Blogging regularly on topics from national politics to aging as a baby boomer has made my acquaintance with social media and the Internet a lot smoother than I anticipated. In the very near future, I will launch www.Shirley-Franklin.com.
I am proud of the opportunity I was blessed to have as Atlanta’s mayor and the website will help tell the story of that service. When I left office in 2009, the following was true:
- The city’s budget was balanced, furloughs were over, and City Hall was open 5 days a week
- The city established its first real cash reserve in decades and a formula for calculating future revenue projections that would yield at least $100 million in cash reserves over four years – where it is today
- The implementation of the $3 billion Clean Water program was nationally recognized and more importantly acknowledged for its accomplishment by the presiding federal judge
- The Atlanta Beltline was launched to great fanfare
- Nearly $4 billion in airport upgrades and a new International terminal was financed and under construction
- The Regional Commission on Homelessness was underway and the city and private donors had raised $50 million to tackled chronic homelessness in the city by creating over 2000 new beds and vastly expanding regional cooperation and moving thousands from street and shelters to homes
- Minority and female businesses benefited from record levels of business opportunities throughout government especially in the billions of dollars spent on water and airport infrastructure
- Hundreds of the city’s lowest paid employees had their pay increased to living wage and hundreds of seasonal workers had pay increases and many were made permanent job offers
The majority of the Council and I did what it took to put the city on the course it is today. The city’s finances are faring better today because we took swift action when it was necessary and unpopular.
There are dozens of topics that will be covered on the website starting with the creation of the city’s public art program and the Atlanta Jazz Festival 30 years ago to story behind the acquisition of the Martin Luther King Papers, the development of the Atlanta Beltine and the creation of Office of Sustainability, the Mayors Youth Program, the Regional Commission on Homelessness and much more. Stay tuned.