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Former Atlanta Mayor Franklin Brings Stories from Trailblazing Career to LBJ School

Photo courtesy of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

"The Sewer Mayor." It's a label Shirley Franklin wears with pride. She served as Mayor of Atlanta from 2002-2010 and says she worked hard to forge consensus on critical issues such as the city's water supply.

Franklin is now the Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor in Ethics and Political Values at theLBJ School of Public Affairs. Her 35-year public service career began in 1978 when she worked for Atlanta Mayor Maynard Ferguson as Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. She went on to be Atlanta's City Manager and eventually Mayor.

Franklin also served as a Senior Vice President for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. She says the Olympics did a lot for Atlanta. Should Austin consider making a bid for the 2024 Olympics? Without hesitation , Franklin enthusiastically says "yes!"

Franklin talked with KUT's Jennifer Stayton about race, gender, politics, and the Olympics.

Click on the player on this page to hear more.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.