ATLANTA – An emboldened and buoyant Mayor Kasim Reed boasted of the city’s economic surge bolstered, in part, by multiple transcontinental corporations’ relocation to Atlanta — Mercedes Benz and Porsche being the most celebrated — as well as new milestones at the world’s busiest airport during his sixth annual State of the City address at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Reed illuminated Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport becoming the first airport in the world to serve more than 100 million passengers in one year. The Coca-Cola Company sponsored this year’s breakfast, with Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America, served as host.
“By any measure – citizens’ safety, financial strength, the rate at which we’re attracting businesses – we have accomplished as much as any administration in 40 years,” said Reed. “After every milestone, after every success, we turned to the next challenge. We’ve turned back in to the fire and kept pushing. Because we’ve pushed together, we’ve known success together.”
In 2015, 13 businesses chose to relocate their headquarters or make significant corporate expansions in the City of Atlanta. Invest Atlanta, the City’s development agency, created more than 10,000 new jobs within the city limits. Mayor Reed passed his sixth consecutive balanced budget with no property tax increases, earned seven consecutive credit rating increases and secured $150 million in cash reserves. Additionally, the city reached a peak of $2.9 billion in new building and construction permits, the highest in city history.
In his address, Mayor Reed focused on four priority areas for building a more inclusive, equitable economy in the City of Atlanta:
- utilizing technology and responding to global challenges to build the economy of the future, including addressing global climate change through clean energy and electric vehicle fleet programs, and welcoming immigrants and foreign-born residents with the Welcoming Atlanta initiative;
- expanding access to higher education;
- strengthening neighborhoods through inclusionary zoning and affordable housing policies, including calling on partners like Fulton County to require affordable housing in any publicly-funded development; and
- supporting Atlanta’s families through the new Comprehensive Center for Fathers, and by becoming the State of Georgia’s first government to offer six weeks paid parental leave for primary caregivers.
“The Reverend C.T. Vivian once said that each great achievement deserves another great achievement. That’s why we have such great plans for this city this year, building on all that has been accomplished. That’s why we have no plans to stop. Today, I ask the City of Atlanta to stay with me as we keep moving forward. Let’s go, together,” Mayor Reed added.
Mayor Reed’s remarks are available at: http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=1279.