Mayor Kasim Reed announced four Commitments to Action which will spur economic development and job growth, create sustainable greenspace and provide financial services in West Atlanta at the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting, held in Atlanta this week. CGI CEO Bob Harrison joined Mayor Reed for the announcement, along with some of Atlanta’s leading civic and business organizations, including The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Atlanta-based Equifax.
“It is my privilege to announce these new Commitments to Action with our partners, including a $2.5 million challenge grant to fund Mims Park, along with projects to create jobs, reduce poverty and unemployment, increase financial literacy, boost energy efficiency and expand greenspace,” said Mayor Reed. “These new projects are a direct benefit of the Clinton Global Initiative America hosting its annual meeting in the City of Atlanta.”
Mims Park, a newly-constructed greenspace which will serve as a catalyst for economic development on the Westside. To fund design and construction, the Trust for Public Land recently secured $2.5 million in funding from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in the form of two separate challenge grants: The Trust for Public Land received $250,000 and will secure another $450,000 when an equal amount in private matching funds is raised. The remaining $1.8 million will be secured at the completion of the campaign. The City of Atlanta will provide $18.5 million in funding.
The City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with The Trust for Public Land, will update previous plans for the 16-acre park developed by the National Monuments Foundation. The Trust for Public Land has selected a national landscape architecture firm, and has begun community engagement events which will ensure that residents’ input is incorporated in the planning and design for the new park. In addition, City of Atlanta will carry out important environmental remediation work, and will fund and manage the design and construction of a stormwater retention pond which will help address historic flooding concerns.
Boone Park West, a collaborative effort between Park Pride, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and several other organizations to transform several blighted urban lots into sustainable new public space. The centerpiece of the new park will be an infrastructure component designed by the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, which will be able to capture and clean 35,000 cubic feet of stormwater runoff from local neighborhoods. The new park will be designed through a community-inclusive process.
Construction Ready: Putting Atlantans to Work, a collaboration between the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, the Center for Working Families Inc., Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Atlanta Career/Rise, United Way, Georgia Ready Mix Concrete Association and HB NEXT. The program will provide construction and ready mix driver training to more than 250 residents in Atlanta communities south of Interstate 20. The initiative will target participants from communities where more than 20 percent of the population is unemployed, who will receive full-time, living-wage employment over the next three years. Of the 250 metro Atlanta residents, the program aims to serve 150 formerly incarcerated individuals, and increase the participation of women in the program from 10 percent to 15 percent.
Westside Financial Capability Center, a commitment by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to provide access to affordable financial services to the 44 percent of residents living below the poverty line in local neighborhoods. The center will open its doors in early 2017 in West Atlanta with $450,000 in funding committed by Equifax. It will provide financial counseling as well as checking and savings accounts and payday alternative loans.
For more information about the Clinton Global Initiative, visit www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative.