Surrounded by other newly elected DeKalb officials, they together raised their right hands and swore to do their best. Many in the group — including District Attorney Sherry Boston, Commissioner Steve Bradshaw and Commissioner Greg Adams — won election last year by running on similar themes of honest, accountable government.
Thurmond said he wants to find a way to transform Stone Mountain's image so that it can be an inclusive attraction to all residents, despite the Confederate figures carved on its face.
“We’re going to turn what has been a symbol of racism and division, which is Stone Mountain, and we’re going to turn it into a symbol of hope and opportunity,” Thurmond said.
Hanging behind Thurmond were signs declaring a “new day for DeKalb,” with an image of the sun rising behind the blue profile of the walkable side of Stone Mountain.
He didn’t detail plans for Stone Mountain, but previous efforts have included erecting a bell tower to reference Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech or building a museum recognizing the role of African-Americans in the Civil War.
Thurmond said it will take a joint effort to fix DeKalb's biggest problems, from inaccurate water bills to pothole-filled roads and blighted communities.
“If we come together, if we work together, there are no limitations to what we can accomplish,” he said. “We will transform this county, this state and our nation.”