WHAT’S HAPPENING

Before acknowledging the high-profile VIP’s in the room and before diving into a very long list of accomplishments at her State of the City speech, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took a moment Thursday to give a special shout-out to her kindergarten teacher from Collier Heights Elementary School – Miss Hall.

To those who know the Mayor, it was not surprising. Education and its impact on communities have long been part of Mayor Bottoms’ core principles for success.

Then, promising the crowd at the Georgia World Congress Center that “the best is yet to come,” Mayor Bottoms enumerated some of her own successes in her address. Among the highlights:

• Raised police pay by an unprecedented 30-percent
• Announced the City’s first dedicated Department of Transportation to deal head-on with traffic
• Created the Open Checkbook portal to increase the City’s financial transparency
• Established the Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust
• Raised 100-million dollars in public funds for thousands of affordable housing units
• Completed the Gulch development deal – the City’s biggest in half a century

Mayor Bottoms also made it clear that Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is fine just where it is – in the hands of the City – noting HJI’s continuing status as the world’s busiest airport and its 16 consecutive years as the world’s most efficient airport.

The Mayor also let State leaders know that the City wishes to continue its friendly alliance with lawmakers under the Gold Dome but added that when it comes to oversight of the airport – “You can’t ‘BEST’ the ‘BEST.’”

In addition to hiring a Chief Housing Officer to expedite the creation of affordable housing and a Senior Fellow to fight human trafficking in Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms also told the audience that she will create a new Chief Health Officer to come up with ways to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Mayor wore a shirt beneath her red suit that read “She believed she could and so she did.” Calling it her personal mantra, the Mayor said it also spoke to the spirit of One Atlanta, her vision and unbreakable commitment for a City that leaves no one behind.

To read the Mayor’s speech, click the link.