Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a continuous effort in partnership with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and local community advocacy groups to curb the recent increase in water sales on Atlanta streets. Water sales and purchases put the safety of both youth and motorists at risk, the mayor said.

The Atlanta Police Department, community advocates, and support groups are engaging youth who are selling water on Atlanta streets to direct them to safer and more beneficial opportunities. APD is dedicating an increased response to areas of heightened concern and will not allow the dangerous activity of any kind – including running out in the street.

“We appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of youth who are selling water to motorists,” Bottoms said. “But we have seen an increase in unsafe and violent activity in some locations and cannot allow it to continue. It’s going to take a village and we are working with our partners to provide outreach and resources to these young people to help them gain access to job opportunities, workforce training, and educational programs.”

Earlier this month, Bottoms issued an Administrative Order to convene an advisory council comprised of community members and partners to develop strategies to help promote youth entrepreneurship within the city of Atlanta.

Bottoms’s administrative order, 2020-21, directs the City’s Chief Operating Officer to convene an advisory council comprised of public agencies, residents, businesses, non-profits, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, and educational institutions that will “recommend strategies for the development of fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of young people throughout the city” and “support the entrepreneurial goals of young water vendors in Atlanta.”

The council, comprised of 15 members from various agencies and organizations throughout Metro Atlanta, and will be co-chaired by James “Jay” Bailey, the president and CEO, Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Atlanta Councilwoman Marci Collier Overstreet; and David “Dave” Payne, the managing director of TechStars Atlanta.

“Our youth, including those who take to the streets to sell water and other goods, has shown us how productive and capable they can be as up and coming entrepreneurs,” Bottoms said then. “This Advisory Council is another step in my Administration’s efforts to provide them with a path forward to succeed in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals.”

The Advisory Council will report its recommendations to Bottoms on July 31.

According to a spokesperson in the Mayor’s Office, the Atlanta Youth Entrepreneurship Advisory Council is one of many programs Bottoms has supported to improve the overall well-being of the City’s youth.

Last summer, Bottoms created the Atlanta Youth Engagement Initiative (AYE!)–an innovative collaboration engaging young people through employment opportunities, professional skills development, and overall health and wellness improvement in the City of Atlanta.

(Photo: Richard Vogel / Associated Press)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms waits to speak at the Atlanta Press Club luncheon, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Andrea Smith)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *