DeKalb County Commissioner Steve Bradshaw called Moore an “accessible” public servant. Fellow DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader vouched for her in part by criticizing her rival, councilman Andre Dickens: Rader called Moore a collaborative visionary who doesn’t dictate what should be done, unlike “technocrats or committee chairs.”
DeKalb Sheriff Melody Maddox called Moore the perfect leader to address the region’s crime issues because Moore “is not about celebrity, but is about the community.”
When it was Moore’s turn at the mic, she paused her speech to wave to a honking supporter driving by. She then addressed the biggest issue in the race — crime.
“The people who are committing crimes don’t care about whether you’re in DeKalb or Fulton or Atlanta,” Moore said. “What they do care about is whether or not they’re going to be held accountable for their crimes, and we are going to make sure that we take our city back.”
When the press conference ended, Moore hugged supporters and slipped into black low top sneakers to greet families on the playground. She shook hands with parents and children before Zirka Smith asked for a photograph.
“We are huge fans,” Smith said while holding her 4-year-old daughter, Campbell, for their selfie with Moore. “We love you.”
Moore’s team then reminded her of the busy schedule to come: meet and greets, lunch, a 1 p.m. “Women for Felicia” rally, and two fundraisers. It was back to the race.
“I’m just running 150 miles an hour,” Moore said.
Moore’s team handed out campaign signs to supporters at Langford’s Barber Shop in Kirkwood, where LaMichael Langford was cutting David Lane’s hair. Langford said he hadn’t seen Maddox since last year, when the sheriff brought by some campaign signs.
“Now you’ll need a sign from me,” Moore said.
“You might not come back,” Landford said.
“I will come back and see you,” Moore said.
“OK, I was going to vote for you anyway,” Landford said with a smile.
Maddox and Moore posed for photos in front of the Langford family murals painted outside and inside the shop before heading to My Coffee Shop at Eastlake.
After sipping some basil lemonade, Moore moved through the shop telling patrons she’s “running hard” to be their mayor. So many residents greeted her with hugs and fist bumps that she said: “I might have to come here every day.”
But the atmosphere changed when Moore’s team learned Dickens was criticizing her decision to delete a social media statement on the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in Kenosha, Wis. The statement was critical of the not guilty verdict in the case, saying the victims’ families did not receive justice.
“...we all know very well that if a young Black man had committed the crimes Rittenhouse had it would have been a speedy, open and shut case that ended with that Black man going to prison,” the statement said.
It was removed after some potential voters in Buckhead blasted it on Facebook.
Moore skipped lunch to speak with a reporter from The Washington Post while her communications director, campaign manager, and a political strategist huddled to discuss how to handle the situation.
“I’m not hiding what I said,” Moore said to her team after the interview.
Moore reposted her initial statement before heading to the Hyatt Regency downtown.
Moore entered the hotel ballroom, where she was greeted by a round of applause as she pumped her fist in the air. After a quick break and a few photos with supporters, she reviewed a new Rittenhouse statement.
“Like many Americans, especially people of color, I felt the sting of injustice for Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz.” the new statement said. “In response, last night I posted a public comment on Facebook. …I removed the post after seeing how people were attacking each other in the comments. As a leader, I seek to unite and I do not want a space I create to be used as a tool for people to attack one another.”
Moore stood at the ballroom doors and smiled as she watched the crowd dance while the DJ played “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead. At the podium, Henrietta Antonin, the retired vice president of public affairs for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, told attendees: “We had hoped that this would be a clean race, but unfortunately, it’s not.”
“They’re saying that she don’t like black people — she’s a black woman,” Antoinin said, eliciting laughs. “The things that have been said are unbelievable.”
Antoinin introduced Moore to a standing ovation as the DJ played “More, More, More” by Andrea True Connection. The candidate danced towards the podium and around the crowd, hugging supporters along the way.
At the rally, Moore received praise from Carol Baird, former judge Penny Brown Reynolds, former city councilwoman Yolanda Adrean, and former judge Glenda Hatchett during the rally.
Reynolds said Moore is running to serve residents with “comprehensive criminal justice reform,” as opposed to those who “run for office to be celebrities or to hang out with celebrities.”
Adrean said she was “in awe” with Moore during their time as councilmembers because Moore repeatedly stood up to former mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. Adrean said Moore’s place in the runoff shows residents want “a mayor that we can trust to lead us.”
