Spring is just around the corner. It’s the time of year that truly makes Atlanta special: Festivals, 5k races, and the first pitch at Turner Field. People are feeling renewed and happy to shed winter’s heavy overcoat. And when you head outdoors, take notice.
Exciting things are happening in our city - right before our eyes. The past year heralded in with the opening of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the College Football Hall of Fame. Add to that, Ponce City Market in Midtown Atlanta that will soon open its doors to new businesses and residents who are choosing to make this great city their home.
Yes, amid the most difficult financial crisis in over 80 years, we are witnessing a convergence of business relocation, business creation, and new development that shows our city is getting stronger every single day. This rebirth in development doesn’t simply boost our economy, but our safety as well. As blight is transformed into buildings, lagging areas are transformed into leading ones.
If you want to get a look at revitalization in the making, hop on the new Atlanta Street Car. At every stop along the 2.7 mile route, you will see how over $300 million in development has infused new life in Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods. Sweet Auburn, Edgewood, and the Old Fourth Ward are all sharing in the prosperity that comes with being connected to the 45 million people who visited our great city last year.
Look around and you will see, or you may even hear the whispers, “wow, there is a lot going on in Atlanta!” In 2017, the 1.4 billion dollar Atlanta Falcons stadium will be completed. In tandem with the construction of the state of the art football stadium, I, along with the Atlanta Committee for Progress, launched the Westside Future Fund with a purpose to attract investment in the neighborhoods that surround the new stadium.
The construction of Atlanta Beltline’s new Westside Trail on Atlanta’s Southside is underway, and at Fort McPherson, Tyler Perry will build his new film studio, bringing new vitality and hundreds of high quality jobs to South Atlanta. And with the many jobs that are being created by new development, I want to ensure that women are given equal opportunities. To that end, the Atlanta City Council has signed into legislation that all women employees of the City receive equal pay for equal work. Atlanta will lead the nation by example. Our city will be a place where working families can earn a decent living.
Everyday companies are discovering what makes Atlanta a thriving, vibrant, diverse, and global city. Our city is a leader in welcoming immigrants. Atlanta has the second-fastest growing foreign born population in the United States by percentage. This is why I’ve committed Atlanta to lead the charge on immigration – joining the Welcoming America Initiative, and being a vocal supporter of federal action in this realm.
Yes, the season is changing. The pulse and energy of the city, and that of the people who call Atlanta home, is at an all-time high. As Mayor of Atlanta, I have one message: to anyone who has a dream of building a better life, Atlanta is the place where you can bring and build your dreams.
Mayor Kasim Reed