Mayor Kasim Reed was raised in Atlanta’s Cascade community. He was educated in Fulton County's public schools where he graduated from Utoy Springs Elementary School and Westwood High School (now Westlake High School). From there, he went on to Howard University, where he received his undergraduate and law degrees.
Kasim was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1998 as State Representative for District 52. He was re-elected in 2000, winning seventy-seven percent (77%) of all votes cast. In the House, he served two terms as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Education Committee and Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee.