Entries by Kari Love

Inspire Atlanta: Transforming women’s lives through leadership and philanthropy

By Guest Columnist KARI B. LOVE, CEO of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation

The mission of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls. As a public foundation, our primary role is as a grant-maker, providing financial grants, resources and evaluation support to local nonprofits helping low-income women and girls to break the cycle of poverty. In order to achieve our mission, partners are critical, whether corporate or individual funders.

Re-imagination of State Farm Arena inspired by Atlanta BeltLine

By Guest Columnist THAD SHEELY, chief operating officer of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena

Just over a week ago, Elton John played his farewell tour in the new State Farm Arena, creating a neat symmetry to a weekend nearly 20 years earlier when he performed for the grand opening of Philips Arena in 1999. As both Elton and Atlanta have changed over that time, so too has the arena – that was a different time and a different place.

Republicans, Democrats introduce historic bipartisan climate bill in the House

By Guest Columnists MARK REYNOLDS and FLANNERY WINCHESTER, executive director and communications coordinator, respectively, of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Congress has found a simple, fair and effective solution to get climate change in check. On Nov. 27, a bipartisan group of five representatives introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. An additional Republican co-sponsor has since joined the bill. This bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives will put a price on carbon emissions and return the revenue equally to people.

Dorothy Bolden’s impact still being felt 50 years later

By Guest Columnist NIKEMA WILLIAMS, state senator representing Atlanta and deputy political director at National Domestic Workers Alliance

The political organizing being led by Black women in Georgia is not a new phenomenon. Atlanta’s own Dorothy Bolden began organizing for domestic workers and is still regarded as “fearless” in her approach according to her obituary in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Reform of federal flood policy would reduce impact of disasters, spending after events

By Guest Columnist JOHN ERNST, mayor of Brookhaven

Last year, the City of Brookhaven purchased what is now known as Ashford Forest Preserve, 33 acres of a decommissioned runaway that had grown into a meadow full of mature trees, native plants, and a stream, from the DeKalb County government.

The $5.7 Million purchase was made possible by a Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. This federal loan allowed Brookhaven to increase its greenspace by 10 percent, mitigate stormwater problems and establish a nature preserve in our rapidly developing community. We couldn’t have done it alone and it was a win-win for the state, county and city governments and taxpayers.

The Gulch – Gulp, what now?

By Guest Columnist MIKE DOBBINS, professor of the practice of planning at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture and former Atlanta planning commissioner

With the Atlanta City Council’s action to approve the CIM deal to develop the Gulch in Downtown Atlanta, what should city officials and citizens be doing to follow up the many, many complicated steps, approvals, and financial transactions that will now persist over a 20-plus year timeframe?

As it happens, we have a precedent.

Targeted policies urgently needed for a speedy transition to clean energy

By Guest Columnist KAREN GRAINEY, assistant director of Center for a Sustainable Coast

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a monumental report on Oct. 8, warning that humanity has only 12 years to make the “rapid and far-reaching” reforms needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change. These reforms entail drastic reductions in the primary cause of global warming – greenhouse gas emissions.

Hands-Free Georgia Act improves roadway safety, still room for improvement

By Guest Columnist ROBERT ROSENBERGER, of Georgia Tech, who researches the relationship people develop with their everyday devices

The Georgia Hands-Free Act went into effect back in July, banning the use of handheld phones while driving. This is a major change for Georgia drivers, and it’s one we should support. … There are also reasons to be concerned that it does not go far enough, and to take matters into our own hands and refrain from engaging in additional phone-related behaviors that do not happen to be covered by the new law.

Solar energy – Three reasons why now is the best time to go solar

By now you have likely heard a lot about solar energy. You may have heard that solar is fast becoming the least expensive, most resilient, and cleanest source of energy for homes and businesses.

But what you may not have heard is that now is the best time to go solar. And that Oct. 31 is the deadline for Atlanta residents to lock in discount pricing and get a free, no-obligation solar and battery storage evaluation.

