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Viewpoints

Program Aimed at Educating First Responders on Pipeline Emergencies
November 16, 2017
Robert Singletary, Past President, Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs
The gas industry in Georgia understands the importance of proper training for responding to gas emergencies, which is why these professionals have partnered with us at the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC) to create the Georgia Pipeline Emergency Response Initiative (GPERI). 

Leaders Called to ‘Interlock’ for Problem Solving, Better Communities
November 14, 2017
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, GMA President
One thing that invariably happens to us as elected officials is that people and organizations want our time, and they want us to engage with them. To be effective leaders that have a broad under­standing of what is going on in our communi­ties, regions and state, we should want to be engaged with others. 

Technical College System of Georgia Provides Statewide Talent
October 23, 2017
Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
Georgia has been named the num­ber one state to do business four years in a row. As Georgia’s economy grows, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) strives to ensure a steady flow of qualified workers for our existing and new employers within Georgia. 
 

How Cities Can Better Partner With GEDA
October 20, 2017
Kevin Shea President, Georgia Economic Developers Association
I’m proud to share that some of the recent GEDA programs have focused on placemaking and film development. These programs have highlighted the ways that cities can benefit from and partner with GEDA. In building these new programs and seeing the benefits of the GEDA network, we’ve seen cities take their concerns in public safety, infrastructure and broadband and make developers from across the state aware of their needs and opportunities for new investments.

GMA Prepares Cities for and Embraces New Leaders
October 17, 2017
Bill Thornton, Interim Executive Director, GMA
It’s election season in Georgia. This fall, many cities will be electing new councilmembers and mayors who will take office in January. We applaud every candidate who is willing to take up the mantle of public service. 

Why Does Verizon Care About Telephone Poles?
October 11, 2017
Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, CA
We should all embrace the opportunity of greater broadband deployment, at better speeds, with the latest technology. Yet how we deploy this technology matters. If we’re going to provide the telecom industry with unfettered access to public property, then the public’s interest must come first.

Film Tourism Puts Georgia in the Spotlight
September 13, 2017
Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Senoia, Atlanta, Covington, Tybee Island, Juliette...what do these very diverse cities and towns have in common? They have all seen the amazing transformative power that the film industry and the resulting film tourism have on a community—and they’re not alone.

We Will Take a Deeper Look at Leadership Development and Mentoring
September 13, 2017
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, GMA President
If the past is any indication, between 400-500 new city officials will be elected to office in this year’s municipal elections. The city officials elected for the first time this year will be entering office in interesting times. While the effects of the Great Recession have mostly receded, we are grappling with either increasing populations in our more urban areas or decreasing populations in rural areas, the opioid epidemic, hospital closings outside our metro areas, as well as education and workforce challenges regardless of where we call home.

Missing Middle Housing: The Rediscovering of an Old Solution to a Current Problem
August 17, 2017
Billy Parrish, BillyParrish Consulting
As more Americans, including Georgians, look for affordable, walkable city living, and how to provide housing choices that can fit more modest budgets—from millennials looking for their first homes, to Gen X looking to move into a city, to Boomers looking to age-in-place—continues to be as elusive as Sasquatch. Creating more housing choices within our historic cities may just be the single biggest challenge we face now that Georgia cities have again become desirable places to live. But a promising new idea may help cities create more housing choice that can fit gracefully into the existing fabric of cities large and small. The irony is, we have had this exciting new idea right in front of us for over a hundred years.

When a Plan Comes Together
June 26, 2017
Dorothy Hubbard, GMA President
The success we have in our cities and in GMA does not happen without a commitment to working through the details needed to attain our goals and aspirations. So, today, let me assure you that the elected leadership and staff of GMA believes in something more than the “ideal” of developing a plan. We believe that a well thought-out and implemented course of action is required for us to deliver on any goal we set for ourselves.

Location Matters
June 21, 2017
Lamar Norton, GMA Executive Director
From creating a high quality-of-life to economic development to the long-term prosperity of a city, the quality of our public education system is paramount. City officials increasingly know and understand this, and have a strong desire to support and advocate for their local school system. I wonder, though, if over the years we’ve made it harder to do that.

How the Humanities Strengthen Local Communities
June 13, 2017
Jamil Zainaldin, President, Georgia Humanities
We at Georgia Humanities, one of 56 affiliates of the NEH, believe there is no better way to nurture democracy, seek wisdom and inspire vision than through the humanities— such disciplines as history, literature, philosophy and ethics that help us understand ourselves, others and the responsibilities we have to each other and to our society.

Georgia’s Cultural Economy Drives Strong Communities
June 13, 2017
By Karen L. Paty, Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts
No matter where you call home, visioning the future of a given place through the arts makes good sense. Last summer, American’s for the Arts conducted a study, which found that 87 percent of the population believes the arts are important to quality of life, and 82 percent believe that the arts are important to local businesses and the economy. 

Uplifting the Joy and Inspiration in Public Service
June 13, 2017
Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, GMA President
In the movie “The Rookie,” 35-year-old pitcher Jim Morris is in the minor leagues. Missing his family, making little money and with little confidence he’ll get to the major leagues, Jim considers quitting. Reminded of his love of baseball after watching a little league game, he says with newfound enthusiasm to his best friend on the team, “You know what we get to do today? We get to play baseball.” 

Striving to Make Georgia Cities Healthier
May 16, 2017
By Dan Popovic, Co-Founder, cMEcompete
Do you know how well your commu­nity stacks up against others? Do you know if community health positively or negatively impacts your local econ­omy? If you know the answers, what kind of plan do you have in place, how are you implementing and tracking the metrics?

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