Meet the Other Mayors: Deborah Jackson, Lithonia

On Lithonia’s firm foundation, big plans, and a pitch for millennials

Metro Atlanta comprises 60-plus cities; each month we introduce one municipality and its mayor.

Deborah Jackson’s day job as an attorney—specializing in economic development and government relations—informs her role as mayor of Lithonia, population 2,000. She was elected to the part-time office (monthly pay:  $650) in 2011.

On Lithonia’s firm foundation: The city grew up around the granite industry. There’s only one other place in the world with gneiss granite, known by its gray tidal swirl. It’s older and stronger than Stone Mountain granite.

Big plans: We’re actively pursuing the redevelopment of the city-owned portion of Lithonia Plaza. Right now, it’s the strip mall model. We want to make it mixed-use.

Where she takes visitors: We have a beautiful park where there’s an amphitheater, the first African American Baptist church in DeKalb, and the remains of the county’s first public school for African Americans.

A pitch: We’re 18 miles southeast of Atlanta, accessible by MARTA bus. We do have a lot of retirees, but we encourage millennials to come out and bring their creative energy.

This article originally appeared in our January 2015 issue.