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Historic Southside Atlanta’s Gathering Addresses Region's Infrastructure Opportunities 

February 15, 2024 

 

PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release


HISTORIC SOUTHSIDE ATLANTA’S GATHERING ADDRESSES REGION’S INFRASTRUCTURE OPPORTUNITIES 

 

Atlanta, GA – A landmark two-day conference titled "Investing For Impact: Public-Private Partnerships" is set to take place at the Morrow Conference Center in Clayton County on February 15-16. The event, organized by Georgia STAND-UP and the HBCU Green Fund and sponsored by the Communities First Fund and the Hive Fund, will bring together elected officials and community leaders from Southside Atlanta's predominantly African American and diverse populations to discuss the potential transformative impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act on their constituencies. High-profile political leaders, including Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, Mayor Andre Dickens, and the mayors of East Point, Jonesboro, Clarkston, Palmetto, Hampton, Forest Park, and McDonough, will be featured speakers. The Honorable Shirley Franklin, former Mayor of Atlanta, will participate in a 'community fireside chat.' 

 

Nearly three years ago Congress passed infrastructure legislation that committed $1.2 trillion in federal funding to rebuild from economic damage caused by the pandemic, as well as stimulate energy and economic investments intended to make the country more climate resilient. The federal funding is expected to generate an additional three to four trillion dollars in private investment over the next 10 years.


An executive order attached to the legislation by the Biden Administration mandates that 40% of the benefits from this round of massive federal spending go to communities that have failed to reap the rewards of past federal funding programs, or have even been harmed by them, such as the building of high-speed interstate highways through African American communities. Called the Justice40 initiative, this mandate is of special interest to historically redlined and otherwise disinvested populations and is a major conference focus.   

 

Despite the desperate need of many communities to address past economic discrimination, the lingering effects of the pandemic, and the growing threats of climate change, recent polling has indicated that up to 99% of Americans have little or no knowledge that this massive flow of federal dollars is about to begin. “This is a huge moment for the Atlanta region,” said Deborah Scott, CEO of Georgia STAND-UP, “and it is gratifying to have the enthusiastic cooperation of so many leaders who recognize the importance of this moment to our future.”


In addition, guidance on specific infrastructure funding opportunities will be provided by representatives from federal departments. Philanthropic organizations and community-based coalitions such as the Communities First Fund will be engaged, as will representatives from labor and area HBCUs. “We have put out the call for an inclusive, collaborative response to this unprecedented opportunity,” Scott continued, “and have gotten a tremendous response. Infrastructure funding will reshape our economy, drive economic prosperity, and make possible the transition to a low-carbon future. This conference is a good start toward ensuring that our communities receive their fair share of the benefits.” 

 

Georgia STAND-UP is a think-and-act tank dedicated to building power in communities of color and low-income areas. For more information, visit www.georgiastandup.org


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