GMA Headlines

DPH Follows FDA and CDC Guidance Pausing J&J Vaccinations in Georgia

April 13, 2021

Department of Public Health

Following the guidance and recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is pausing J&J (Janssen) vaccinations in Georgia until further notice. The FDA and CDC are reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot occurring in women aged 18-48 about a week after vaccination. None of the six cases are in individuals vaccinated in Georgia and are unrelated to the reactions reported last week at the Cumming Fairgrounds site.

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The Power of Cute, Affordable Townhouses

Public Square

April 13, 2021

Robert Steuteville, Congress for the New Urbanism

In his latest article, Robert Steuteville with the Congress for the New Urbanism writes how “cute townhomes” could help fill the “missing middle” housing need in cities that have walkable neighborhoods.

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Preventing Trafficking of Girls

April 8, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

This solicitation provides funding for organizations to support prevention and early intervention programs for girls who are at risk of, or are victims of, sex trafficking.

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Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking

April 8, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

This program will provide funding for housing opportunities to victims of human trafficking, as defined by 22 U.S.C. 7102.

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How to stop a killing like that of George Floyd from ever happening again

April 8, 2021

CNN

Derek Chauvin's trial provides a moment to ask ourselves: If another officer were to engage in similar misconduct today, would his colleagues again refuse to step in and stop it?

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Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking

April 7, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for minor victims of labor trafficking, whose victimization occurred when they were under the age of 18.

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Services for Victims of Human Trafficking

April 7, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking.

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Major Points from Governor Kemp’s 03.31.21.01, 03.31.21.02, and 03.31.21.03 Executive Orders

April 7, 2021

On March 31, Governor Kemp issued an extensive and detailed Executive Order. This is a summary prepared by GMA’s Legal Department explaining the order and its impact on local governments.

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Georgia Gems: Tybee Island Recognized for Coastal Resilience

April 5, 2021

The City of Tybee Island has become a national model community for flood mitigation, recently winning the 2020 Best Restored Beach award. Only six U.S. beaches earn this annual distinction from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association for innovative solutions to unique problems.

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Georgia Department of Community Affairs: Georgia Rental Assistance Program

April 5, 2021

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began administering the State of Georgia Rental Assistance Program (GRA) in early March 2021. GRA can help renters with past due rent obtain assistance for rental arrears and utilities. Payment will be made directly to landlords and utility providers.

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GMA Federal Focus: FCC Announces New Low-Income Emergency Broadband Benefit

April 5, 2021

By Angelina Panettieri, Legislative Director, Information Technology and Communications, NLC

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the rules for a new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), funded for a one-time amount of $3.2 billion, which will be available until expended or until six months after the COVID-19 emergency declaration expires.

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Cybersecurity: Keep Your City Safe from Hackers

April 5, 2021

In the past few years many Georgia cities have been victims of hacking or ransomware attacks, which have in some cases caused complete work stoppage and cost the affected cities thousands of dollars.

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Normalizing Virtual Volunteerism

April 5, 2021

Volunteering looks a little different now than it did a year ago. The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations across Georgia to rethink how they could continue operating—if at all—and how to safely welcome volunteers eager to lend a hand.

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Cities Further Innovations in Technology

April 5, 2021

Georgia’s cities aren’t sitting on the sidelines when it comes to innovation. Across the state, local leaders are welcoming new technology to help boost their economies and add in-demand resources. Whether it’s using city resources to foster innovation that could have a global impact or providing a solution to a problem caused by new technology, cities are working to stay a step ahead.

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The Value of Cities Data Dive: Population Growth

April 5, 2021

Georgia is by all accounts a growing state. But like an awkward teenager, this growth is not evenly distributed. While the aggregate population of Georgia’s cities increased by more than 20% over the last 10 years (compared to about 10% for the entire state), a closer look at the data shows some divergent —and familiar—patterns.

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Legislating and Lobbying in the ‘New Normal’

April 5, 2021

“Our governmental relations team, in concert with the Legislative Policy Council and city officials, will continue to advocate for the principles of home rule and local control on behalf of all of Georgia’s cities,” said Tom Gehl, GMA governmental relations director. “We thank the city officials who have participated in the legislative process this year, provided feedback on bills and communicated with legislators that cities are united, even in the new normal for legislating and lobbying.”

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Graduate Students Find Solutions to Support Cities

April 5, 2021

Three graduate students from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University (GSU) researched the local engagement challenges expressed by several cities as part of GMA’s Hub Cities Initiative. In their final report, the team outlined thier key findings from stakeholder interviews, provided an overview of strategies and engagement best practices from across the nation and made recommendations on which best practices each of the five cities could consider using to address its specific challenges.

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Georgia City Solutions: Leaders Begin Workforce Development & Equity Initiatives

April 5, 2021

The Georgia City Solutions Board of Directors held a virtual meeting in February to review and discuss proposed GCS programs and funding needs to support the adopted strategic plan. The proposed programs total approximately $5 million over a three-year period and will address the overarching issue of intergenerational poverty.

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Resources to Serve Cities: Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative

April 5, 2021

The current pandemic has created plenty of uncertainties while also confirming what many local officials knew all along: a reliable internet connection is essential infrastructure for business, healthcare, education, agriculture and overall quality of life.

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From Housing to Food Insecurity, Albany Uses Data to Tackle Local Challenges

April 5, 2021

Named in the inaugural class of four communities to receive a Georgia Smart Communities Challenge (Georgia Smart) grant from Georgia Tech in 2018, Albany’s Housing Data Analytics and Visualization Initiative has evolved into something more.

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The Technology Foundation Cities Need to Stay Secure in 2021

April 5, 2021

In this chat with Georgia’s Cities magazine, Joe Howland, Chief Information Security Officer at VC3, offers tips for cities looking to increase cybersecurity.

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Fiber Optic Investments Pay Off in Covington

April 5, 2021

Covington spread its fiber investment over many years, but many Georgia cities and counties face quickly increasing demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, led by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Georgia Technology Authority, was already in the works to establish a framework to encourage rural broadband investment.

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City Spotlight: The City of Conyers Establishes Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board

April 5, 2021

During the City of Conyers’ Annual Retreat in January of 2020, Human Resources Director Casey Duren presented to the mayor and council an idea to establish “The Connect Committee.” The committee’s purpose was to foster an environment where employees could collaboratively work as a team despite any physical, cultural or personal differences.

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Small Town, Big Impact: Cornelia Officials Warn Small Cities of Cyberattacks

April 5, 2021

Cornelia city officials awoke the morning after Christmas 2020 to find out they’d been hacked. Luckily, they were prepared. Cornelia had already gone through a hack in 2019 and made significant upgrades to their IT security in the aftermath.

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Innovation Through Reconsideration

April 5, 2021

By Katherine Moore, President, Georgia Conservancy

"Numerous cities are demonstrating their innovation by turning fresh eyes and energy to their downtowns, the oldest areas of our cities. These activity centers attract us not only through their often-inexpressible charm, but precisely because they meet the needs of today and the demands of the future." - Katherine Moore, President, Georgia Conservancy

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GMA Works to Meet Your Needs

April 5, 2021

By Larry Hanson, GMA Executive Director

"The term “Cities United” is exemplified in GMA’s efforts to answer the outcry from city leaders around the state to help you respond to this unprecedented health and economic crisis. We could not have achieved this victory without you." - Larry Hanson, GMA Executive Director

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Cities Spring Forward With Renewed Energy

April 5, 2021

By Vince Williams, GMA President

"While the challenges before us today are humbling, I find that the turmoil of the past year has provided me with both a clarity of purpose and renewed energy." - Vince Williams, GMA President

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Look to Your Neighbor: How Georgia’s Cities are Advancing Sustainability Through Housing Choice

April 5, 2021

By Nick Johnson, Senior Planner, Georgia Conservancy

"Through the course of my work at Georgia Conservancy, I am often asked a question that goes something like this: Why does a conservation-focused non-profit care so much about housing?" - Nick Johnson, Senior Planner, Georgia Conservancy

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More than Pictures: Social Media Transcends Social Distance & Communication Barriers

April 5, 2021

In an era when adults use social media for gathering news, checking in with friends and following their favorite businesses, it only makes sense that local governments also have a presence. To really connect with residents, though, cities need to do more than just post standard memos, especially since the pandemic has made digital personas even more valuable. Three Georgia cities: Griffin, Brookhaven and Tucker, are taking unique and innovative approaches on social media to further engage residents.

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Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations and Training and Technical Assistance Program

April 5, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations and Training and Technical Assistance Program supports funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies for costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of unsolved homicide cold case murders suspected of having been racially motivated, including support for victims’ families and stakeholders impacted by these cases.

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2021 Georgia Smart Communities Challenge

April 5, 2021

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Smart is a competitive program that supports local governments of any size within the State of Georgia—cities, counties, and consolidated city-county governments—by providing access to technical assistance, expert advice, and a network of peers.

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DPH Non-Medical Newsletter Article: 5th Edition

April 1, 2021

Department of Public Health

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue throughout the United States, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is equipping you with the latest facts and updates.

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DPH Non-Medical Newsletter Article: 4th Edition

April 1, 2021

Department of Public Health

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to ramp up throughout Georgia, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is equipping you with the latest facts and updates.

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Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program

March 26, 2021

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program is a critical support for the development of local prevention frameworks that address priority areas and diverse threats.

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Brothers Helping Brothers Grant Program

March 26, 2021

Brothers Helping Brothers

Brothers Helping Brothers assists small and/or rural fire departments obtain vital tools and lifesaving equipment through its grant program.

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Safeguarding Correctional Facilities and Public Safety by Addressing Contraband Cellphones Program

March 26, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

These site-based awards are for state and local governments that have detention capacity, to operationalize effective and secure managed access systems in correctional settings to prevent, detect, seize, and stop the presence and use of contraband cellphones by detainees and inmates.

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First Responders-Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grants

March 26, 2021

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The purpose of this program is to allow first responders and members of other key community sectors to administer a drug or device approved or cleared under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) for emergency reversal of known or suspected opioid overdose.

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Implementing the PREA Standards, Protecting Inmates, and Safeguarding Communities

March 26, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

The goal of this program is to assist confinement facilities and the agencies that oversee them in preventing, identifying, and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in these facilities, and to support compliance with the PREA standards.

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Get the Children Reading

March 22, 2021

Sara Baxter

Promoting literacy helps protect the health, well-being and economy of communities, and it’s a great way to engage young readers.

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Confronting Poverty: Tools for Understanding Economic Hardship and Risk

March 22, 2021

This website contains three different tools to observe and understand the extent of economic inequality in the United States. The first is a poverty risk calculator, which allows users to estimate and compare their future risk of poverty. Second, a discussion guide provides deeper insight into American poverty. The third element is a research component for further exploration.

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Outstanding Chief of the Year Award

March 22, 2021

Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP)

Nominations for this award may be submitted by anyone wishing to nominate a Chief/Head of a Law Enforcement Agency who is a GACP member in good standing.

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Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program

March 19, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) is a strategic approach to crime reduction that leverages community knowledge and expertise by focusing enforcement efforts on neighborhoods where crime is concentrated, or crime “hotspots.”

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Annual CDBG Competition

March 18, 2021

Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA)

The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) provides funding to assist a wide range of eligible activities, including housing improvement projects, public facilities such as water and sewer lines, buildings such as local health centers or head start centers, and economic development projects. All projects must substantially benefit low and moderate income persons.

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Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program

March 18, 2021

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings.

