Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the creation of a new city office that would seek to make Atlanta more equitable and inclusive during her “State of the City” address. The May 2 speech reflected on her first 100 days in office, transparency and uniting Atlanta.
“This morning we come together, not as business Atlanta or civic Atlanta, not as a white Atlanta or a black Atlanta, but rather as one Atlanta,” Bottoms said.
The office, the city’s first of its kind, will be called the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, also known as “One Atlanta,” Bottoms said in the speech, which was broadcast live by the city.
“One Atlanta will work to ensure equitable, open and inclusive practices across all city departments and functions. This office will also work to shine light on our forgotten communities and build a bridge towards inclusiveness,” Bottoms said.
Bottoms said that, since becoming mayor, she has spoken with people from all sides of Atlanta and pledged to unite them.
The city will also soon announce a new LGBTQ advisory board to guide to the city’s engagement with LGBTQ residents, she said.
Bottoms addressed transparency initiatives amid the investigations into city practices, including its open records law compliance, procurement department and the bonuses and prize money distributed by former Mayor Kasim Reed to some city staff members.
“We are charging full steam ahead with enacting changes to our ethics policies in the city of Atlanta,” she said.
The mayor has previously announced the expected summer launch of Open Checkbook, an online service that will allow citizens to monitory city spending. Bottoms also noted previously announced also plans to hire a dedicated person to handle open records requests and provide new open records training to employees.
The city is consulting with various leaders and experts on the best way to address transparency challenges and “position Atlanta as a model city for open government and public trust,” Bottoms said.
“What has been broken must be fixed, and we will repair the trust between the people who help make Atlanta work and the people for whom work is being done,” she said.