The Atlanta City Council is mourning the loss of District 3 Atlanta City Council member Ivory Lee Young Jr. Young, who was 56, died Friday at a local hospital. He will be honored today by the Counci hold a moment of silence in memory of and offer tributes to the late District 3 City Councilman Ivory Lee Young, Jr. at the top of its 1 p.m. meeting on Monday, Nov. 19 in the Council Chamber.
Young had been on leave since early September to undergo a stem-cell transplant.
“My faith has never been stronger. The grace and mercy of Jesus Christ has been with me from the moment of this diagnosis,” Young said before undergoing treatment.
“Working with Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr. over these past 17 years has been an incredible gift,” Carla Smith, Atlanta City Council, District 1. “He was a person grounded in faith, and a generous, kind colleague. He brought joy to this job; his love for the city and his district was evident to all. Listening to Council Member Young speak – especially when he was speaking about District 3, his neighbors and constituents – was like going to church. We have suffered a tremendous loss with his passing. My prayers are with his family. May the respect and admiration we hold for Ivory offer them some comfort in this difficult time.”
A native of Butler, Ala., Young has served on the Atlanta City Council since January 2002. The district he represented is comprised of several communities on the westside of Atlanta, including English Avenue, Washington Park and Vine City. An avid Atlanta Falcons fan, he helped oversee the completion of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, also located in District 3.
During his council tenure, Young’s strong leadership and collaborative problem-solving skills resulted in adopting policy with a long-term positive impact on the city. With support from former Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration through the Department of Planning, Young successfully completed “Westside Revive.” This unprecedented initiative created redevelopment plans for neighborhoods that have not benefited from traditional economic opportunities.
Young’s active role in the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive corridor resulted in more than $65 million for the completion of the Historic Westside Village project that served as a catalyst for continued investments.
He also supported funding of police and fire equipment to enhance public safety throughout his district, including infrastructure improvements and cameras. Young lent his legislative support for the creation of the Atlanta Citizens Review Board and abolished the Disorderly Conduct 6 statute that unfairly profiled citizens in underserved neighborhoods, after the shooting death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta Police.
Young was the son of a retired army sergeant major who served in the United States Army for 30 years. At one point, the family was stationed in Alaska.
“The different places that he served while in the Army afforded me and my family exposure that I don’t think we would’ve ever had. It also gave me a love for all people,” Young has said about his childhood.
Young grew up wanting to be an architect and was in the industry for more than 30 years.
“I really love construction. When I was younger, I spent many summers with my uncles doing construction projects. That experience really gave me a love for the built environment and being able to shape things from ideas and concepts,” he said.
At the time of his passing, Young was serving on the Atlanta City Council’s City Utilities and Community Development/Human Services committees as well as the Committee on Council. During his tenure, he served as a member of most of the council committees including serving as chair of the Zoning Committee.
When asked what message he wanted to share with constituents in his absence, Young said, “Atlanta City Council District 3 is alive and well. We have challenges that we have to overcome in the city… (but) we’re excited about the future.”
“I’ve known him for only five years,” said Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council, Post 3 At-Large. “But his warmth felt like a lifetime. I’ll miss his stories, smile and strength. We won’t be the same.”
Funeral services for Young will be announced.