A Prosperous City
As Atlanta’s next mayor I will always be laser-focused on creating and bringing good-paying jobs to the city. The city has a variety of assets to attract investment and we must use them all to be a prosperous city. As I have done for the past 10 years as Fulton County Chairman, we will keep Atlanta as the top economy in the Southeastern United States.
In the Mayor Eaves Administration, Atlanta will be the beacon of hope and innovation that other cities around the country look to as a model. We will grow our contingent of Fortune 500 companies, adding to the nearly 20, that currently make metro Atlanta home. But it’s not enough just to help the big corporations; we must make sure we help small business owners too.
The Office of the Mayor and other city agencies will aid startups by helping attract venture-capital investment in local projects and in our emerging entrepreneurs. And we will not forget about or leave out the “least of these.” The gap between the haves and have nots must be closed—and I will close that gap.
We cannot prosper unless we can move people and goods throughout the city efficiently and effectively. The first order of business is to eliminate gridlock and improve our transportation system. The Eaves Administration will invest in roads and bridges; add bicycle lanes and sidewalks; and of course, support MARTA’s continued expansion both inside the city and throughout the Atlanta Region. We will not wait until the next overpass collapses to act. “A stich in time saves nine”—and saves lives.
The city has a collection of tools at its disposal to attract investment, including Community Improvement Districts (CIDs); Tax Allocation Districts (TADs); Housing Opportunity Bonds, as well as the city’s development authority, called Invest Atlanta. I will make job growth a top priority of my administration. I will also support using Atlanta’s technical colleges and the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency to make sure our residents have the skills they need to get and keep good-paying jobs.
Another critical element to our prosperity is education. We must have first-rate, safe, public and private schools. Atlanta’s graduation rate hovers around 70 percent, well below the state overage of 79 percent. The result? Hundreds of children are falling through the cracks every year. Working with our schools and their leaders, we will create programs to turn this around. I envision impactful afterschool/community programs, including a project by which we partner with students during their freshman year of high school to map out their future whether that means college, the military or entering the workforce.
ECONOMIC DISPARITY REDUCTION
Atlanta’s prosperity cannot and should not leave any of our residents behind. Gentrification is real and we must put an end to economic disparity. We will find a way—or make one—to ensure that residents in transitional neighborhoods are not forced out as neighborhoods redevelop and grow and property values increase.