DeKalb County hosted hundreds of county leaders to discuss urban planning challenges and solutions

Gené Hunter
Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

(ATLANTA, Ga.) Over 200 county officials across the country gathered in DeKalb County for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) and NACo Board meetings.

The meeting took place Thursday and Friday and guests were welcomed by NACo President Larry Johnson and were going to discuss different ways counties were well-equipped to handle any circumstances or challenges that were presented.

“Our goal is to make sure our counties are well-equipped and able to handle anything that comes your way, we just want to give you some extra tools,” Johnson told the attendees.

County officials heard from experts on topics like infant mortality and prenatal care, DEI efforts, homelessness and American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“We’re pleased to see you all in person after the dark days of the pandemic,” said John O’Grady, LUCC chair and Franklin County, Ohio commissioner.

On Wednesday, prior to the meeting, county officials got a chance to tour a new counseling center and a shopping center that helps launch Black entrepreneurial businesses, also known as the New Black Wall Street Market located near the Stonecrest Mall.

In addition to visiting the shopping center, three busloads of NACo members also visited CHRIS 180, a nonprofit that counsels young people who have suffered trauma in their lives. The nonprofit center partnered with DeKalb County and others to create the multi-million dollar center, which includes housing for foster children.

County leaders spoke with one another to discuss various programs that were working in DeKalb County as well as other locations and created strategies that they could implement in their own cities.

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