Mayor Reed,

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion for all Americans, regardless of belief, and you have publicly advocated for making Atlanta “a more welcoming city for all of her citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, and religious beliefs.” In light of this, your decision to terminate Atlanta's distinguished Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran — a public servant with more than three decades of experience who has served President Obama as U.S. Fire Administrator and was unanimously confirmed as Atlanta’s fire chief —constitutes the absolute height of hypocrisy. 

Chief Cochran, exercising his legally protected rights, expressed his religious convictions in his recent book. He even cleared its contents with your own Ethics Office Director. Despite this, you chose to fire him simply because you disagree with his religious beliefs. This action is not only un-American, it constitutes intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination.

We live in a rich, diverse society. A society with differing viewpoints and beliefs, a society of open discourse in which tolerance and inclusion makes it possible for us to disagree with respect. We also live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal. People of faith – who are a significant part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity – share the same fundamental rights as all other groups.

Chief Cochran and the citizens of Atlanta should all have the right to equal application of equal protections under the law. If one group is protected for its beliefs, all groups must be protected.

By signing this petition, I join my fellow citizens in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all.

I am asking you to: 

  1. Immediately reinstate Chief Cochran.
  2. Apologize for your unjust actions against Chief Cochran.  
  3. Ensure that no person of faith in Atlanta will be singled out by your administration simply due to the expression of their religious convictions.


As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a holiday honoring an Atlanta native who bravely stood for equality and civil rights, I call on you to respect and honor his legacy. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

Who's signing

Rodney Flounders
rick cox
David Ingram
Julia Sharrock
Anthony Mullins
Sherry Fife
Rhonda Koon
Aspen Hancock
Sara Akins
Dave Russell
Teresa Lee
Sherry Lagle
Lenwood Smith II
Jay Johnson
Adam Siler
Michael Sparks
Lordley Okarter
GOAL: 10,000 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 442 reactions

  • Myra Looney
  • Rodney Flounders
  • rick cox
  • Sign our petition to have @KasimReed extend equal protection to ALL, even Christians! #ExtinguishIntolerance
  • Rachel Goodman
  • David Ingram
  • Edie Faylor
  • Jess Zver
    How can equality be achieved when faith based expressions are not tolerated. Is toleration only for those who think as the mayor does? Seems so
  • Julia Sharrock
  • Anthony Mullins
    Suppression is for fires, not freedom.
  • Sherry Fife
  • Lori Maddox
  • Rhonda Koon
    We, Christians, need to stand up for what we believe no matter what, because we know we will win in the long run. Mayor Reed, will have to answer for his actions.
  • betty bain
  • Aspen Hancock
  • Sara Akins
  • Dave Russell
  • Teresa Lee
    Please reconsider what you have done. Religious freedom is one of the most valued rights of this country. Freedom of speech is the other.
  • Sign our petition to have @KasimReed extend equal protection to ALL, even Christians! #ExtinguishIntolerance
  • Sherry Lagle
  • Lenwood Smith II
  • Shawn Lewis
  • Aimee Arnold
  • Jay Johnson
  • Carole Edgerly
    The Mayor says he does not want discrimination in his administration. BUT he is discrimination against Fire Chief Cochran.
  • Adam Siler
    This is so typical of the direction is going
  • Michael Sparks
  • Lordley Okarter
  • Sign our petition to have @KasimReed extend equal protection to ALL, even Christians! #ExtinguishIntolerance
  • Teresa Rodriguez