Posted Friday, November 24, 2017 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Former V-103/WAOK host and attorney Mo Ivory wasn't able to unseat an entrenched, well-respected Atlanta City Council member earlier this month but drew a respectable 37 percent of the vote.
In a five-person race in District 1 covering neighborhoods such as Grant Park, Ormwood Park, Thomasville Heights, Summerhill and Glenwood Park, Ivory was unable to push Carla Smith below the 50 percent mark and force a run off. Smith received 3,881 votes while Ivory pulled in 2,592. The three other candidates and write ins garnered just 525.
"I worked so hard," Ivory said in a recent interview, "the hardest I've ever worked on something." She estimated she knocked on 11,000 doors over the five months.
"I'm so glad I did it," she added. "I learned so much about how impactful one person could be. I made so many connections with people I never would have made otherwise."
Although Ivory did win some of the precincts with more black residents, she said race was not an overt issue. But with gentrification, she said "it's always an underlying factor." Issues of affordable housing and equity get tied into race, she said.
And since the bulk of development is happening on the northern part of her district, the folks who live in the Southern portion felt neglected and disengaged, Ivory said. Many simply did not bother to vote, which disappointed her.
"People are so disconnected from the politics that affect their every-day lives," she said. "What I learned from this experience is how much work is needed to be done in civic engagement. It's just total apathy for the process."
She said she had nothing terribly negative to say about Smith. Smith has held her seat for 16 years and Ivory just felt like the district needed a change. And now that Smith is around for another four years, Ivory hopes they can collaborate down the road though Smith hasn't reached out to Ivory yet.
Ivory said she emphasized more transparency in terms of how local meetings and more openness about relationships with developers.
"She is an intelligent, compassionate leader who wants Atlanta's future to be more inclusive," said Grant Park resident Jim Voris, who voted for her. He said she ran a professional campaign and did well against a popular incumbent
A Spelman College graduate inspired to run after Donald Trump became president, Ivory hosted a talk show on WAOK in 2011 and 2012 and was part of Ryan Cameron's morning show in 2013. She also worked with Frank Ski in Washington D.C. in 2014 and 2015 on WHUR-FM.
Now that she's no longer campaigning, she's working as senior counsel at the American Cancer Society. She also will continue to host events such as the recent Atlanta book visit by Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile and wouldn't mind doing radio again.
Would she run for office again? She said it's too soon to say but being a politician would fit three skills she enjoys employing: speaking, providing information and seeking solutions.