Wednesday, February 13, 2013

C  I  T  Y    O  F    A  T  L  A  N  T  A

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell praises President Barack Obama for his continued commitment to job creation and other priorities during State of the Union address

ATLANTA – Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell said continued growth in the American economy will take bipartisan support for the economic plan laid out by President Barack Obama during tonight’s State of the Union address.

Council President Mitchell attended this evening’s address as a special guest of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson.

“I am pleased that President Obama focused on one of the most important issues on the minds of Americans, and that’s job creation,” Mitchell said. “Under this administration, we have made tremendous gains in reducing unemployment, but more has to be done to bring our economy back to where we stood prior to the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression. As local, state and national leaders, we must be willing to reach across party lines to accelerate the growth of America’s middle class.”

Mitchell said job creation has been a continued focus in Atlanta.

“President Obama’s plan for keeping our economy on the right track is going to take public and private partnerships that mirror what we have initiated in Atlanta,” Mitchell said.

Since the late 1990s, city leaders have established Tax Allocation Districts that have attracted significant private investment, new businesses and jobs. 

In an effort to boost Atlanta’s local economy by providing more job opportunities for the city’s under and unemployed, the City Council recently required that 50 percent of all entry-level construction jobs created by city contracts be filled with trained residents and apprentices listed in the city’s first source registry, a move that further stimulates the local economy.

“As the President stated, ‘it’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth,’” Mitchell said. “In cities and towns across this nation, if workers are provided with the right opportunities, the American people and our innovative spirit will drive our economy forward in the 21st Century. As does our President, I also believe it is our generation’s task and obligation to reignite what has always been the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.”

Tonight’s State of the Union address also focused on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, education, clean energy and gun violence.

“I am extremely passionate about gun safety,” Mitchell said. “Too many of our young people and criminals are gaining access to guns, and we are beyond the tipping point for addressing the issue. I agree that every American impacted by gun violence deserves a vote in Washington on commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”

As part of a post State of the Union swing through the South, President Obama will visit metro Atlanta on Thursday, February 14 to address pre-kindergarten education.

President Obama touted his support for universal pre-K during his speech Tuesday night.

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime,” he said. “In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own.”

Mitchell agreed with President Obama’s assessment.

“Education, particularly access to early childhood education, is vital to the future success of our youth and our economy,” Mitchell said. “I think Georgia should be proud of the investment we have made in our pre-K programs. As President Obama pointed out, our investment stands as a model for other states to follow.”

Media outlets requesting post-interviews of Council President Mitchell’s reaction to Tuesday’s State of the Union address should contact Mechelle Brown at 404-330-6052 or Dexter Chambers at 404-330-6309 or 404-392-0159.