FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2017
Mayor Kasim Reed Delivers Annual State of the City Speech to Business and Civic Leaders in the City of Atlanta
Address highlights new initiatives to fund the arts and homelessness interventions
ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed delivered his seventh annual State of the City address to Atlanta’s business, civic, faith and non-profit leaders today at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. During his address, he highlighted economic development, including business relocation and job creation numbers, the residential building boom, the ongoing success of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and a strong record of reducing crime and improving public safety. The Coca-Cola Company sponsored this year’s breakfast. Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America, served as host.
“Atlanta is the most vibrant, culturally significant and international city in the Southeast, the anchor of the ninth-largest metropolitan area in America, centered in the eighth-largest state in the union. We are an emerging global force with a GDP of more than $305 billion – bigger than 30 states,” said Mayor Reed. “Atlanta is ascendant, and we are ascendant because of the people who bring and build their dreams here, in the City of Atlanta.”
In the first eleven months of 2016, the City of Atlanta issued more than double the number of residential building permits than each of the metropolitan region’s fastest growing suburban counties. More than 22 projects are under construction in Midtown Atlanta, with 8,000 new residential units planned for the neighborhood.
Following last year’s State of the City speech, the City of Atlanta adopted an affordable housing ordinance requiring any developer accepting taxpayer incentives to guarantee 10 to 15 percent of units affordable to people with incomes below 60 or 80 percent of the area’s median income. This same policy was recently adopted by the Fulton County Development Authority and Atlanta Public Schools. Since 2010, the City of Atlanta has created more than 2,000 affordable housing units for working families and Millennials.
In November 2016, Atlanta voters overwhelmingly approved the $2.6 billion MARTA expansion and the five-year, $300 million TSPLOST. Combined with the $250 million Renew Atlanta bond program, the TSPLOST will cut the City’s $900 million infrastructure backlog by more than half.
Mayor Reed also announced two important new initiatives:
- The City of Atlanta, in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta, will move forward with a $50 million effort to make homelessness brief and rare - a $25 million public bond combined with a $25 million philanthropic match.
- The City of Atlanta will ask the Georgia General Assembly for the authority to pursue a one-tenth percent sales tax to fund the arts. The referendum will appear on the November ballot.
Other accomplishments highlighted during the State of the City speech include:
- Atlanta’s television and film industry is booming, and is now the third-largest production center in the United States of America, and the fifth-largest in the world;
- The City of Atlanta boosting its stature as the cultural capital of the Southeast with the largest expansion of Zoo Atlanta in the city’s history;
- The $6 billion expansion of Hartsfield-Jackson International Atlanta Airport;
- The sale of Turner Field to Georgia State for a world-class campus and neighborhood revitalization;
- The renovation of Philips Arena, which ensures that the facility remains one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in the country and keeps the Atlanta Hawks Downtown for decades to come; and
- The $30 million renovation of the entire Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor, spanning 7.2 miles from the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the city’s western border.
“I believe that 2017 will be the culmination of everything we have built over the last seven years. My belief is rooted in the fact that all around the city you see the extraordinary progress, smart growth and economic opportunity that we have built together,” said Mayor Reed. “We still have so much to accomplish, together, and I’m ready to get to work.”
Mayor Reed’s remarks are available at: http://www.atlantaga.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=24193.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed