My life is a testament to the difference that can be made when there is someone who is genuinely looking out for you.
My life started at the Lutheran Social Services as one of many orphans. It was there that Ruby Douglas, a dedicated social worker, spent countless hours doing everything she could to help me find a loving and caring family. I was unaware of her selfless and consequential actions at the time, but I doubt that there was much public gratitude or acknowledgement for her life-changing work. She only had the personal reward of knowing what she did every day made a difference. Since the day that Ms. Ruby made the more than 100 mile journey on faith, prayer and her determination to help an orphaned boy, my life would never be the same.
She found me that loving home.
My mom and dad were not rich and weren’t sure they even wanted a fourth child, but to this day, I am their last born, their baby boy and simply, “son.” Since then, my life has been full of serendipitous moments with selfless people who looked out and decided to help me...It has been that committed teacher pulling me to the side to correct my behavior, the church mother who lifted me up in prayer, community leaders who encouraged me, and neighborhood organizers that challenged me to stay active and engaged.
As I was being helped in different phases of my life, I was always told the same thing by the helper, “Make sure you do it for someone else.” Consequently, I have spent most of my professional life in complete and total service to the public. My commitment has been to do it for someone else.
It is in the spirit of servants like Ms. Ruby--whose selfless work took me from an orphanage to a loving home to accomplished lawyer and to the heights of city government in Atlanta--that I now offer myself in service as the 60th Mayor of Atlanta.