Planned Chamblee Doraville CID to create sense of place, urgency for improvements

By Guest Columnist DAN REUTER, a longtime advisor on urban planning and community development in metro Atlanta and the founder/CEO of Reuter Strategy

Momentum is building for the creation of a new Community Improvement District in the cities of Chamblee and Doraville. Led by local commercial property owners and encouraged by the leadership of the cities of Chamblee and Doraville, a CID will help the community to leverage the existing assets to provide greater access and amenities.

U.N.-affiliated sustainability network to be recognized at Center for Civil, Human Rights

By Guest Columnist JENNIFER HIRSCH, co-founder of RCE Greater Atlanta, with GARRY HARRIS and SERENA NEWHALL, steering committee members of RCE Greater Atlanta.

Atlanta’s regional sustainability network, RCE Greater Atlanta, will celebrate its recognition by the United Nations University at an event hosted Wednesday by the Center for Civil and Human Rights, an RCE member organization. A program for youth leadership in sustainability is among those to be celebrated.

A wake-up call in effort to strengthen Atlanta’s tree ordinance

By Guest Columnist LINDSAY WILLIAMS BELLASI, who became a tree activist following a clear-cutting incident in her Northwest Atlanta neighborhood

As I drove home one summer night down West Wesley Road, a large dark shadow swooped in front of our car. “Wow!” shrieked my 5- and 6 year-old boys from the backseat. “Did you see that?” It was a huge owl – probably with a wingspan of 6 feet or more. We added it to the animal bingo board game we play, not realizing not realizing that some of the bird’s habitat in our neighborhood was about to be obliterated.

As workers try to make ends meet, onus on employers to enhance financial wellness programs

By Guest Columnist JIM WALLACE, an Atlanta-based managing director of Global Corporate & Institutional Advisory Services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch

A study released in August examines how both employers and employees feel about financial wellness, their expectations of one another and the resources employees want to be made available to them in the workplace.

Findings from the study reveal the growing importance of workplace financial wellness programs, and the findings point to the value of personalized advice and planning as key to improving participation and employees’ financial wellness.

Three landmark events at Atlanta Stadium in the 1960s – Were you there?

By Guest Columnist BO HIERS, who has ‘semi-retired’ from a 35-year career in the reinsurance industry and now volunteers at the Atlanta History Center

It’s difficult to imagine Atlanta without a professional sports stadium, especially when you consider the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks are now proud owners of three of the newest and slickest stadiums and arenas anywhere. But that was the case in 1964. Cue Milwaukee Braves owner William Bartholomay and the National Football League (NFL). Attendance was sagging at County Stadium in Milwaukee, and the NFL was looking to expand its geographic footprint into Southern states. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way, but the Braves and Falcons were on the way.

Greenways such as South Peachtree Creek Trail spur real estate values, revitalize neighborhoods

By Guest Columnist Michael KEATING, a Decatur-based writer who specializes in public policy

No question, trails, greenways and other parks infrastructure stimulate more construction and economic development.

New housing is popping up near the recently opened South Peachtree Creek Trail in my neighborhood in Decatur. Pulte Homes is building mid-rise condos in the $300,000-plus range and townhomes in the $600,000-plus range on a 37-acre site adjacent to the trail. A 1960s-era apartment complex was demolished to make way for the new housing.

Back to school with Killer Mike

By Guest Columnist CHARISSE M. WILLIAMS, a lawyer by training and a non-profit leader

I first learned that Atlanta Grammy Award winning rapper, activist, and entrepreneur Killer Mike owned the barbershop, The Swag Shop, when Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen tweeted that his shop was giving free back-to-school haircuts. I had passed the shop on Edgewood Avenue, with its funky sign and façade, many times.

Citizen committee could help MARTA set priorities for future expansion

Building priorities with construction sequencing was a constantly recurring, difficult and frequently divisive issue throughout MARTA’s history. It was made more complex with limited funding. On several occasions the participating counties and cities disagreed on the priority choices and, as a result, the construction schedules were sometimes adversely impacted.

Raising the next generation of technologists: Closing the technology gap for youth

By Guest Columnist KARA GRADY, a vice president at LexisNexis Risk Solutions

A group of 25 companies presented before the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce at a July 25 innovation showcase that recognized outstanding education programs from across the country. During a day that included oral testimony and a question/answer session with members of Congress, staff and the public, one Atlanta company highlighted the need for a nationwide focus on computer science education.