Original story on WABE by Maria Saporta
Four regional organizations – the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta – are collaborating on an educational effort called Learn4Life. The goal is to bring the eight public school systems in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties to improve public education in the region.
It makes all the sense in the world.
Metro Atlanta has so many local governments, it’s often hard to develop a regional mindset on dealing with the myriad of issues that affect Greater Atlanta.
There are county governments, cities – old and new – as well as the numerous school systems.
Yet when it comes to the outside world, people see this whole region as one entity: Atlanta.
Having these four major civic organizations working together on a regional mandate could help build cooperation and avenues for our companies, nonprofits and local governments to work more closely together to tackle issues that bleed beyond our political boundaries.
The executives of the four organizations have been meeting for nearly three years to build trust and partnerships with each other. ARC director Doug Hooker calls it an “unprecedented time in history” and says that the leaders of each of these organizations “have an affinity for each other.” He says he hopes the first efforts to work together will succeed and their partnership will become institutionalized.
The Community Foundation’s Alicia Philipp sees the potential of bringing together the boards of the organizations so there can be even greater cooperation.
By bringing together these four organizations to the same table, we may be able to become more strategic in how we seek and implement solutions. If this new-found cooperation is embraced and nurtured, it will only make our region stronger.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed sharing my commentaries with WABE listeners for the past couple of years. Although this is my final one, you can still follow me on SaportaReport.com and in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Thank you for supporting public radio.