Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come out in support of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, saying: “Instead of tearing families apart and using young people as bargaining chips, governments should work together to protect hardworking youth who make our economies and communities stronger, and make meaningful strides in creating a sensible immigration system.” (Photo by Phil Skinner)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opinion: 100 days of progress, and some challenges

As the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, I am committed to enhancing our international status as a global city whose diversity is its biggest asset.

In my first 100 days in office, my administration has moved with urgency to fulfill campaign pledges around critical issues that matter the most to our residents: affordability, education, equity, public safety, mobility and transparency.

We agreed to transfer 51 properties to Atlanta Public Schools so that APS can continue to build a world-class public education system that will serve all our children, no matter what zip code they live in.

We eliminated cash bail for low-level offenders at the Atlanta Detention Center, so people would not have to languish in jail until their court date just because they did not have the money to post bond.

On April 9, we underscored that Atlanta is a city of second chances by announcing an innovative Re-Entry program that will train low-level nonviolent offenders and place them in jobs when their sentences end.

We launched our “Fight the Blight” program, which will actively target and demolish vacant eyesore buildings. “Fight the Blight” will improve our communities, make them safer and allow them to capitalize on economic development opportunities and greenspace expansion.

We also purchased the largest remaining tract of land needed to complete the Atlanta BeltLine. This 4.5 miles of transportation corridor will serve as the backbone of the Southside Trail, linking the east and west sides of our city, while providing our neighborhoods with historic connectivity and quality of life.

I vowed to usher in a new era of transparency at Atlanta City Hall and we are doing just that.

We took a major step toward complete transparency by introducing a new online digital portal, Atlanta’s Open Checkbook, which will shine a light on City budgets, expenditures, salaries and contracts with vendors. We expect it to be completely up and running by early summer.

Atlanta’s Open Checkbook will allow members of the public to easily follow and scrutinize the business of the City. It will give our residents and taxpayers the ability to see how and where their money is being spent.

Transparency promotes accountability, and that is more important than ever in government.

With any new administration, there comes a period of transition and uncertainty. My first 100 days have not been without challenges. We have encountered the kind of unexpected problems that any major city faces.

The cyberattack on our information infrastructure at City Hall is a 21st century wake-up call to the need for greater digital security when it comes to our computer systems.

Through the efforts of our talented employees and the inspiring collaboration of our private partners, I am confident that the City of Atlanta will overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Atlanta is the proud cradle of the Civil Rights movement in America. We will succeed together, because we have always known that we are in this together.

The poet Audre Lorde said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.”

It is a new day, Atlanta. Let us embrace it.

Keisha Lance Bottoms is Atlanta’s mayor.

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