In this month's edition of Ask: The Mayor with Rickey Bevington, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms answers your questions on issues ranging from redeveloping the Gulch, preserving the city's tree canopy, attracting and retaining police officers and where to put a statue of hometown sports hero, Evander Holyfield.
HIGHLIGHTS This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness
Susan Todd-Raque emails to ask how the city is preserving trees around new developments
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: The reality is that we are developing city. There will be trees that will have to come down in the name of development. We try to be as thoughtful as we can in preserving our canopy and also in making sure that we are calling upon the developers, to the extent that trees have to be taken down, that other trees are planted to replace them.
@swunclave asks about the status of the Gulch and whether Bottoms likes its new name "Centennial Yards"
Bottoms: I think it's a cool name, but I think it would have been very nice to have had the public's input. But this is a private development at this point, and I'm excited that it's coming.
Hopefully, you will begin to see dirt moving soon. If you ride in and around the area, you can already see where there's some construction happening with the old Norfolk Southern building.
During the show, Bottoms introduces her "100 Men To Mentors Challenge"
DYK there are 100 boys in Atlanta waiting for a mentor? Join Mayor @KeishaBottoms, @MBK_Alliance and @BBBSatl for the 100 Men to Mentors Challenge. Our boys can be what they can see. Register for a #MentoMentorsATL info session and give #BackToOurFuture! https://t.co/7f5gEm2WHG pic.twitter.com/OCvsjFdxgf
— City of Atlanta, GA (@CityofAtlanta) June 13, 2019
Bottoms: I have my husband in our house, and there are things that my 17-year-old just refuses to discuss with me because he says I just wouldn't understand.
And you multiply that toward the needs of our communities, and these are young men who are just saying, 'I need someone else in my life who can be a mentor to me.'
@Producer285 asks for an Evander Holyfield statue and an Atlanta Walk of Fame
How about a Evander Hoyfield statue at the airport or somewhere downtown. Also, an Atlanta Walk Of Fame
— . (@Producer285) June 12, 2019
Bottoms: [Holyfield] was born and raised in Atlanta and brought so much attention to our city as a world champion. We are looking for the appropriate and fitting place for that statue.
I love that idea [of a Walk of Fame]. Many may know that Xernona Clayton with the Trumpet Awards does a travelling Walk of Fame it's a really nice display. But it would be nice to have something permanent.
Bevington asks what it's like for Bottoms to be an introvert in a very public position
Bottoms: This is something that I have learned about myself. I am an introvert who masks as an extrovert. I'd much rather be somewhere in a corner reading a book than be out and about.
Bevington: I'm an introvert, too, which is why I wanted to ask you that question.
Bottoms: I'm sure you can attest that us sitting here together is wonderful, just the two of us chit-chatting.
Bottoms: It's just the two of us in here. This is our sweet spot.
Submit your questions for the mayor on Twitter with the hashtag #QuestionsForKeisha or by email at allATL@gpb.org.