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Kasim Reed

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Kasim Reed
Kasim Reed.jpg
Mayor of Atlanta
In office
January 4, 2010-Present
Term ends
Years in position 5
Base salary$184,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2013
First elected2009
Next general2017
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Georgia State Senate
District 35
2002 - 2010
Georgia House of Representatives
Bachelor'sHoward University (1991)
J.D.Howard University (1995)
Date of birthJune 10, 1969
Office website
Campaign website
Kasim Reed (b. June 10, 1969) is the current Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. He was first elected in 2009. Before becoming mayor, Reed served in the Georgia State Senate, representing District 35 from 2002 to 2010, and in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1998 to 2002.[1]


Reed earned his B.A. and J.D. from Howard University. His professional experience includes working for the litigation practice of Holland and Knight LLP. He was appointed to the Howard University Board of Trustees in 2002.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Reed's academic, professional and political career:[1][2]


Fire Chief

On November 24, 2014, Reed placed Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran on a 30-day unpaid suspension for violating the city's Standards of Conduct after Cochran self-published a book that several city employees and LGBT advocacy groups claimed contained passages offensive to homosexuality, Judaism and women. In reaction to Cochran's suspension, conservative and religious liberty groups sharply criticized Reed's decision, arguing that the mayor punished Cochran for his religious beliefs.[3]

Following Cochran's return to work on January 6, 2015, Reed held a press conference to announce that he was firing Cochran, saying, "I want to make my position and the city of Atlanta’s position crystal clear. The city’s nondiscrimination policy … really unequivocally states that we will not discriminate." Reed also responded to accusations that he fired Cochran for his religious beliefs: "Let’s stop trying to make this about religious freedom, when it’s about making sure we have an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love … can do their job and go home without fear of being discriminated against. That’s what this is about."[4]

On January 7, 2015, Cochran told The GA Voice that he is contemplating taking legal action against the city.[5] He filed a religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission on January 23. Less than a month later, a faith-based nonprofit called the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Reed.[6]

Reed responded to the lawsuits, as well as to the concerns of Georgia and Atlanta lawmakers, by saying, "I appreciate your concerns, and would share them if the decision to terminate Kelvin Cochran from his former position as the Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department had been on his religious views or the expression of those views in his capacity as a private citizen ... Please rest assured that the city of Atlanta remains a place where all people — including those who share Mr. Cochran’s beliefs — are equally valued and respected. Religious beliefs, however, cannot shield any employee from the consequences of poor judgment and insubordination."[6]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Mayor of Atlanta
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Georgia State Senate - District 35
Succeeded by
Donzella James (D)