Shirley Franklin, former mayor of Atlanta from 2001-2009, will serve as the keynote speaker at the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. The observance, which rotates between Augusta State University, Augusta Technical College, Paine College, and the Medical College of Georgia, will be hosted on Friday, Jan. 14, at noon, in the Maxwell Theatre on the ASU campus.
Franklin became Atlanta’s first woman mayor and the first African-American woman to serve as mayor of a major Southern city. During her first term, she cut her own salary by $40,000, cut the Mayor’s staff by 50 percent, and eliminated 277 jobs and 605 vacancies. To fill a budget gap of $82 million, she also recalled nonessential city-owned cars, cell phones, and credit cards and issued an administrative order to freeze vacancies except in public safety.
Prior to Franklin’s re-election in 2005, she was named one of the nation’s five best big-city mayors by Time Magazine, alongside Richard Daley and Michael Bloomberg. In 2005, she was short-listed for the World Mayor Award.
Over the course of her outstanding career, Franklin has been featured in several publications including Business to Business, the New York Times, Ebony, Jet, Glamour, Atlanta Woman, and Georgia Trend. She also was chosen as one of Atlanta’s movers and shakers in Jezebel magazine.
A leading women’s advocacy group, The White House Project, named Franklin one of 8 in ‘08 female politicians who could make a presidential run, the only non-national politician or governor on the list. Later, Franklin was named co-chair of the 2008 Democratic Convention. She is past president of the National Convention of Democratic Mayors.
Franklin received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2002, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Howard University.
Admission is free. For more information, call the Office of Student Activities at 706-737-1610.