Atlanta is “one city with one bright future,” Mayor Andre Dicken told the region’s top business leaders, lawmakers, and dignitaries Monday at his first State of the City address.
“The state of our city is strong,” Dickens said at the early morning business breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center. “We are — and will continue to be — one city with one bright future. Together.”
During his 37-minute speech, Dickens credited state lawmakers with helping keep the city intact — referring to the defeat of the Buckhead city movement — and promised to beef up public safety and steer more dollars to early childhood education.
He recapped his activities over his first three months in office. City services were “experiencing the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic when he took office, DIckens said, with hundreds of city workers out sick and three sanitation services down, while City Hall was not open to the public.
But the public works, watershed, transportation and public safety departments “stayed the course,” he said. “To meet the moment, we hired contractors, raised our vaccination rates, and outsourced services where it made sense.”
I am proud to report today that City Hall is open. We’ve lifted the indoor mask mandate. All of our city services are up and running again and we are determined to keep our city safe and clean.”
Shortly after being sworn in, Dickens said he set out to talk to constituents, business owners and residents.
“One thing is consistent. People love this city but the need to supercharge some of our services was apparent,” he told the audience which included his predecessors, former mayors Andrew Young, Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Shirley Franklin. Franklin also is Dickens’ mentor.
His vision for the city includes “safe, healthy, connected neighborhoods with an expansive culture of equity. empowering upward mobility, and full participation for all residents, embracing youth development, and an innovative, dependable government moving Atlanta forward — together. ”
Here’s how Dickens intends to achieve that vision: