Mar 25, 2024 - Politics

3 big issues Andre Dickens could address in his State of the City

Photo illustration of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens with lines radiating from him.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Moses Robinson/Getty Images

Atlanta's civic and corporate heavyweights will pack the Woodruff Arts Center this morning to hear Mayor Andre Dickens' take on where the city's going.

Why it matters: The annual State of the City gives Dickens, who plans to seek re-election next year, a chance to speak directly to some of Atlanta's most influential people.

Here are three big issues Dickens could address this AM:

Beltline rail: Dickens will be the decision-maker in a pivotal moment in Atlanta's history and future: building rail transit on the popular Eastside Trail.

  • Two vocal groups — mostly developers and residents along the trail in opposition, and transit advocates in passionate support — want opposite outcomes.
  • The project's design stage is in full swing. But Dickens' support over the past year has morphed from full-throated to … less so. The two groups want to know where the mayor stands.

Housing: The mayor pledged to create or preserve 20,000 affordable housing units by 2030. Most recently, the city opened a shipping container community in South Downtown to rehouse people experiencing homelessness.

  • They're also planning to convert a downtown skyscraper into affordable housing and build more than 2,000 more units at Bowen Homes, Murphy Crossing and more.

"Stop Cop City": Large-scale protests have died down, and a referendum to decide the public safety training center's future is crawling through courts.

  • The mayor, however, has continued to voice his support for the $110 million project that motivated progressive activists to protest and sue — and created a rare consensus between city and state officials.
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