Atlanta emerging as a nexus to address climate change and global health

Atlanta’s significant role as a center for global health is now well-recognized and appreciated.

But last week, when the Atlanta-based Carter Center hosted the Climate & Health Meeting, it became apparent that our region’s contributions to improving global health must now take into account the growing challenges of climate change.

And Atlanta has an opportunity to become a nexus for expert knowledge and action to address how climate change will impact global health.

Atlanta, Georgia likely to feel brunt of Trump’s anti-trade policies

From its inception, Atlanta has been a hub of transportation, commerce and communication.

Those factors have made Atlanta a center of global commerce – a role that has been boosted by having the world’s busiest airport and one of the world’s largest airlines.

Georgia also is a leader in global commerce and trade – and its presence is growing because of the state’s investment in its Port of Savannah, one of the fastest growing seaports in the country. The state also has numerous international offices established to promote the exports of Georgia products, as diverse as agriculture, poultry and professional services.

As Trump enacts ban on refugees, Atlanta doubles down as a ‘welcoming city’

First in a two-part series

An anti-urban wave is flowing downstream from Washington, D.C. – bringing with it anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-trade policies.

Atlanta is among the major cities in the United States – as evidenced by the protests and the words of its civic leaders – trying to reverse the sentiments of isolationism, protectionism and prejudice.

And Atlanta could be one of the cities that will experience retribution from the administration of President Donald Trump.

Marchers envelop Atlanta’s streets until they are blocked out of state’s ‘Liberty’ Plaza

Atlanta is a city known for peaceful protests and a commitment to civil and human rights.

As evidence of Atlanta’s legacy, Saturday’s March for Social Justice and Women attracted more than 63,000 people to walk from the Center for Civil and Human Rights to the State Capitol.

The peaceful spirit for a more inclusive society was in full force – until the marchers arrived at the State Capitol.

Transit making headway in Georgia and Fulton – with trip to Dallas

Transit in the Atlanta region is gaining traction.

As evidence, an incredible trip took place last Thursday and Friday with the state’s top transportation leaders and officials from Fulton County going to the Dallas region to take a focused look at possible transit options.

That took place two days after Georgia House Speaker David Ralston’s strong support for transit during his comments at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues Breakfast on Jan. 10 – suggesting the state could be more supportive of transit.

Let’s do a better job preserving Atlanta’s past in 2017

The coming of a new year heightens our sensitivity to the changes in our life and our city.

This year marked the last Peach Drop as we know it. Sadly, the rain and the cold dampened the final event held at Underground Atlanta before it is sold to WRS Realty in the near future.

The good news is that the historic structures in and around Underground will be preserved as new buildings are constructed as part of the new development.

But there are so many other landmarks in danger of being demolished during 2017 with Atlanta having a spotty record of preserving its most precious landmarks.

Green infrastructure plan can link Atlanta’s HBCUs with Westside communities

Westside Atlanta represents the rise and fall and the impending revival of a community.

The historic core of the community is the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of historically-black colleges and universities. The consortium of the black colleges began in 1929.

“We were in the business of aspirations and dreams,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College.

Finding hope in people who believe in public spaces and planet Earth

After a brutal presidential campaign and election season, it has been a struggle to envision a brighter future for our nation and our world.

My emotions have vacillated from despair about the future of our planet to concern about the future of our cities to empathy for the millions of people seeking a better life – hoping to find comfort and acceptance in America.

With that backdrop, I attended two distinctly different events last week that helped give me hope for the future.

City of Atlanta still has not turned over property deeds to APS

In a spirit of cooperation, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, announced Feb 4 that he would be turning over 10 disputed property deeds to the Atlanta Public Schools “right away.”

Now 10 months later, the City of Atlanta has yet turn over those deeds.

In an interview Dec. 1, Reed said he has no intention to turn over those deeds unless APS agrees to require buyers to offer affordable housing.

Thinking of my European heritage as we face U.S. elections

As I write this column, on the day before the presidential election, it is without knowing who will be leading our country for the next four years.

A comment I often heard during this election season, often with humor was: “If (fill in the blank) is elected president, I’m leaving the country.”

It just so happens that I’m trying to become a Spanish citizen – a move that speaks more to my heritage than my political beliefs.

AT&T, now seeking merger with Time Warner, could have been based in Atlanta

News of AT&T acquiring Time Warner brought up all these feelings of “cudda, wudda, shudda” for Atlanta.

Not only does Time Warner own the formerly-independent Turner Broadcasting System – including CNN, which is based in Atlanta but controlled from New York.

But Texas-based AT&T acquired the former Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., a move that changed the city’s telecommunications profile forever.