Keisha Lance Bottoms

Keisha Lance Bottoms (born January 18, 1970)[1] is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 60th mayor of Atlanta, Georgia from 2018 to 2022. She was elected mayor in 2017. Before becoming mayor, she was a member of the Atlanta City Council, representing part of Southwest Atlanta.[2] Bottoms did not run for a second term as mayor. President Joe Biden nominated Bottoms as vice chair of civic engagement and voter protection at the DNC for the 2021–2025 term.[3] In June 2022, Bottoms will join the Biden administration as Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.[4]

Keisha Lance Bottoms
Keisha Lance Bottoms in 2019.jpg
Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Assumed office
June 2022
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byAdrian Saenz (Acting)
Senior Advisor to the President
Assumed office
June 2022
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byCedric Richmond
60th Mayor of Atlanta
In office
January 2, 2018 – January 3, 2022
Preceded byKasim Reed
Succeeded byAndre Dickens
Member of the Atlanta City Council
from the 11th district
In office
January 4, 2010 – January 2, 2018
Preceded byJim Maddox
Succeeded byMarci Collier Overstreet
Personal details
Keisha Lance

(1970-01-18) January 18, 1970 (age 52)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Derek Bottoms
(m. 1994)
RelativesMajor Lance (father)
EducationFlorida A&M University (BA)
Georgia State University (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and educationEdit

Bottoms was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 18, 1970, to Sylvia Robinson and R&B singer-songwriter Major Lance.[5][6] She was raised in Atlanta[7] and is a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School.[8]

She earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Florida A&M University, concentrating in broadcast journalism.[9][10] She earned a J.D. degree from Georgia State University College of Law in 1994. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.[8][10][11]

Early careerEdit

Bottoms was a prosecutor and also represented children in juvenile court.[10][12] In 2002, she became a magistrate judge in Atlanta.[13][12] In 2008, she ran unsuccessfully for a judgeship on the Fulton Superior Court.[9][12][13]

Bottoms was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 2009 and 2013, representing District 11 in southwest Atlanta. She served until 2017. She was concurrently the executive director of Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority starting in 2015.[10]

Mayor of AtlantaEdit


Bottoms was elected mayor in 2017, after receiving a plurality of votes (26%) in a crowded field of candidates on Election Day, then defeating fellow City Council member Mary Norwood in the runoff election.[14][15] She is the 6th African American and the 2nd African American woman to serve as mayor.

Bottoms was investigated during the mayoral election for several lump payments to campaign staff totaling over $180,000 that were not properly reported.[16] In October 2017, she voluntarily returned $25,700 in campaign contributions she had received from PRAD Group, an engineering contractor whose office had been raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation the previous month.[17] On November 4, 2017, she called on the attorney general of Georgia to investigate fake robocalls made in her name, which her campaign said were laden with racist overtones and made primarily in areas of Atlanta largely populated by white citizens.[18]


Bottoms declared that Atlanta was a "welcoming city" and "will remain open and welcoming to all" following President Donald Trump's actions regarding refugees in the United States.[19] In 2018, she signed an executive order forbidding the city jail to hold ICE detainees.[20] In July 2019, Bottoms said, "Our city does not support ICE. We don't have a relationship with the U.S. Marshal[s] Service. We closed our detention center to ICE detainees, and we would not pick up people on an immigration violation."[21]

In February 2020, Bottoms released Atlanta's first LGBTQ Affairs report that focused on how various policies, initiatives, and programs can improve the lives of LGBTQ Atlantans.[22][23] In 2018 she had created the city's first LGBTQ advisory board, which included entertainer Miss Lawrence and activist Feroza Syed. In December 2020, Bottoms appointed the city's first director of LGBTQ Affairs, Malik Brown, and announced the continued LGBTQ advisory board leadership.[24][25]

Bottoms strongly rebuked Georgia Governor Brian Kemp after he announced the reopening of Georgia businesses in April 2020, saying that it was too early in the COVID-19 pandemic.[26]

