A Compassionate City
Atlanta has long been known as the “city too busy to hate.” I don’t think that’s enough. As your next mayor, we will live in a city that loves and cares for all its people. We will build a city that fosters aspiration and inspiration, that leaves no one behind and allows everyone to prosper.
Instead of kicking the homeless to the curb; we need a war on homelessness. Each day about 4,000 homeless people are scattered throughout the city. At least 800 go unsheltered; living under bridges; wrapped in blankets, tucked in corners or in abandoned buildings. As Fulton County Chairman, I have led the way in resolving this in the County through cooperation and collaboration. As Atlanta’s next mayor, I will bring that same leadership approach to the city. I believe we can eradicate homelessness if we work together. We need to join forces with our neighbors in Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties as well as the non-profit community to find the best model to ensure there are proper safety nets, housing and treatment options.
Atlanta’s prosperity risks pricing-out many who want to own a home in the city. We must work hard to attract investment but remain vigilant against forcing out the city’s middle-class and underemployed citizens through gentrification. As Atlanta’s next mayor you can count on me to build a city in which firefighters, police officers, teachers and others can afford to live.
Under the John Eaves Administration at City Hall, affordable housing will be a top priority—it will be more than just small set-asides while developers rake in big bucks using public money to finance their construction projects. We will redouble this effort with our development authority, Invest Atlanta, which now only requires developers who use public money to set aside about 15 percent of their units as affordable housing. Further, I will insist that the Atlanta Beltline development live up to its promises to produce affordable housing. Read more.
By 2030, the Atlanta Regional Commission estimates that one in five metro residents will be age 60 or older. We must prepare for that shift. Besides, we owe a debt to the senior community which has sacrificed so much to raise our families, protect and invest in our city. As Atlanta’s next mayor, I will make sure the city I lead offers a variety of housing options for seniors of all incomes and health conditions. We will ensure those who want to age-in-place are not forced out through gentrification and sky-high property taxes. Working with Invest Atlanta, the Atlanta Housing Authority, the business and the faith-based community we WILL honor, respect, love and protect, our growing senior community.
YOUTH and THE VULNERABLE
If Atlanta is to be a caring and compassionate city, we must also do a better job of protecting and investing in our youth and other vulnerable populations. As Fulton County Chairman, I have led the way on this very issue—more kids off the streets and back in school; getting them to excel, instead of winding up in a cell. I will bring that same leadership to the City of Atlanta.
It costs far less to build up a child than repair a broken adult. You can trust me to continue the work of the Centers of Hope to bring structured after-school activities to our children in need. We will expand our arrest-expungement program for those not convicted of crimes so they are not marginalized. As mayor, I will lead the effort to fight for good jobs for our teens and young adults so that they stay on the right side of the law and out of trouble. And we will help those who have “done their time” so that they do not become repeat offenders.