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ARC State of the Region: The Journey Continues

This morning the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) held its 2016 State of the Region Breakfast. It was a way to celebrate and recognize the achievements, people, and projects shaping Metro Atlanta's past, present, and future.

ARC is metro Atlanta's regional planning agency. From a sole planning standpoint it oversees coordination and administration of state and federal programming in the 10-county metro region. From a water conservation standpoint, ARC's footprint swells to over 20 metro counties.

ARC works within the metro area to ensure sound and quality growth in the areas of transportation, natural resources, aging and health, livability, workforce development, leadership development, and economic development.

Attending the State of the Region this morning was a unique experience held at the Georgia World Congress Center between the Georgia Dome and the under-construction Mercedes Benz Stadium. The room was filled with much Atlanta history, development leaders, elected officials, and colleagues who work daily to build better communities. Those communities, when working cohesively, collectively build a better and stronger region.

I have yet to hear of an area that did not succeed because it chose to work together with neighboring cities, communities, and surrounding counties. That concept is called Regionalism and perhaps no other organization does a better job of promoting and advocating regionalism like ARC. I know from experience having recently completed a local planning project in large thanks to ARC's help.

In my opinion, with all of the goodness that was the State of the Region Breakfast, the best part was hearing Ambassador Andrew Young speak. Here, addressing the crowd, stood a Civil Rights leader, Atlanta's 2nd African-American Mayor, a former US Congressman, and former US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador Young spoke about the necessity of unity, especially given the divisiveness of the current Presidential election. He emphasized the importance of building friendships and partnerships with others regardless of their background, race, and faith. If there was ever anyone who practices what they preach on this message, Ambassador Young is more than qualified. He told a story of how, when he was Mayor of Atlanta, he helped Gwinnett County get sewer to an area that did not have it all because people were willing to work together for the good of others. He also told of his initial meeting with Billy Payne that would later lead to bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta.

It is a real blessing to work, live, and help develop the Metro Atlanta region and I'm looking forward to the work ahead to continue to build on the exceptional foundation laid by regional leaders.

The Journey Continues.

Ambassador Andrew Young addressing the crowd this morning.

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