The the first black woman to ever serve as in the Atlanta City Council feted with a grand reception and bestowed a proclamation at Atlanta City Hall.
Councilman Michael Bond presented Carolyn Long Banks with a proclamation at City Hall on November 3 for her outstanding contributions and being a political pioneer.
Banks served the City of Atlanta from 1980 to 1997.
“Mrs. Banks is such an important part of Atlanta’s history,” said Councilman Bond. “In almost every aspect of her life, she has left a legacy for generations to come. She paved the way for many of us to be where we are now.”
Throughout her career, she taught high school English in Atlanta and Hawaii; became the first African American buyer for Rich’s Department Store; served as chief operating officer of Minority Training and Assistance Partnerships, Inc.; and was the director of community affairs at Clark Atlanta University.
Banks was one of only two African American women to serve as president of the National League of Cities (NLC). As the spokesperson for NLC’s elected officials, Banks shaped the country’s municipal legislative agenda, testified before Congress, and met frequently with President Clinton and members of Congress. Her service with NLC, also, included duties as a member of the board of directors and president of two constituency groups: the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Official and Women in Municipal Government. Annually, while in elective office, she taught and counseled first-time elected municipal officials at Harvard University. She is a lifetime member of the National League of Cities Executive Board.
After retiring from Rich’s in 1985 and from the Atlanta City Council in 1997, Banks joined Lockheed Martin in June 2000 as a community relations representative -designing and implementing partnerships between Lockheed Martin, its employees, and various segments of the metro Atlanta community. She retired from Lockheed in 2009.
Banks is a Golden Life member of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Leadership Atlanta Alumni Association; the Atlanta Business League; a lifetime member of the NAACP; the YWCA Women of Achievement Academy; and a member of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church. She has been inducted into the Metro-Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women and the University of Georgia Municipal Leadership Institute.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, has been a member of several boards, and has served on various committees.
Her immediate family includes her daughter April and son-in-law Horace Wyatt Sr.; her son James H. Banks Jr.; and her grandchildren Harlyn, Horace Jr., and Hayden Wyatt.