Axios Atlanta

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πŸ‘‹ Monday here. Let's start the week.

Today's weather: Mostly sunny. High of 81.

Situational awareness: The Atlanta City Council's budget briefing process starts Wednesday, May 1, with an overview of the city's finances.

Today's newsletter is 910 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Atlanta kids need more opportunities

Credit: Jared Whalen, Alice Feng/Axios Visuals

A new analysis illustrates how metro areas like Atlanta can be economic powerhouses while significant childhood opportunity gaps remain in their communities.

Why it matters: Childhood opportunity significantly influences a person's life, factoring into educational and career progress, life expectancy and more.

How it works: The Child Opportunity Index, from the DiversityDataKids.org project at Brandeis University, seeks to quantify the opportunity afforded to each child based on several factors tied to where they live, including education, health, environment and socioeconomics.

  • Based on those factors, the report assigns a score of 1 to 100 to each census tract, with 1 representing the least childhood opportunity and 100 the most.

By the numbers: According to the index, Black children living in Atlanta have a score that's 37 points below white children. For Hispanic children, it's 34 points below.

Zoom in: Suburban neighborhoods, like Roswell, Johns Creek and Alpharetta, have very high zones of opportunity compared to southern metro Atlanta neighborhoods, save for Fayette County.

  • Neighborhoods near Meriwether County, where 17% of the population lives in poverty, have some of the lowest scores in the metro region.

Zoom out: Augusta has one of the lowest opportunity scores.

Flashback: In 2013, researchers from Harvard and UC-Berkeley, released a landmark study that found a child born into a low-income household in Atlanta had a less than 4% chance of escaping poverty in their lifetime.

  • The study helped contextualize Atlanta's deep socioeconomic disparities that had been long visible in the city and growing in the suburbs.
  • It also underscored a painful truth: Atlanta might be economically thriving, but too many families were trapped in generational poverty.

What they're saying: "These inequities ... are neither natural nor random," Brandeis professor and report author Dolores Acevedo-Garcia said in a statement.

  • "They're driven by systemic inequities, such as high segregation and policies that enable opportunity hoarding."

Explore the interactive metro map and data

2. Early voting 101

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Here's what you need to know as early voting begins today for primary races across Georgia ahead of the May 21 elections.

Why it matters: Georgia has hundreds of candidates in congressional primaries and nonpartisan elections β€” including for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat.

πŸ—“οΈ By the dates:

  • April 29 through May 17: early voting
  • May 4 and 11: Saturday voting
  • May 21: Election Day
  • June 18: runoff elections, if necessary

What's new: A 2023 law requires Georgia employers to give employees two hours of leave to vote during early voting or Election Day.

What's inside: Democratic and Republican primary voters will also see eight non-binding ballot questions designed to gauge public opinion on different issues and policies.

  • One of the Democratic questions asks if Georgia should raise the minimum wage to a living wage.
  • One of the Republican questions asks if public officials who condone illegal immigration should be held responsible for crimes committed by those immigrants.
  • Counties may also have additional ballot questions based on local priorities.

If you go: Visit the Georgia Secretary of State website to find your polling location.

  • Georgia requires photo identification when voting. Here's the full list of valid IDs for in-person and absentee voting.

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3. Powered by coffee

Data: National Coffee Association; Note: Polling was conducted in January; Chart: Axios Visuals

We Southerners really love our coffee.

Driving the brews: 66% of adults in the South drank coffee in the past day, up from 60% in 2020, according to a recent National Coffee Association survey.

The big picture: Nationally, daily coffee drinking among U.S. adults is at 67%, a high of more than 20 years, NCA polling shows.

  • In 2004 when NCA began tracking national data, less than half of adults had coffee in the past day nationwide.

Between the lines: Although drip coffee is the most popular way to prepare coffee, consumption of espresso-based beverages has grown nationally.

  • Lattes are the most popular β€” 18% of American adults drank one in the past week β€” followed by espresso shots and cappuccinos, NCA says.

If you're looking for a place to work with a cup of Joe, check out our list of the best coffee shops to work from around Atlanta.

Kristal's thought bubble: I normally drink English breakfast tea but occasionally indulge in a latte or espresso shots. Traditional ground coffee is a no-go for me.

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that 66% of adults in the South drank coffee in the past day, up from 60% in 2020 (not up 6% from 2020).

4. πŸ”‘ 3 Atlanta hotels earn Michelin "Keys"

The Clermont Hotel in 2020 in Atlanta. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The Michelin Guide released a new ranking of the best hotels nationwide, including several Atlanta destinations.

Why it matters: Michelin provides coveted stars to restaurants, but this is the first time honoring hotels and resorts with high standards and unique qualities.

Zoom in: Accolades for hotels range from one to three "Keys," with three being the best. Three Atlanta hotels received a One Key classification.

The intrigue: Of the 11 hotels Michelin awarded the Three Key distinction, all are in California or New York.

What we're watching: How these new awards will affect booking prices.

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Empower our community

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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Why it's important: The generosity of our members supports our newsroom as we work on the daily newsletter.

What's in it for you: Insider notes from the local reporters and other perks.

Thank you for trusting us.

5. Five-ish Points: R.I.P., Rico Wade

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

πŸ•―οΈ Michael "Killer Mike" Render, 2 Chainz and others paid tribute on Friday to Rico Wade, the Organized Noize producer who died earlier this month. (AJC)

πŸŽ₯ Atlanta bids to woo the Sundance Film Festival when the high-profile film event exits Park City, Utah. (AJC)

πŸ‘ Three teams compete to take over the long-vacant Grant Park Gateway building. (Urbanize)

πŸ˜• QuikTrip is closing its Midtown retail-only store partly due to crime concerns. (WSB)

πŸ’‘ Don't forget: Today's the last day to enter the lottery to see the fireflies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Axios)

πŸ€ͺ Kristal did not clean out her refrigerator or freezer. Instead, she took Hannah to the dog park and watered some plants.

πŸ€Έβ€β™€οΈ Thomas wants to know if the "world's largest bounce house" sounds like a parent's dream or nightmare.

🍡 Wil is team tea but has no beef with coffee lovers.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Natasha Danielle Smith and Anjelica Tan.