Atlanta is currently in the bidding process to serve as an official host city of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Twenty-three cities across North America were submitted as a part of the successful 2026 United Bid, but likely only 16 cities – 10 in the United States, three in Canada, and three in Mexico – will be selected by FIFA as host cities.  “Atlanta offers the best that any city can offer—rich culture and diversity, support of human rights issues and a history of successfully hosting national and international events – which makes the city a natural place to host the FIFA World Cup,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

A program offering rent and utility payment help to lower- and middle-income Atlanta residents affected by the pandemic now will help with mortgage payments as well. And the benefits have been boosted from $3,000 to $5,000. The joint program from the city and the United Way of Greater Atlanta was announced in August and is based on a $22 million fund. It was originally announced as targeted at residents making 60% or less of the area median income prior to March 1. But now the website says it applies to those currently making up to 80% of AMI. As examples, that means income of $46,320 a year for a single renter or $57,900 for a single homeowner; and up to $66,160 a year for a four-person renter household or up to $82,700 a year for a four-person homeowner household. Those applying for the money will have to provide documentation about their identity, their income, their loss of income caused by the pandemic, and the amount needed based on past-due bills. With the increase in benefits, the city said in a press release that prior applicants are encouraged to reapply. The program must approve all applications by Dec. 30, so people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For more information, see relief.uwga.org, call 211 or text “C19-ERA.”

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has created the city’s first-ever Director of LGBTQ Affairs position and has appointed additional members to the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. Atlanta is among only a handful of cities in the country to establish a full-time position that advises the Mayor and senior City Officials. The City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator, Malik Brown, will now serve as Director of LGBTQ Affairs. Brown will work with and advise the Mayor and City departments on policies, programs and initiatives affecting LGBTQ residents, City employees and visitors, including cultural humility training. Brown, a lifelong Atlanta resident, is an established LGBTQ advocate and an Executive Committee member of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Board of Governors, the largest LGBTQ advocacy organization in the country. For more information on the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and to see the list of new members, visit ATLGBTQ.atlantaga.gov/board.