City Council members release statements following Special Called Meeting

Atlanta City Council members release statements following Special Called Meeting

ATLANTA — Atlanta City Council members released the following statements after Saturday’s special called meeting to consider and adopt the budget (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1260).

Michael Julian Bond – Post 1 At-Large

On adopting the budget with no tax millage rate increase:
“It’s a testament to the Council and our staff that once again our millage rate is staying steady in the budget. This year was a very different process, but there’s a clear recognition that we should not have an increase. Each year for the past decade, we haven’t raised the tax rate. That’s different than our counterparts on the School Board and Fulton County. We’re always looking at ways that we can do things better and maintain our financial strength without having to go up on our millage rate. I applaud our decision to keep it steady. This budget continues our investments in the community and moves us forward.”

Joyce Sheperd – District 12

On approving the budget amendment increasing Atlanta Citizen Review Board funding:
“Increasing funding for the Citizen Review Board is critical at this major point and time. We have to provide increased education to our citizens on the role that the board provides to citizens who feel that their rights have been violated by the police. This funding is an increase of staff for community outreach, marketing, training, community liaison/public affairs officer, resolution reviewer and more. This funding of $427,000 is critical and very much needed as we work to make sure we are supporting our citizens.”

Amir Farokhi – District 2

On approving the budget amendment to expand the Pre-Arrest Diversion (PAD) Initiative:
“Today, we unanimously moved $1.5 million out of our jail funds towards a program expressly designed to keep people out of jail. The citywide expansion of the Pre-Arrest Diversion (PAD) program is a powerful statement that we can change how we approach public safety in Atlanta. PAD substitutes care for arrests by using social and behavioral expert intervention. Its expansion reflects the commitment of the Mayor and Council toward a more humane public safety approach in complement to our police department.”

Antonio Brown – District 3

On approving the budget amendment to expand the Pre-Arrest Diversion (PAD) Initiative:
“It’s clear we need a significant and definitive culture shift when it comes to public safety. We have a lot of work ahead as we fundamentally reimagine what public safety means in our community, and PAD is a much-needed step. It will reduce the number of people unnecessarily going into the criminal justice system and connect people with social programs so that they can receive the help they need.”

Matt Westmoreland – Post 2 At-Large

On approving the budget amendment to launch an Equitable Growth Grant program:
“Atlanta has the widest income inequality gap and lowest social mobility rate in the country. Every resident deserves the opportunity for a job that pays a living wage. Our focus on creating and attracting high-quality, middle-wage jobs is critical to the social and economic health of our city.”

About Atlanta City Council
The Atlanta City Council is the chief policy-making body for the City of Atlanta. It acts by considering and enacting all laws that govern the City. The council also approves the operating and capital budgets for the City as recommended by the mayor, and it continually monitors revenues and expenditures for local government operations. The Atlanta City Council reviews and has final say on many land-use and zoning matters. Major economic development projects for the City also fall under the council’s consideration.

The Atlanta City Council is comprised of 12 districts and three at-large posts. Council representatives include: Council President: Felicia A. Moore; District 1: Carla Smith; District 2: Amir Farokhi; District 3: Antonio Brown; District 4: Cleta Winslow; District 5: Natalyn Mosby Archibong; District 6: Jennifer N. Ide; District 7: Howard Shook; District 8: J.P. Matzigkeit; District 9: Dustin Hillis; District 10: Andrea L. Boone; District 11: Marci Collier Overstreet; District 12: Joyce M. Sheperd; Post 1 At-Large: Michael Julian Bond; Post 2 At-Large: Matt Westmoreland; and Post 3 At-Large: Andre Dickens.

To learn more about the Atlanta City Council, please visit http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/. For the latest updates, follow the Atlanta City Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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