Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A historical political resource." 
Email: Password:

  Franklin, Shirley
NameShirley Franklin
Address55 Trinity Avenue
Atlanta, Georgia , United States
Website [Link]
Born May 10, 1945 (76 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Apr 01, 2013 12:51pm
InfoShirley Franklin became the 58th Mayor of Atlanta, winning in a landslide victory in November 2001. Having never been an elected official, Shirley Franklin re-defined history, being elected as the city?s first woman Mayor and the first African-American woman to serve as Mayor of a major southern city. She was inaugurated on January 7, 2002.

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 dollar 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. Shirley continued her public service as Executive Officer for Operations during the third term of Mayor Jackson.

In 1991, Shirley 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 environmentalists.

In 1997 Shirley formed Shirley Clarke Franklin & Associates, a management and consulting firm for public affairs, community affairs and strategic planning and in 1998 became a majority partner in Urban Environmental Solutions, LLC.

Following Governor Barnes election in 1998, Shirley 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, Shirley resigned from GRTA and officially declared her candidacy for Mayor of Atlanta.

Shirley Franklin offered 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, effective city government. She has a proven record of balancing the city?s budget for 8 consecutive years, filling over 200 police vacancies, advocating for affordable housing and building coalitions across racial, gender, socio-economic and cultural boundaries.

Since her inauguration on January 7, 2002, Shirley has taken on the challenges of governing in the new millennium. Her first task as Mayor was to fill a budget gap of $82 million and deliver the 2002 Balanced Budget to the City Council. In order to balance the budget, she cut her own salary by $40,000, cut the Mayor?s department staff by 50%, cut 277 jobs, eliminated 605 vacancies and raised taxes. She recalled non-essential city-owned cars, cell phones and credit cards and issued an administrative order to freeze vacancies except in public safety. These were difficult and painful choices to make, but necessary to balance the budget.

Shirley initiated process reviews - audits of city government - to restructure fundamental processes in city government, i.e., procurement, human resources, customer service and information technology. These audits were funded by private donations. She started volunteer task forces to produce new policies on affordable housing and ethics reform.

She proposed sweeping ethics reform legislation, which was passed by the Atlanta City Council - keeping her pledge to restore trust and integrity in City Hall. The new Ethics legislation bans gifts to employees, including the Mayor and Council, from companies doing business with the city; creates a stronger Board of Ethics that is truly independent; establishes a full-time Ethics Officer; and bans the Mayor from accepting any outside income, including speaking fees.

She conducted national searches, conducted on a pro-bono basis by executive search firms to select her major cabinet appointments - Police Chief, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and City Attorney.

She focused on improving daily government operations, with gutsy initiatives like the Pothole Posse - seven street repair crews dedicated to repairing potholes and maintaining our streets and sidewalks - and the TIPS Hotline - established to gain information that may be relevant to reports of misconduct involving city officials, city employees or any business entities that contract with the City of Atlanta.

She moved quickly and decisively to repair relationships with regional, state and national officials - actively working with the Atlanta Regional Council, the Georgia General Assembly and the Georgia congressional delegation. She got the Hartsfield Airport Expansion project back on track, secured the funding for the Multi-Modal Transportation Facility, gained approval for a referendum for a 1% sales tax for to fund improvements to the sewer system and a Homestead Exemption to freeze property taxes for Senior Citizens who make less than $39,000.

In less than six months, Shirley Franklin tackled the tough challenges in city government and lived up to her campaign slogan "If you make me Mayor, I'll make you proud!"

Shirley?s commitment to her community is exemplified by her active service on over 30 boards and committees. Currently she 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 ? US Foundation, United Way, Paideia School, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the National Black Arts Festival, the Community Foundation, Georgia State Arts Council and the Atlanta Convention and Visitor?s Bureau.

Shirley 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 Women of 2001 and awards from the League of Women Voters and the Abercrombie Lamp of Learning Award. Most recently she received the 2002 Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA.

Over the course of her outstanding career, Shirley has been featured in Business to Business magazine, the New York Times, Ebony magazine, Jet magazine, Heart & Soul magazine, Savoy magazine, Glamour, Time Magazine, Women Looking Ahead magazine, Atlanta Good Life magazine, Atlanta Woman magazine, Georgia Trend magazine and was recently chosen as one of Atlanta?s movers and shakers in Jezebel magazine.

A native of Philadelphia, Shirley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Howard University and continued her education earning her Masters of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2002, she delivered the commencement address and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from her alma mater, Howard University.

Shirley has lived in southwest Atlanta for more than 30 years and has three adult children.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Nov 11, 2005 09:00pm Election Guide Atlanta mayor untouchable after 4 years  Article COSDem 
Apr 25, 2005 07:00pm News The 5 Best Big-City Mayors. Restorer of Faith: SHIRLEY FRANKLIN / ATLANTA  Article RP 
Mar 14, 2004 12:00am General [Shirley] Franklin comes out in favor of gay marriage  Article COSDem 

Importance? 0.00000 Average


  11/08/2005 Atlanta Mayor Won 90.49% (+84.43%)
  11/06/2001 Atlanta Mayor Won 50.24% (+17.11%)
  07/20/2020 GA District 05 - D Replacement Lost 0.00% (-90.24%)
  01/29/2011 GA Democratic Party Chairman Lost 0.00% (-100.00%)
WA District 10 - Blanket Primary - Aug 04, 2020 D Marilyn Strickland
Fulton County Sheriff - D Primary - Jun 09, 2020 D Patrick "Pat" Labat
Atlanta Mayor - Runoff - Dec 05, 2017 I Mary Norwood
Atlanta City Council - At-Large P1 - Nov 07, 2017 N Courtney English
DNC Party Chair - Feb 25, 2017 D Thomas E. Perez
GA US President - D Primary - Mar 01, 2016 D Hillary Clinton
Atlanta City Council - At-Large P3 - Nov 05, 2013 D Andre Dickens
GA State Supreme Court - Runoff - Nov 30, 2010 R David E. Nahmias
GA Governor - D Primary - Jul 20, 2010 D Roy Barnes
GA Secretary of State - D Primary - Jul 20, 2010 D Georganna T. Sinkfield
Atlanta Mayor - Runoff - Dec 01, 2009 D Kasim Reed
GA US President- D Primary - Feb 05, 2008 D Barack Obama
GA Lt. Governor - D Runoff - Aug 08, 2006 D Jim Martin
DNC Party Chair - Feb 12, 2005 D Howard Dean
GA Referendum (Gay Marriage Ban) - Nov 02, 2004 NO No
GA US Senate - D Primary Run-Off - Aug 10, 2004 D Denise Majette
GA Supreme Court Justice - Jul 20, 2004 N Leah Ward Sears
GA District 12 - D Primary - Jul 20, 2004 D John Barrow