Leon Stafford

Local government reporter

Local government reporter Leon Stafford, a Tennessee grad, has been at the AJC since 1997. He covers Atlanta city government.

Latest from Leon Stafford

Norwood, Mitchell pick up endorsements from Atlanta firefighter groups
 Atlanta mayoral candidates Mary Norwood and Ceasar Mitchell picked up endorsements Tuesday from two fire fighting organizations. The International Association of Fire Fighters local 134 endorsed Atlanta City Councilwoman Norwood while Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta threw their support to Mitchell, who is president of the Atlanta City...

Posted: a minute ago

Atlanta mayoral candidates Mary Norwood and Ceasar Mitchell picked up endorsements Tuesday from two fire fighting organizations. The International Association of Fire Fighters local 134 endorsed Atlanta City Councilwoman Norwood while Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta threw their support to Mitchell, who is president of the Atlanta City...
Atlanta mayoral hopeful Kwanza Hall reviving marijuana legislation
 Kwanza Hall, an Atlanta City Councilman and candidate for mayor of Atlanta, is calling for a vote in early October on his stalled effort to reduce the penalties on possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city. Hall introduced legislation earlier this year that would have dropped the fine for possession of an ounce or less...

Posted: a day ago

Kwanza Hall, an Atlanta City Councilman and candidate for mayor of Atlanta, is calling for a vote in early October on his stalled effort to reduce the penalties on possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city. Hall introduced legislation earlier this year that would have dropped the fine for possession of an ounce or less...
Atlanta City Council forum gets heated in face-to face confrontation
 A candidate forum that included the Atlanta City Council post held by Michael Julian Bond turned ugly Thursday when he seemed to get aggressive with his opponent and was asked to move several seats away. Courtney English, current chairman of the Atlanta school board and a candidate for the at-large council seat, said Bond grabbed him, spewed...

Posted: 10 days ago

A candidate forum that included the Atlanta City Council post held by Michael Julian Bond turned ugly Thursday when he seemed to get aggressive with his opponent and was asked to move several seats away. Courtney English, current chairman of the Atlanta school board and a candidate for the at-large council seat, said Bond grabbed him, spewed...
Atlanta Councilman Michael Julian Bond in altercation at debate
 An Atlanta City Council forum Thursday night became heated when City Councilman Michael Julian Bond and Atlanta Public Schools board member Courtney English were separated by the moderator when things appeared to become confrontational. The two had been sparring about a variety of issues, including accusations of a poorly run school system...

Posted: 11 days ago

An Atlanta City Council forum Thursday night became heated when City Councilman Michael Julian Bond and Atlanta Public Schools board member Courtney English were separated by the moderator when things appeared to become confrontational. The two had been sparring about a variety of issues, including accusations of a poorly run school system...
Atlanta mayor candidates face grueling schedule of forums, debates
 More than a dozen candidates are hoping to succeed Kasim Reed as mayor of Atlanta on election day Nov. 7. But before they get there, they will face each other in a number of candidate forums and at least two debates over the next two months. Below is a list of several forum/debate dates. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will update this list...

Posted: 11 days ago

More than a dozen candidates are hoping to succeed Kasim Reed as mayor of Atlanta on election day Nov. 7. But before they get there, they will face each other in a number of candidate forums and at least two debates over the next two months. Below is a list of several forum/debate dates. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will update this list...
Atlanta Police apologize for early bar closings during Black Gay Pride
 Atlanta Police said the forced early closing of several Midtown gay bars Monday during Black Gay Pride Labor Day weekend festivities was a misread between the department officials and officers on the street. APD shut down at least four bars and restaurants in the heart of the city’s gay community — 10th Street at Piedmont Avenue ...

Posted: 12 days ago

Atlanta Police said the forced early closing of several Midtown gay bars Monday during Black Gay Pride Labor Day weekend festivities was a misread between the department officials and officers on the street. APD shut down at least four bars and restaurants in the heart of the city’s gay community — 10th Street at Piedmont Avenue ...
Atlanta City Council will now sign off on ethics board membership
 Future nominees of the city of Atlanta’s ethics board will need Atlanta City Council approval, a switch from the current nominating process that allows seven outside groups to elect candidates to keep the organization independent. Hoping to avoid an April court challenge that shot down DeKalb County ethics board because it was...

Posted: 13 days ago

Future nominees of the city of Atlanta’s ethics board will need Atlanta City Council approval, a switch from the current nominating process that allows seven outside groups to elect candidates to keep the organization independent. Hoping to avoid an April court challenge that shot down DeKalb County ethics board because it was...
Reed to pitch sale of civic center to Atlanta Housing Authority
 Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday he will propose having the Atlanta Housing Authority purchase the city’s civic center. Reed made the announcement at a meeting of the City Council Finance/Executive Committee, saying that council could see the proposal in the coming weeks. “I think you all will be pleased,” Reed said...

Posted: 19 days ago

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday he will propose having the Atlanta Housing Authority purchase the city’s civic center. Reed made the announcement at a meeting of the City Council Finance/Executive Committee, saying that council could see the proposal in the coming weeks. “I think you all will be pleased,” Reed said...
Mayor Reed hints Atlanta Housing Authority could buy Civic Center
 Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday he plans to soon pitch a proposal to have the Atlanta Housing Authority buy the Atlanta Civic Center. Reed made the announcement at a meeting of the Atlanta City Council Finance/Executive Committee meeting, saying that council could see the proposal in the coming two weeks. “I think you all will...

Posted: 20 days ago

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Wednesday he plans to soon pitch a proposal to have the Atlanta Housing Authority buy the Atlanta Civic Center. Reed made the announcement at a meeting of the Atlanta City Council Finance/Executive Committee meeting, saying that council could see the proposal in the coming two weeks. “I think you all will...
Norwood keeps double-digit lead in mayoral race as Bottoms, Aman surge
 Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood maintained her double-digit lead in a new Channel 2 Action News poll of the race to succeed Kasim Reed as the next mayor of Atlanta. When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 25.4 percent of the 500 likely voters surveyed in the poll chose Norwood. She was followed by fellow...

Posted: 20 days ago

Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood maintained her double-digit lead in a new Channel 2 Action News poll of the race to succeed Kasim Reed as the next mayor of Atlanta. When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 25.4 percent of the 500 likely voters surveyed in the poll chose Norwood. She was followed by fellow...
Atlanta mayoral field set as candidates face city in transition
 The field of candidates to be the next mayor of Atlanta was set Friday, but the winner will more than likely be decided in a runoff instead of the general election. Nine major candidates emerged from qualifying — traditionally seen as the unofficial kickoff of the campaign season — to succeed Mayor Kasim Reed, who is in the final...

Posted: 24 days ago

The field of candidates to be the next mayor of Atlanta was set Friday, but the winner will more than likely be decided in a runoff instead of the general election. Nine major candidates emerged from qualifying — traditionally seen as the unofficial kickoff of the campaign season — to succeed Mayor Kasim Reed, who is in the final...