Atlanta Committee for Progress Releases “Go-Forward Priorities” for City of Atlanta

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The Atlanta Committee for Progress, a partnership between the city’s top business, civic and academic leaders, and the Mayor of Atlanta, released a public policy platform with priorities for the city’s future and recommendations for the next mayoral administration. The overarching goal of the ACP’s recommendations is to accelerate Atlanta’s competitiveness for residents, businesses and investment while expanding economic opportunity for all.
The five “Go Forward” focus areas are: (1) Maintain a financially strong city; (2) Expand economic opportunity for all; (3) Invest in transit connectivity; (4) Strengthen student achievement and (5) Keep Atlanta safe.
The recommendations set specific goals for each focus area, including keeping the city’s general fund reserve balance above 20 percent of the city’s operating budget. Since 2010, the city’s reserves have grown from $7.4 million to more than $175 million under Mayor Kasim Reed’s leadership. The priorities also include an increased focus on public-private partnerships to support workforce development initiatives and career readiness of Atlanta public school students.
“We’re at a critical moment in time in Atlanta’s growth and development,” said Duriya Farooqui, ACP executive director and former chief operating officer of the city of Atlanta. “The city has made tremendous progress under Mayor Shirley Franklin and Mayor Kasim Reed. We must build on that momentum so Atlanta can continue to thrive over the next decade and beyond.”
Created in 2003 by Mayor Franklin, the ACP is an example of what makes Atlanta great: Leaders from across all sectors working together for the common good of the city. The ACP has played a leading role in supporting major initiatives and policies, such as the purchase of the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the creation of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership; the enactment of the city of Atlanta’s pension reform; and the passage of the T-SPLOST.

More recent ACP initiatives include this year’s launch of Engage Ventures, which was first envisioned by Mayor Reed. Engage was founded by 10 leading Atlanta companies, in partnership with Georgia Tech, to support entrepreneurs and generate more high-tech jobs in the city. The go-to-market focused accelerator and venture fund invests in startups selected into the program, connects entrepreneurs with advisors and gives entrepreneurs what they need most — market access and distribution.

“As business leaders, we are deeply committed to helping Atlanta remain a city that attracts new business investment and a talented workforce,” said John Dyer, ACP chairman for 2017 and chief executive officer of Cox Enterprises. “These five focus areas ensure we proactively address issues such as income inequality and lack of access to job training.”