From the Front Lines of Park Advocacy

A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MICHAEL HALICKI

Park Pride serves as the “voice for parks” in the City of Atlanta, and 2017 will be a big year with many park advocacy issues at the forefront of decisions that will potentially impact many city residents.

Michael Halicki with Mayor Reed, Commissioner Phuong, Councilmember Ivory Young
Park Pride’s Executive Director, Michael Halicki, addresses stakeholders and community members at Vine City Park. Right: Mayor Kasim Reed, Commissioner of Dept. of Parks & Recreation Amy Phuong, and Councilmember Ivory Young.

It is important that all park enthusiasts stay vigilant, be aware of the issues outlined below and prepare to raise your voice when needed:

  • FY2018 Budget for the City of Atlanta – Park Pride sees an increase in the park maintenance budget as a vital issue during the annual budgeting process, and it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Maintenance matters!
  • Mayor’s Race – In 2017, Atlanta will elect our next mayor. Park Pride will work to educate mayoral candidates and other elected officials to ensure they understand the importance of parks to the city as a whole and the need for greater funding for parks and park improvements.
  • Atlanta City Design – The City’s plan to accommodate double or triple our current population isn’t just about population density; it is also about the need for open space and connections to nature to ensure quality of life as we grow and develop as a city.
  • Westside – Parks are a big part of community revitalization efforts on Atlanta’s Westside and lay the foundation for the future of this part of the city. These parks respond to the area’s need for more greenspace and address stormwater issues with green infrastructure.
  • TSPLOST – The successful passage in 2016 of the Atlanta ballot measure that provides funding for the Atlanta BeltLine and non-BeltLine trails is only the first step. The next step is to make sure funding for trails gets a fair share as TSPLOST moves to implementation.
  • Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act – The State of Georgia can and should play a role in supporting land conservation. Park Pride is part of a coalition that supports the need for matching dollars from the state to leverage local government funding for parks and greenspace.

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