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Andre Dickens was sworn-in as the 61st Mayor of the City of Atlanta on January 3, 2022.

Andre Dickens was sworn-in as the 61st Mayor of the City of Atlanta on January 3, 2022. That day, Dickens promised to draw circles, not lines; as he promised to be an inclusive mayor for a city that was rife with simmering conflicts. One hundred days later, Dickens is fulfilling his promises to address the lack of affordable housing, rising crime and addressing the lack of equity. 

During his inauguration speech, Dickens identified Atlanta’s opponents as ‘poverty, fear, inequality, violence, hopelessness, and homelessness.’ Dickens was driven to fashion Atlanta as a safe, clean, thriving city.

“When I came into office, I put the City of Atlanta into overdrive to deliver for our residents,” Dickens said. “Thanks to the incredibly hard work of our City employees and our partners throughout Atlanta, we have delivered meaningful investments that will be paying dividends for years to come. And we have made sure that Atlanta has stayed whole. We’re just getting started, and I have so much energy and excitement for what’s in store for our city.”

In his first one hundred days, Dickens showed the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia he could be a peacemaker, a negotiator and a bridge-builder. In a poll obtained by Axios, Dickens’s approval rating is 62%. 

Since Jan. 3, Dickens was able to fight off the secession efforts by Bill White and the Buckhead City Committee to de-annex Buckhead from the City of Atlanta by addressing the crime and safety issues. While doing that, Dickens repaired the fractured relationship between City Hall and the Gold Dome. 

“There are only about 400 steps between the state capitol and City Hall,” Dickens said Jan. 26. “I walked in again today. You know that I don’t mind coming across the street to engage with each of you since the election.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens addresses the assembled Georgia House of Representatives inside the State Capitol on Monday, January 24, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Dickens also announced a plan to create or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing, overseen by the Affordable Housing Strike Force—a one-stop shop to oversee the city’s affordable housing needs. 

“JP Morgan Chase has committed $2.5 million over three years to the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partners to help the dreams of home ownership become a reality for people of color,” Dickens said during his State of the City Address April 4th. “And, Wells Fargo, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, is committing $1.3 million to fund at least one thousand units. Invest Atlanta has secured financing to support nearly 400 units.”

Also, Skyline Apartments is building 250 affordable units in the Peoplestown neighborhood.

Dickens also relaunched Invest Atlanta’s $10M Resurgence Grant Fund to provide financial assistance to small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Dickens announced the historic slate of grant awards totaling $2.3M from Park Pride to fund capital improvements in local parks across the city with nearly 60% benefitting low-income communities.

“This city plays a critical role in driving our state’s economy and we take that role very seriously,” Dickens said. “That makes it all the more imperative that you help us maintain this position by recognizing that as a city, we are stronger together. One city, one city with one bright future. What is good for Atlanta is good for Georgia.”

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...