Remembering an Atlanta Legend: Who was C.T. Martin?

Former Atlanta City Council member C.T. Martin died this morning surrounded by his family at his home in Southwest Atlanta. He was 84 years old. Martin was known as the “Dean” of the City Council because he was one of the longest serving Council members at one time. In December 2017, the City of Atlanta renamed the $27 Million Dollar Adamsville Recreation Center to the C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center as a tribute to his many decades of service.

Martin leaves a legacy of service and leadership to the Atlanta community and the residents of his beloved District 10 that cannot be erased. Since his election in 1990, Martin labored tirelessly to bring the voice of visionary African Americans to the forefront to impact national policy. He was a champion for minority businesses in Atlanta and a fierce “get out the vote” campaign manager throughout the region.  He served as a Council member for District 10 for nearly 30 years. He is credited with mentoring and developing many young people over the years, including his eventual successor, Council member Andrea L. Boone. 

“C.T. Martin was a mentor,” Boone said. “He was a friend. He was like a father to me. I walked hand in hand with him for 30 years of my life. He stood firm in his beliefs and acted passionately on his convictions. Words can’t express the mark he’s made on me, my career, and my life. I’m grateful that God allowed me the opportunity to experience his greatness. I will never forget him.”

While on the Council, Martin had many priorities, but none as pressing as public safety, economic stimulus, and providing programs and resources for seniors and youth. One of his many achievements was demolishing a drug infested apartment complex and building the multi-million-dollar Adamsville Natatorium and Community Center from the ground up.  He saw great success in pushing initiatives to serve the youth in the city of Atlanta. Martin fought tirelessly for employee raises and benefits.

Among his many achievements and honors are:

  • Securing funding for the $27 million Adamsville Natatorium and Community Center
  • Chairman of three key Council committees – Human Resources, Public Safety, and Transportation
  • Presidential appointee to the White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Secured the funding to purchase the land to prevent Family Dollar development on Benjamin E. Mays Drive and established Doctors’ Memorial Park at C.T. Martin Plaza
  • Pushing to include the designation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor as a priority in a master redevelopment plan for the city’s Southside.
  • Serving on the Missing and Murdered Children Task Force
  • Serving on the Atlanta City Budget Commission
  • Selected by the Labor Coalition to travel to South Africa to work for political education following the release of Nelson Mandela
  • Spearheading the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Merchants Association
  • Leadership Atlanta graduate
  • Served the National Scholarship Service for Negro Students
  • Elected as a Barack Obama delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and 2012
  • Led the renaming of Atlanta Hartsfield Airport in honor of the late Maynard Jackson
  • West End Medical Center board member
  • Chairman of the City of Atlanta Employee Credit Union Board

An Atlanta native and graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, Martin began his life of service pushing voter registration with the NAACP. He later began volunteering in political campaigns, including assisting mayoral candidates across the region.  After graduating from Shaw University with a Bachelor of Science degree, he expected to become an educator and raise a family, but fate had something else in store. Martin later earned a Master of Science degree from Atlanta University and began taking on community issues like fighting for millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements in District 10.

Martin leaves behind four adult children and five grandchildren.  He was a dedicated member of Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Church.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts