Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens delivered his annual “State of the City” address today. During the speech, Dickens revealed plans to confront the issues of affordable housing, public safety, and the youth.
Here are some of the key highlights from the speech.
Affordable housing continues to be an issue in many areas of Atlanta. Dickens made a point to protect legacy residents by placing a freeze on property taxes for seniors for the the next 20 years. The new pilot program will cover 100 low-income seniors. He also discussed partnering with Tyler Perry to pay the back property taxes for 700 seniors. There are also plans to provide more affordable housing in downtown Atlanta. The city recently purchased a building near Underground Atlanta that will offer affordable housing units.
Addressing crime has been another key issue in Atlanta. Dickens said that the city has over 28,000 cameras that’s used to help solve crimes. He also touched on “Cop City” by saying the facility would be used to help train more police officers.
Dickens spent a significant time addressing youth initiatives saying that he wants Atlanta to be known as “the best place to raise a child.” He announced $20 million in funds for early childhood education. There was also mention of the Helping Empower Youth program that will help the Water Boys (teens who sale water on the street) to receive more opportunities. And with summer approaching, the city is looking to hire over 3,000 work-eligible youth for the Summer Youth Employment Program. Teens would start at a wage of $16.63 an hr.
“I was once a child of Atlanta,” Dickens said. “The leaders who came before me left their mark on this city. I am living proof of their legacy. I’m standing here because of the city they built,” the mayor said before asking what legacy the people in the room would leave behind for the next generation. “In 30 years, these young people will be the leaders of this city. They’ll be sitting in your seats as the CEOs, nonprofit leaders, teachers, senators, governors. And even up here, on this stage, as the mayor.”
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