Atlanta mayoral candidate and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell supports the movement to install permanent rainbow crosswalks at 10th and Piedmont in Midtown.
Mitchell added his name to the list of more than 20,600 individuals who signed a Care2 petition on May 23, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The petition was started in April by Sarah Rose, an Atlanta-based musician who also serves as Care2’s social media coordinator and LGBT issues advocate. The desired crosswalks, implemented in time for Pride, will include both the pink, white and blue of the transgender pride flag as well as the iconic rainbow.
In October 2015, Atlanta was home to temporary such fixtures. Mayor Kasim Reed cited safety concerns and state regulations as reasons for not allowing the crosswalks to be permanent.
“I saw firsthand what those crosswalks meant to Atlanta’s LGBTQ community when they were painted, as well as the disappointment when they were removed,” Rose said in a statement. “As a transgender woman and advocate, as well as an Atlanta native, I have seen the power of Atlanta’s queer community, and the return of the Pride crosswalks would be a simple, but affirming gesture for our city.”
Earlier moves to have the crosswalks painted each year for Pride demonstrated it would be more cost-effective to have the rainbows be permanent, according to a Facebook post by the group responsible for the 2015 decorations.
Rose reacted to Mitchell’s signature by saying it shows he and the Atlanta City Council’s are listening to the LGBT community. As folks add their signatures online, they’re asked to share why this cause is important to them.
“This is a great symbol of love, equality and PRIDE in the heart of gay Atlanta. Other major cities recognize [their] gay community with similar crosswalks or signage that lets people know they are in an area that accepts them,” one supporter said in their comments.
Though full names are not displayed — only first name and last initial, unless a signer chooses anonymity — it appears as though several other metro-area leaders may have added their support.
“It is time for the city of Atlanta to signal to residents and visitors that we support and embrace the LGBTQ community,” a petitioner listed as Lock W. said, and a supporter named Rafer J. said, “As an LGBTQ leader I want residents and visitors to feel welcome and equal. This goes a long way to recognize the large local LGBTQ community.”
Others cited their reasons for signing as their sexuality, appreciation for diversity or just to show support for “the city too busy to hate.”
“The LGBTQ Atlanta community has greatly contributed to the social, economic and cultural flow and diversity of midtown Atlanta. It’s a vital artery,” a supporter listed as Elias F. wrote. “Atlanta’s openness will send a positive message throughout the South that would no doubt invite others to visit and even live in our great city.”
Other mayoral candidates, when asked by a CBS reporter, responded on Twitter as well:
I support rainbow crosswalks or some commemoration at 10th/Piedmont. A great way to acknowledge an area important to the ATL LGBT community. https://t.co/wuqTSVjrRK