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Kubota Hometown Proud Grant

March 18, 2021

Kubota Tractor Corporation

Kubota Tractor Corporation announces a community revitalization grant program and is calling on all cities, towns, municipalities and nonprofits to submit an application for a chance to win $100,000 in funding and use of Kubota equipment to refresh, refurbish or revitalize a public space.

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DPH Shares COVID-19 Vaccine Information

March 17, 2021

By the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health has created an article to equip citizens with the latest facts and information about the COVID-19 vaccines. They have requested GMA share this information with our members.

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GMA Federal Focus: FCC Announces New Low-Income Emergency Broadband Benefit

March 17, 2021

By Angelina Panettieri, Legislative Director, NLC

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the rules for a new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), funded for a one-time amount of $3.2 billion, which will be available until expended or until six months after the COVID-19 emergency declaration expires.

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Major Points from Governor Kemp’s 03.12.21.01 Executive Order

March 16, 2021

On March 12, Governor Kemp issued an extensive and detailed Executive Order. This is a summary prepared by GMA’s Legal Department explaining the order and its impact on local governments.

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Building Rehabs Revive Main Street

Public Square

March 15, 2021

Robert Steuteville, Congress for the New Urbanism

The character of Georgia Avenue, a historic Atlanta main street, was preserved while injecting new life into a neglected neighborhood.

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Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19

March 9, 2021

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This notice solicits applications for projects to demonstrate the effectiveness of local government implementation of evidence-based health literacy strategies that are culturally appropriate to enhance COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and/or other mitigation measures in racial and ethnic minority populations and other socially vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minority rural communities.

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2021 Infrastructure Report Card Gives U.S. ‘C-‘ Grade

March 9, 2021

American Society of Civil Engineers

The American Society of Civil Engineers unveiled their 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure on Wednesday, March 3. The nation earned a ‘C-’, up from 2017’s cumulative GPA of ‘D+’. 

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Major Points from Governor Kemp’s 02.26.21.01 and 02.26.21.02 Executive Orders

March 5, 2021

On February 26, Governor Kemp issued an extensive and detailed Executive Order. This is a summary prepared by GMA’s Legal Department explaining those orders and their impact on local governments.

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To Truly Advance Racial Equity, City Leaders Need to Confront Racist Symbols

March 4, 2021

Urban Institute

When city leaders remove symbols of racism and bigotry from public life and spaces, it sends a message that they will no longer tolerate racist practices.

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Segregated By Design

March 4, 2021

Segregated By Design

‘Segregated By Design’ examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.

Prejudice can be birthed from a lack of understanding the historically accurate details of the past. Without being aware of the unconstitutional residential policies the United States government enacted during the middle of the twentieth century, one might have a negative view today of neighborhoods where African Americans live or even of African Americans themselves.

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GMA Leaders Urge Senator Ossoff and Senator Warnock to support COVID Relief Bill

March 3, 2021

Georgia’s city leaders support legislation that provides assistance to local governments of all sizes; that allows flexible uses of these funds to allow for revenue recovery, does not set a deadline to spend down these funds, and contains reasonable guardrails to ensure allocations do not exceed annual operating revenues. Federal funds are urgently needed to help protect the lives and livelihoods of all people in Georgia. Municipal leaders stand ready to put these funds into action to mitigate the public health emergency and address negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 disease in our communities. To date, 244 city officials have signed on GMA’s sign-on letter to urging Georgia’s U.S. Senators to support COVID relief and support swift passage of this bill.

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AARP Community Challenge

March 3, 2021

AARP

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. The program is intended to help communities make immediate improvements and jump-start long-term progress in support of residents of all ages.

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Major Points from Governor Kemp’s 02.15.21.01 Executive Order

February 23, 2021

On February 15, Governor Kemp issued an extensive and detailed Executive Order. This is a summary prepared by GMA’s Legal Department explaining those orders and their impact on local governments.

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Equity Budgeting in Cities: Directing Dollars Where They’re Needed Most

February 23, 2021

Route Fifty

A growing number of cities are turning to their budget offices to help treat historically underserved communities more fairly.

