Exclusive: Mayor Andre Dickens Tackles Crime, Affordable Housing, Youth Support During 2024 State Of The City Address

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens delivered his 2024 “State of the City Address.” During his speech, held at the Woodrow Arts Center, Dickens provided insight on Atlanta’s achievements, the issues that most be solved, and the future outlook.

He began his speech by giving stats on Atlanta’s achievements and the metro area being named as the

“All of these things are a testament to our city’s forward momentum,” Dickens said. “Momentum built on choosing what’s best for our Atlanta. We’ve made tremendous strides in public safety with major crimes against people down by over 15% and homicides down by 21% in 2023.”

Dickens also discussed the issue of affordable housing as prices continue to rise to historic numbers.

“The foundation of this change starts with housing,” he said. “If you know me, affordable housing, my love language. We break ground and cut a ribbon on affordable housing developments, sometimes three times in a single week. The folks who need affordable housing are your teachers, your police, and firefighters, your barista that pours our coffee, and our senior citizens. These are neighbors who simply can’t afford a $400,000 home. When it comes to affordable housing, our commitment in Atlanta has never been stronger. And with the help of public, private and nonprofit partners, we’re well on our way to accomplishing our goal with over 9,000 units of housing already built, funded, or currently under development throughout the city of Atlanta.”

While 2023 served as the “year of the youth,” Dickens wants to continue that effort.

“More than 5,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 have gain valuable work experience and life skills during our summer youth employment program,” Dickens said. “On average, participants earn more than $17 per hour for an internship and apprenticeship. Last year, we raised $4 million in scholarships. We also invested $1.5 million in 32 youth organizations and signed up over 700 mentors together. We raised and invested more than $20 million in early childhood education.”

He also discussed future developments such as an MARTA expansion connection the public transit system to the Beltline. And he touched on the FIBA tour which will be a major sporting event in the city in 2026. Dickens ended his speech by stating that Atlanta is a group project.

“My administration has proven that we will go first, we will go often, but we can’t go far alone,” he said. “We are all a part of the group project from the business leaders to the nonprofits, from the pastors to the mentors. We need to continue to make investments in Atlanta this year. We will continue to invest in our neighborhoods. We will continue to build affordable housing. We will continue to fight blight. We will continue to protect our legacy residents. We will continue to fix potholes. And sidewalks we will continue to invest in public safety and transportation. We will make our communities a place that residents can be proud of from the south side to the north side, the east side to the west side for our seniors, minorities, women and you let’s close the tale of two cities in Atlanta. Let’s move the city of Atlanta forward.”

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