On March 28, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens will deliver his “State of the City” address. The annual address provides citizens updates on how the city is fairing, policies, and plans for the future.
Although Dickens has yet to reveal plans on what he will discuss, there are several key issues that should be addressed in the speech.
Several days ago, Mayor Dickens posted stats that suggested crime was down in Atlanta. “These clear stats tell one story, but I also think about the families that don’t have to grieve and the reduction of trauma and pain that a reduction in violence brings,” Dickens wrote. Since 2017, overall crimes in Atlanta have decreased. However, the city continues to work on ways to decrease youth violence following a shooting that occurred on Nov. 28, 2022, that claimed the life of 12-year-old, Zyion Charles. City officials have called on a curfew for kids under 17-years-old. Dickens should address the plans to maintain safety.
There are several factors that have led to less affordable housing in Atlanta. For the past few years, corporations have bought homes by the bulk in Atlanta, leading to higher rents and lower inventory for potential homebuyers. A housing boom also led to increase prices across the city and metro Atlanta area. Although the real estate market has cooled a bit, housing in Atlanta is still relatively high in areas that provide good schools, adequate food options, and entertainment. In February, it was announced that the city of Atlanta sent back $10 million to the federal government that was to be used for affordable housing. Many Atlanta citizens were upset, but Atlanta Chief Financial Officer Mohamed Balla said the city distributed over $50 million of the funds and helped roughly 12,000 households since 2020.
When it comes to jobs, the entire state of Georgia continues to thrive. At the start of 2023, over 16,000 jobs were aded and unemployment is historically low at 3.1%. Dickens should speak on plans to keep the job market strong as the Feds continue to hike interest rates that could lead to uncertainty in the banking industry.