Atlanta City Hall in March 2019

When Atlanta experienced riots in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Bottoms condemned those involved,[27][28] but later expressed optimism while speaking to demonstrators at a protest, saying, "There is something better on the other side of this."[29] She also repeatedly condemned Trump for "making it worse" and stoking racial tensions,[29][30] and encouraged people to vote, saying, "If you want change in America, go and register to vote. That is the change we need in this country."[31] In June 2020, many Atlanta Police Department officers went on strike to protest the charges brought against the officers involved in the killing of Rayshard Brooks.[32] Bottoms said that APD morale "is down tenfold".[33]

In early July, as COVID-19 cases escalated in Atlanta, Bottoms issued an executive order rolling back some of its reopening measures from Phase 2 to Phase 1 and requiring everyone to wear a facial covering within city limits, but no citations enforcing it have been issued.[34] On July 15, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an order suspending all local mask mandates, and on July 16 he filed suit against Bottoms in Superior Court, seeking to invalidate her order and prevent her from talking about it.[35] He did not file similar suits against other cities with mask mandates, such as Savannah and Athens.[36] A hearing scheduled for July 21 was postponed when the judge recused herself.[37]

In May 2021, Bottoms announced she would not run for reelection in the 2021 Atlanta mayoral election.[38]

2020 presidential electionEdit

Bottoms meeting with President Biden, Vice President Harris and Asian-American community leaders following the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings

In June 2019, Bottoms endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[39] After Biden promised during a March 2020 CNN debate to choose a woman as his running mate, Politico reported her as a possible pick.[40] In June, CNN reported that Bottoms was among his top four choices, along with Representative Val Demings and Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.[41] Harris was officially announced as Biden's running mate on August 11, 2020.

Bottoms was named a permanent co-chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention,[42] at which she also spoke.[43]

Biden administrationEdit

After Biden's election, Bottoms was mentioned as a possible candidate for United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[44] In January 2021, Biden and Harris nominated Bottoms for a four-year term as the Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation at the Democratic National Committee, a role focused on protecting voting rights and expanding voter participation.

In June 2022, it was announced that President Joe Biden had picked Bottoms to replace Cedric Richmond as the Director of the Office of Public Liaison.[45]

Personal lifeEdit

Bottoms's family history can be traced back five generations to Shepherd Peek, a freedman from a plantation near Crawfordville, who may have served in the Georgia state legislature during Reconstruction.[9][12]

In October 1994, she married Derek W. Bottoms at Atlanta's Ben Hill United Methodist Church. They met three years earlier during their first year as students at Georgia State University College of Law. After unsuccessful attempts to conceive biologically, they adopted their four children.[46]

Her husband is the vice president of employment practices and associate relations for The Home Depot. He joined the company in 2000, after spending over five years at the law firm Powell Goldstein. He has served as a board member for several foundations.[46]

