Ms. Bottoms, who served as judge and councilor before narrowly winning the 2017 mayor election, is also blessed with one voice – measured, compassionate, slightly hurt, and permeated by her experience as a black daughter and mother – that seemed uniquely calibrated too be to tackle the challenges of the past year.
After the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ms. Bottoms went on live television and became a national star speaking directly to protesters. Some of their demonstrations had fallen into lawlessness, with people smashing windows, spraying property and burning cars.
“When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother hurt,” she said. She then scolded the protesters, insisting that they “go home” and study the rules of nonviolence as practiced by the leaders of the civil rights movement.
Mr Biden was one of several national figures who were noted. “We saw her stand and speak out in the summer full of protests and pain,” said the president at the fundraiser in March.
However, the challenges were numerous.
On June 12, shortly after Mr. Floyd’s death, a white Atlanta police officer shot and killed a black man, Rayshard Brooks, in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. Protests and violence broke out, and the Bottoms administration fired officer Garrett Rolfe the day after the shooting. (This week, the city’s public services agency reinstated officer Rolfe, who was accused of murder, because the administration violated his procedural rights.)
Then, a month after the shooting, Ms. Bottoms tested positive for the coronavirus and was sued by Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, over city policies that included masks and mandate restrictions that were stricter than those Mr. Kemp had put in place for the state.
In her letter Thursday evening, Ms. Bottoms also noted that shortly after taking office, the Atlanta government suffered a debilitating cyberattack and was under the control of federal investigators who launched a corruption investigation during her predecessor, Kasim Reed’s tenure.