Mayor Kasim Reed Addresses Atlanta’s Business and Civic Leaders at the Annual State of the City Breakfast
February 4, 2015
Mayor Kasim Reed highlighted the City of Atlanta’s banner year in business relocation, business creation and new development today during his annual State of the City Address. Mayor Reed cited Atlanta’s strong fundamentals as the driver for significant gains in public safety, economic development and the city’s financial stability. This year’s breakfast was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. Sandy Douglas, President of Coca-Cola North America, served as host.
“Amid the most difficult financial crisis in over 80 years, we rolled up our sleeves, turned into the fire, and worked through the hardships to set Atlanta on a path to new levels of prosperity,” said Mayor Reed. “We’ve seen a convergence of business relocation, business creation and new development that shows our city is getting stronger and stronger every single day.”
During his speech, Mayor Reed announced new initiatives to strengthen Atlanta’s position as the cultural and economic center of the Southeast. The Administration will introduce legislation to the Atlanta City Council to ensure that women employees of the city receive equal pay for equal work, and a $25 million venture capital fund for local start-ups will be created to support local entrepreneurship. Plans to expand the Atlanta Streetcar to connect to the BeltLine and neighborhoods in South Atlanta, and transform the Bellwood Quarry into a drinking water reservoir surrounded by a public park are in the works.
Mayor Reed also highlighted major accomplishments of his first five years in office which effectively restored the financial foundation of the city and improved the city’s local economy. These included:
- Five years of balanced budgets – with no property tax increases – that resulted in growing the city’s cash reserves from $7.4 million in 2010 to more than $138 million dollars;
- Consistent upgrades to the city’s bond rating by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s;
- Continued development and expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine;
- Expansion of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport with new international terminal;
- Launch of Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative to support and empower women business owners;
- Installation of Google Fiber network throughout Atlanta to provide access to ultra-high-speed internet;
- Creation of Welcoming Atlanta Working Group to foster a welcoming environment for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or place of origin.
“A successful Atlanta is one where everyone shares in Atlanta’s success,” said Mayor Reed. “I believe that Atlanta will not simply lead Georgia or the Southeast, but that Atlanta will lead the United States and then the world.”