Bottoms is a member of The Links.[47]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Atlanta City Council - Regular Meeting - Jan 19, 2016" (PDF). p. 73. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Class Actions". College of Law. April 8, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Thomas, Ken (January 15, 2021). "Biden Taps Jaime Harrison, Former Senate Candidate, to Lead DNC". Wall Street Journal – via
  4. ^ McCammond, Alexi (June 15, 2022). "Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to join Biden White House". Axios. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  5. ^ "Keisha Lance Bottoms". Keisha Lance Bottoms. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Jim Galloway, Political Insider. "Politics, parents and candidates with sabotaged childhoods". ajc. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ Shah, Khushbu (May 17, 2020). "Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on the Arbery killing and Biden's vice-president pick". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Keisha Lance Bottoms for Atlanta Mayor". Keisha Lance Bottoms. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Goldberg, Melissa (June 9, 2020). "Everything You Need to Know About Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "Who is Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  11. ^ "Mayor Bottoms (J.D. '94): 'Georgia State Helped Create a Work Ethic In Me'". Georgia State University News Hub. Atlanta, Georgia: Georgia State University. March 1, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d "2020 Georgian of the Year: Keisha Lance Bottoms". Georgia Trend Magazine. January 1, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Wheatley, Thomas (May 23, 2019). "Keisha's no Kasim: Inside Bottoms's very different City Hall". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "Bottoms, Norwood in runoff for Atlanta mayor". WAGA Fox 5. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Gehlbach, Steve (December 21, 2017). "Mary Norwood concedes defeat in Atlanta mayoral race". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Deere, Stephen; Klepal, Dan. "Atlanta mayoral race: Bottoms campaign disclosures under scrutiny". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  17. ^ "Atlanta mayoral candidate to return donation from embattled contractor". myajc. October 2, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Lance Bottoms calls on Attorney General to investigate fake robocalls days ahead of election". WXIA. November 4, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  19. ^ "As Trump enacts ban on refugees, Atlanta doubles down as a 'welcoming city'". SaportaReport. January 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "Mayor signs executive order to remove ICE detainees from city jail". WSB-TV. September 6, 2018.
  21. ^ "U.S. Cities Prepare for Planned ICE Raids". NPR. July 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "City of Atlanta, Atlanta: LGBTQ Resources" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launches city's first report on LGBTQ affairs | The Atlanta Voice". The Atlanta Voice | Atlanta GA News. February 4, 2020.
  24. ^ "Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announces establishment of LGBTQ advisory board". Atlanta Voice. May 11, 2018.
  25. ^ Latimore, Marshall (November 21, 2020). "Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appoints new director for LGBTQ Affairs, assembles LGBTQ advisory board". Atlanta Voice. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  26. ^ Rahman, Khaleda (April 28, 2020). "Atlanta mayor rebukes Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for opening businesses: 'We can't sit by...while people die'". Newsweek. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  27. ^ "Mayor, police chief denounce 'anarchists' and 'terrorists' who destroyed city; curfew begins at 9 p.m." Atlanta INtown. May 30, 2020.
  28. ^ Seipel, Brooke (May 29, 2020). "Atlanta mayor condemns violent protests in fiery speech: 'If you love this city go home'". The Hill. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  29. ^ a b Cole, Devan (June 5, 2020). "Atlanta mayor to George Floyd protesters: 'There is something better on the other side of this'". CNN. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  30. ^ Duster, Chandelis. "Atlanta mayor on Trump: He should just stop talking". CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  31. ^ Cohen, Seth. "Atlanta's Keisha Lance Bottoms Is the Mayor and Mother America Needs Right Now". Forbes. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  32. ^ Brumback, Kate (June 18, 2020). "Atlanta police call out sick to protest charges in shooting". AP News. Archived from the original on June 18, 2020.
  33. ^ "Atlanta police department morale "is down ten-fold," Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says". CBS News. June 18, 2020.
  34. ^ Journal-Constitution, Alexis Stevens-The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionGreg Bluestein- The Atlanta. "Georgia police departments report zero citations for face mask violations". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  35. ^ Stracqualursi, Veronica; LeBlanc, Paul (July 16, 2020). "Georgia governor sues Atlanta mayor over city's mask mandate". CNN. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  36. ^ Carlisle, Madeleine (July 18, 2020). "Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Sued to Block Atlanta's Face Mask Ordinance. Here's What to Know". Time Magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  37. ^ "Judge recuses herself, hearing canceled in Kemp v. Bottoms Atlanta mask mandate lawsuit". 11 Alive. Associated Press. July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  38. ^ Capelouto, J. D. (May 6, 2021). "Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms won't run for reelection". Atlanta Journal Constitution.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  39. ^ Branigin, Anne (June 29, 2019). "Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Endorses Joe Biden for President". The Root. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  40. ^ "Biden squeezed on his most critical decision: His VP pick". Politico. March 17, 2020.
  41. ^ Zeleny, Jeff; Merica, Dan; Lee, MJ (June 26, 2020). "Nation's reckoning on race looms large over final month of Biden's running mate search". CNN. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  42. ^ "Democratic National Convention Announces 2020 Convention Officers, Schedule of Events". 2020 Democratic National Convention. July 30, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  43. ^ "Democrats Announce Additional Speakers and Schedule Updates for 2020 Democratic National Convention: "Uniting America"". 2020 Democratic National Convention. August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  44. ^ "Who Are Contenders for Biden's Cabinet?". The New York Times. November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  45. ^ Lizza, Ryan; Daniels, Eugene. "POLITICO Playbook: Top takeaways from last night's big primaries". POLITICO. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  46. ^ a b Godwin, Becca J. G. "Who is Derek Bottoms, husband of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  47. ^ "Keisha Lance Bottoms sworn in as Atlanta mayor". WTXL. January 3, 2018. Retrieved February 15, 2022.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Atlanta
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of the Office of Public Engagement