I have seen up-close the problems and challenges confronting our city. I’ve listened to the frustrations of concerned residents, senior citizens, the jobless, teachers, neighborhood leaders, and young men and women all over Atlanta. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the issues of the small business owner, the neighbor concerned about the safety of their community, the family worried about the quality of the trees and parks and environment in our city, the moms and dads that don’t want to wait in traffic on I-85 or on Peachtree Road so that they can spend more time with their family.
I’ve also had the pleasure of experiencing the hope and optimism of public service as I've witnessed the previously incarcerated citizen excited about his new job, the teenage mother who thought her life was over comforted by a worker that provided her with the belief she could still go to college and have a career, the grieving friend or parent find the strength to keep moving forward. I’ve seen friends with disabilities overcome incredible odds to achieve their professional pursuits. As a federal prosecutor, a policy advisor and the leader of Atlanta’s workforce agency, I’ve seen the challenges and I’ve seen the promise.
I have seen the potential in unexpected and often overlooked places.
Everyone deserves to be heard, to be treated fairly and to have public officials who give you their best and are willing to work hard for you. We deserve to look forward without leaving anyone behind. We deserve a city that considers everyone.
Throughout the next few months, I will be coming to meet you, to hear your concerns, to hear your ideas on ways that we can build a future for everyone in Atlanta. Whether you are fortunate enough to have all your needs met or you are struggling to make it day to day, I am putting together a plan where we can help each other, thrive and grow together and be proud to call this great city home.
You can also share the ideas and the issues concerning you right here. Send them in, and my team and I will review your submissions, respond to your feedback and it will help ensure that we put together a plan with as many thoughts from everyone in Atlanta. I believe this is an opportunity for real change in our city, and with your help we can make real change happen. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Michael will draw on his years of experience as a federal prosecutor to work with law enforcement on smarter ways to tackle crime. He'll look at developing a larger public safety team that includes essential services and programs that have proven to reduce crime and increase neighborhood safety. He'll tackle crime from a broader perspective with a keen understanding rooted from his years working in and with state, federal and local law enforcement.
Michael will invest in more job training and educational attainment for residents. He will work with Atlanta's business community to solve the skills gap for middle skill jobs which will in turn give more residents opportunities to earn a middle class wage, while simultaneously growing the city’s economy by providing businesses with the human capital they need to thrive.
Michael will conduct a street by street study to re-engineer areas of severe choke points so that in-city traffic on our most congested areas during our most congested times can move more rapidly. He will call upon our research institutions like Georgia Tech to help develop methodologies that allow for easier flow of inner city traffic. He will work with the development community to create more walkable urban areas throughout the City of Atlanta. Michael will add a traffic response team that can immediately react to high volume backups and incidents in the city that cause traffic congestion.
Michael will work with APS to deliver quality universal early childhood/pre-k education for every student in the city. He will also work in coordination with APS by having an education liaison team to actively engage with local schools and communities to tackle relevant neighborhood issues outside of the classroom that impact student performance inside the classroom.
Michael will invest in small businesses and start-ups through Invest Atlanta. He will develop a venture capital fund utilizing the city’s economic development arm that provides access to capital and necessary resources for tech start-ups and other new small businesses. Incentives for businesses that are grown and committed to staying in Atlanta will also be created as well as investing in technology and innovation.
With assistance from some of the city’s creative citizens, Michael will encourage the transformation of some of Atlanta’s most troubled neighborhoods through the arts. This will impact economic growth, education, and affordable housing.