When Moore spoke at 2:47 p.m., she immediately addressed the drama from her social media activity by repeating a portion of her new statement on social media.
Moore then addressed Dickens’ criticism of her historical naysaying as a lawmaker. She voted against several city budgets, and contracts that were widely supported by her colleagues the council.
“I have been elected over and over and over again, so somebody is saying yes” to her role at City Hall.
She said voters have to decide if they want the pay to play and nepotism to continue at City Hall, adding that she will “issue a death certificate upon my swearing in” to corruption. She also promised to uplift “the younger people who come to this city” with the same values that she had upon her arrival in 1991.
“I’m issuing a birth certificate to those dreams and those people who have been left out,” Moore said.
After the rally, Moore said she felt “energized.” She sat down for an interview with journalist Maria Saporta, telling her that she doesn’t have an adversarial relationship with Dickens or any of his supporters. Moore also said “I’m not going to deal with all that bad energy.”
When asked what she would do if she loses, Moore said she “will still be fighting” for the city as a “vigorous” visitor at city hall.
Moore told her team that she was tired afterward. As Moore left the hotel, Hatchett ran over to her for a final hug. “Y’all take care of my future mayor,” Hatchett said to Moore’s team.
Heavy traffic on the interstate caused Moore to be late for a meet and greet at the Turner Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Kirkwood area. When they finally arrived, Moore left the vehicle and was immediately stopped by a driver seeking a fist bump. She was handed a shawl as she greeted residents.
The Indianapolis native gave them the rundown of her experience in Atlanta: she visited the city during a 1979 Black college tour before she graduated from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She moved to Atlanta and immediately presided over a neighborhood association, which involved “fighting hazardous waste dumps,” and participating in youth programs and the neighborhood crime watch. She went on to chair her neighborhood planning unit before she got hired to serve a city council member.
She told residents how she went on to beat an incumbent for the District 9 seat, where she “voted no a lot of times” because she always wanted the make “the best decision on behalf of the citizens.”
Moore said she wasn’t thinking about running for mayor until Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms began to actively campaign for Joe Biden during his presidential run. Bottoms was rumored to be in consideration as his running mate, and then in consideration for a cabinet position in the Biden administration.
Bottoms passed on the cabinet position, but Moore said she decided to launch her campaign anyway because she “really got tired of saying that I was sorry” about Atlanta’s gun violence and deteriorating city services.
“We want all these things done, but they’re not going to get done until you have a mayor like myself who, No. 1, knows what the problems are and, No. 2, is willing to do the non-glamorous city work of a mayor to get them fixed,” Moore said.
Moore promised to lead with transparency, ethics and accountability. She also spoke against Buckhead cityhood.
“I do not support any part of our city leaving...No more than I would support cutting off my leg,” she said.
After the speech, Moore talked to more supporters, including a man who said: “You won’t be like our last mayor and check out.”
Moore ate her first meal of the day — a chicken slider — during a fundraiser at the home of a supporter in Morningside.
Reflecting on Dickens’ recent attacks, Moore told the AJC that his actions mirrored Reed’s candidacy. She also said it was insulting for Dickens to accuse her of darkening his skin in an ad for political gain.
“How can you condemn Kasim and then become Kasim?” Moore said.
When the guests arrived, Moore repeated her speech from earlier in the day. Once the event ended, she joked about visiting a nightclub to finish the day.
It was no joke. Moore’s final stop really was a club, X Midtown.
She was greeted by Robert Stewart, the fundraiser host and director of LGBTQ+ outreach for Moore’s campaign.
After eating and mingling with the guests, Moore thanked everyone for their support and shared her vision for Atlanta for her final campaign stop that night.
“The decision you make will be for the next four years, and most likely the next eight years,” she said.
She joked that her crime plan goes into “excruciating detail,” and said she probably would have still run for mayor if crime was under control just because Atlanta’s city services need improvement.
As she ended her speech, the crowd shouted that “Atlanta deserves Moore.”
By 9:20 p.m., the candidate sat on the stage and changed into her tennis shoes again as Stewart led the crowd in a chant of “Moore, Moore, Moore.”
The day was finished for Moore, who was planning to head to church in the morning, but she was ready to do it all over again on Sunday.
“We ain’t done yet,” she said.