Crime, Economy Top Concerns for Metro Atlanta Residents

Dave Williams

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

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Crime and the economy are the most pressing concerns for the Atlanta region, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) reported in an annual survey released Friday.

Crime topped the 2023 Metro Atlanta Speaks survey, with 27% of respondents identifying it as the biggest challenge facing the region. The economy was next, with 24% identifying it as the biggest challenge, followed by transportation at 11%.

“Residents in metro Atlanta, like the rest of the country, have been through a lot in the past few years,” said Mike Carnathan, senior manager of research and analytics for the ARC. “The pandemic upended our lives, inflation has taken a toll on people’s pocketbooks, and housing prices have soared.”

The results of the annual survey were released in conjunction with the ARC’s annual State of the Region breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Despite the concerns respondents raised in the survey, metro Atlanta’s growth is keeping the region’s economy competitive, ARC Executive Director & CEO Anna Roach told a ballroom full of the region’s political and business leaders.

Roach cited statistics showing the 11-county Atlanta region has gained 90,000 new jobs during the past year and 66,000 new residents.

“Our economic growth continues to draw people to our region,” she said.

Keynote speaker and former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, now serving as the Biden administration’s point man for infrastructure, highlighted legislation Congress has passed since the president took office to help the nation rebound from the pandemic, including the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“The invest in America agenda is the heart of Bidenomics, and it’s working,” he said.

Landrieu gave a number of examples of government and private investment in infrastructure that is transforming metro Atlanta and Georgia, including last week’s announcement of a $250 million federal grant for a series of grid improvement and clean energy projects and “The Stitch,” a plan to cap a portion of Atlanta’s Downtown and add 14 acres of green space and affordable housing.

“You have a once-in-a-generation opportunity … to rebuild America by rebuilding the South,” Landrieu told the crowd. “You have my word. We will do what it takes.”