This article appeared in the Saporta Report on August 8, 2017.
by Ryan Gravel
Love is in the air. Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy enough to see Atlanta’s shortcomings. But when you take a minute to see them as opportunities, and when you watch people grab hold of them and make this city their own, it’s hard not to fall in love with Atlanta. In fact, the most common observation I hear from people about why they love this town – why they moved here or what makes them stay – is that this is the kind of place where people can make a real difference. Fueled by growth and poised for a new generation of change, Atlanta offers opportunity at a level that few other cities can match. People of every stripe are finding ways to make their voices heard and to advance their ideas in the world.
Yes, we have serious challenges. And when we’re stuck in near-dystopian traffic, it’s easy to wonder how we’ll recover – from stark demographic inequities, economic and cultural displacement, environmental degradation, and social isolation. However, these challenges don’t have to be permanent, and when we look closely, we see a region that is already changing. Look at the music and film industries. Experience the Atlanta BeltLine, our vibrant neighborhood festivals, or the enthusiasm behind Atlanta United. Listen to the expanding discourse on affordable housing. Realize that the efforts behind these new stories come from a similar love that nurtured the American Civil Rights Movement and bested Athens, Greece to host the one-hundredth anniversary of the modern Olympics. Read more