has lived in southwest Atlanta for the
last 30 years and has three adult children.
PHOTO: Sean Coke