Working with local, state and federal leaders across partisan lines on economic development issues
As the CEO of the City of Atlanta, Mayor Reed has continued the practice, developed during his 11 years as a state representative and state senator in the Georgia General Assembly, of working with elected leaders across party lines on important economic development and transportation initiatives. Living up to a favorite African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others,” Mayor Reed seeks strong collaborations and partnerships to drive economic development for Atlanta, Georgia and the entire Southeast region. He has worked closely with the White House and key leaders in President Barack Obama’s administration to bring more than $200 million in federal funding to Atlanta since taking office. Mayor Reed’s collaborative approach helped Atlanta win a 13-year extension of its federally-mandated water and sewer consent decree, a decision that stabilizes rates for residents and business owners.
Championing regional and state initiatives, such as the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project
Mayor Reed has taken a leading role in working with state, federal and White House officials on the deepening of the Port of Savannah, the fastest-growing and fourth-largest U.S. container port on the Eastern seaboard. Mayor Reed has long been a strong advocate of the deepening of the port. He traveled to Washington D.C. and Savannah with Governor Deal to meet with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to discuss the importance of the project. LaHood, who once said that Georgia needed to get its act together on transportation, praised the two leaders for putting aside partisan difference to work cooperatively on the port. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 295,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $15.5 billion in income, $61.7 billion in revenue and $2.6 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.6 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.4 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in 2010.
Envisioning metropolitan Atlanta as the logistics hub of the Western Hemisphere
Mayor Reed, a strong proponent of both the deepening of the Port of Savannah and increasing air cargo capabilities at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, envisions the metropolitan Atlanta region as the “logistics hub of the Western hemisphere.” That vision fuels his inspiring vision of linking the state’s two most important logistics hubs by high-speed rail. High-speed rail between Atlanta and Savannah would strike a powerful blow to the critique that there are “Two Georgias.” Mayor Reed’s idea dares us to think and prepare for a future with multiple economic centers within the state.
Serving as Atlanta’s Ambassador to the nation and world
Mayor Reed has served as Atlanta’s Ambassador to the nation and the world over the past three years. He has been a frequent guest on Meet the Press and on MSNBC, CNN, FOX and CNBC. He has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and Black Enterprise. Mayor Reed also has been a guest speaker and panelist at numerous national and international conferences, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, New York Ideas, New Cities Summit, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America and the Gathering of Leaders. In September 2012, he was named the 6th most influential African-American in the nation by The Root, a publication of the Washington Post Company. He received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators in June 2012. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington D.C. honored him in May 2012 with the Louis E. Martin Great American Award, saying he “heralds a new and creative approach to leadership.” Governing Magazine named Mayor Reed as one of the top state and local government officials of the year in November 2011. And Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times columnist and author of That Used to Be Us, called Reed “inspiring” and labeled him as “one of the best of this new breed of leaders.
Planning for a better, stronger future
Mayor Reed’s bold vision for the City of Atlanta heralds fresh thinking, progressive ideas and strategic decisions with a focus on shaping the future of the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia and adopting what President Clinton describes as being in “the future business.” To that end, Mayor Reed refuses to shy away from hard decisions and is planning for the city’s success over the next 20, 30 and 40 years. Future generation of leaders will inherit a safe city on a solid fiscal foundation with strong infrastructure and inspired, hopeful citizens.