Atlanta mayor visits KLRU, disucusses policy, change


Jonathan Garza

Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed speaks on gun law reforms and explains his plans for the public education system and poverty reforms at an interview in KLRU’s studio Tuesday morning.

Alexandra Dubinsky

On Tuesday morning, Kasim Reed, the 59th mayor of Atlanta, made a special appearance on Overheard, a KLRU-hosted television series hosted by Evan Smith, editor in chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune.

During the interview, Evan Smith asked Reed pressing questions about gun law reforms, the present and future status of Atlanta’s public education system and poverty reforms.

While Reed expressed Atlanta’s great respect for the second amendment, he also voiced several precautions he said must be taken in order to protect the city and the country.

“What I care about more than folks wanting to have access to soft guns are the women and men and the 1,900 police officers that work for the system,” Reed said. “I don’t want them to ever arrive to the scene and feel outgunned.”

Since Reed was elected in 2010, Atlanta has seen the lowest number of felonies since 1969. Reed attributes this success to building the biggest police force in the history of the city.

“Crime reduction is not really rocket science,” Reed said. “You choose where you’re going to put your resources.”

In addition to hiring 700 new police officers, Reed chose to pool his resources into upgrading video technology and modernizing techniques such as crime mapping. 

While most of the interview focused on gun violence, Reed mentioned improving Atlanta’s schools by removing the school board so that the state could implement reforms.

“We’re going to recruit a superintendent like you would recruit a football coach for UT,” Reed said. 

Allie Sandza, public affairs producer at KLRU, said the show is expected to air March 21.

“Evan Smith, who hosts the show is super connected, so we were able to get the mayor while he was originally here for the Texas Legislative Back Caucus Summit,” Sandza said.

Overheard with Evan Smith is in its third season and showcases in-depth interviews with guests from a variety of fields.

Smith ended the interview by asking about the possibility of Reed campaigning for a higher office.

“Fighters don’t become champions when they fight too early,” Reed said. “I made a promise to Atlanta and I want to finish the job I have.”

Published on February 27, 2013 as " Atlanta mayor talks policy to KLRU".