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Keisha Lance Bottoms, Former Atlanta Mayor, to Be Biden Senior Adviser


WASHINGTON — President Biden plans to appoint Keisha Lance Bottoms, the previous mayor of Atlanta, to his White House workers as a senior adviser charged with managing relations with pivotal constituent teams heading into the midterm campaigns, a White House official mentioned on Tuesday.

Ms. Bottoms will succeed Cedric Richmond as director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and function the president’s ambassador to neighborhood and enterprise organizations at a time when Mr. Biden is combating low approval rankings and his social gathering faces the lack of one or each homes of Congress within the fall elections.

Ms. Bottoms served one time period as mayor of Atlanta and drew nationwide consideration for her dealing with of protests after the killing of George Floyd in 2020, which at instances turned violent. She was an early supporter of Mr. Biden within the 2020 primaries for the Democratic nomination, and he briefly thought of her as a potential vice-presidential operating mate. She later turned down a cabinet-level place within the administration.

Her appointment to the White House workers was reported earlier Tuesday night by Axios, which quoted her saying she deliberate to do “more listening than anything” and that “it’s important that people feel their voices are reflected and their voices are heard.”

Mr. Richmond, a former member of Congress from Louisiana, left the White House recently to enter the non-public sector and take a submit as senior adviser on the Democratic National Committee. The tensions between the social gathering’s activist progressive wing and its management proved a problem throughout his time within the White House.

The newest strikes have been a part of a sequence of personnel shifts halfway via Mr. Biden’s second yr in workplace. In addition to Mr. Richmond, the president’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, and Covid czar, Jeffrey D. Zients, have left lately, as have a number of aides to Vice President Kamala Harris. Many Democrats speculate that there might be additional adjustments, particularly if the midterm elections go badly as they count on.

Ms. Bottoms served as a choose and metropolis councilwoman earlier than being elected mayor in 2017 however chose not to run for a second term final yr amid rising crime in Atlanta. Homicides there rose 58 % in 2020, and challengers accused her of not focusing enough on reducing crime.

She gained nationwide prominence when she spoke directly to protesters after the Floyd killing, expressing what she mentioned was her personal deep ache over his homicide beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer whereas scolding demonstrators who resorted to violence and telling them to “go home.”

Mr. Biden praised her method. “We saw her stand tall and speak out during the summer of protests and pain,” he mentioned of her at a fund-raiser final yr.

In her interview with Axios, Ms. Bottoms mentioned she felt strongly concerning the problems with social justice raised by the Floyd case.

“Those challenges are still very fresh and real to me,” she mentioned. “And I live it every day: I live it as a Black woman, I live it as a mother of four children, and I know where those challenges are, but I also know where the opportunities are.”



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