Ivory Lee Young, Jr., an Atlanta City Councilman who represented Westside neighborhoods such as English Avenue and Vine City through the Great Recession and into their ongoing resurgence as the Atlanta BeltLine and Mercedes-Benz Stadium rise on their borders, is in the hospital and in grave condition, according to several sources interviewed by Atlanta magazine.
“The family of Ivory Lee Young, Jr., thank you for all of your well wishes and continued prayers,” a statement from City Council staff says. “As he continues his healing process they are asking for privacy at this time.”
Currently serving his fourth four-year term, Young took a leave of absence from his Council duties several weeks ago to undergo a stem-cell transplant to treat multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer that affects a person’s plasma cells. In an interview with WSB-TV prior to the procedure, Young, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, was optimistic. “I’m enthusiastic and confident in my faith, [and for] a great outcome. And I hope to continue to share the testimony in months and years to come,” he told WSB.
An architect and ordained deacon, the elected official’s wheat-straw boater hat and cheshire cat grin have been familiar sights at ribbon cuttings in his district. Long one of the city’s most overlooked and underinvested areas, District 3 neighborhoods are now the epicenter of or adjacent to some of the city’s most significant developments. Young, one of Council’s most loquacious members, played a key role in the redevelopment of the Westside Village commercial area and supported plans to demolish the Georgia Dome to make way for Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Prior to his absence from Council, he was considered a crucial vote for a controversial incentive package for CIM Group, a California-based developer that wants to transform downtown’s 40 acres of asphalt known as the “Gulch” into a 40-acre mixed-use development. Young has also been an enthusiastic partner in ambitious programs kickstarted by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to train residents, improve health outcomes, and reduce blight in the neighborhoods he represents.
We will update this story as we receive more information.
Update: Friday evening we updated this story’s headline to reflect Young’s condition.