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Grooming Employees for the Future

February 22, 2021

Sara Baxter

Plagued by the challenges of looming retirements, a competitive job market and compensation issues, city governments are finding ways to cultivate their own employees.

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Georgia’s Cities Still in Need of Federal Support

February 15, 2021

As we head into the 117th session of Congress and work with a new administration in the White House, it is helpful to get an understanding of the political lay of the land.

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Virtual Public Hearings: Cities Strive to Protect their Constituents

February 15, 2021

By Emily Hirst, GMA Assistant General Counsel

On March 14, 2020, Gov. Kemp signed a public health state of emergency to address COVID-19 in Georgia. Since then, the virus has killed more than 10,000 Georgians, and millions have had to make abrupt changes to their lives.

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GeorgiaForward Plans for Success

February 15, 2021

As GeorgiaForward starts its second year in the GMA family, organization leaders look forward to planning the next Young Gamechangers (YG) program.

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Advocacy: GMA Prepares to Face Revenue and Finance During Legislative Session

February 15, 2021

Revenue and finance issues are likely to play a prominent role once again as legislators prepare to meet for the Georgia General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session.

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City Managers Share: Trends in Community Housing

February 15, 2021

COVID-19 Has Impacted Nearly Every Aspect of Life, and housing stability has been no exception.

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Advocacy: A Push for Heavier Trucks is on the Way

February 15, 2021

During the 2021 legislative session, the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) plans to present a proposal to the General Assembly that would allow them to increase the weight of log trucks, and other industries are looking to hitch a ride.

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DCA Receives CARES Funds for Homeless Advocacy

February 15, 2021

In 2020, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) received supplemental funding through the CARES Act—$45,418,452 in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds and $562,987 in Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funds.

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GMA Cares: Staff Serves the Community Through New Initiative

February 15, 2021

In a weekly communication to the GMA staff in September 2020, Executive Director Larry Hanson sought volunteers to identify and plan an effort in which GMA staff could support others during the challenging times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Cities Work to Get Back to ‘Normal’

February 15, 2021

Sometimes there’s no avoiding a change in the status quo, no matter how much we’d like to. Massive events like the Great Depression, 9/11 and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world and forced major, lasting changes to the way things are done.

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2021 Legislative Session: Constants Remain As 2021 Legislature Convenes

February 15, 2021

While some weird and unusual things happened in 2020—the pandemic, murder hornets, Jupiter and Saturn in alignment—what remained constant were opportunities and trials for municipalities at the state capitol. In 2021, expect more of the same from the General Assembly.

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Diversity Dashboard

February 15, 2021

Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL)

The ELGL Diversity Dashboard is the first ever national data collection on the gender, race, age, and veteran status of local government employees. In 2018 & 2019, the survey collected this information for chief administrative officers and assistant chief administrative officers. In 2020, we expanded the survey to include all local government employees.

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GMA Offers Classes to Build Diverse, Equitable & Inclusive Communities

February 15, 2021

Freddie Broome, GMA’s director of diversity and inclusion, is leading the association’s efforts to equip cities to combat institutional and systematic racism, violence, acts of injustice, inequity and intolerance, and to foster healthy lines of communication that yield sustainable change.

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How Cities Handle Historic Monuments

February 15, 2021

As the largest social justice movement in U.S. history sweeps the country, Georgia’s cities face increasing demands to remove Confederate monuments that glorify an oppressive ideology.

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Downtown Developments: Housing Choice and Resilient Communities

February 15, 2021

By Eric Kronberg, Principle at Kronberg Urbanists + Architects

"As it is doing so effectively across all facets of life, the coronavirus pandemic is highlighting the importance of widespread affordable housing, especially in walkable, complete neighborhoods." - By Eric Kronberg, Principle at Kronberg Urbanists + Architects

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Providing Georgia with a 21st Century Transportation System

February 15, 2021

By Rocky Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

"Accessibility and connectivity are critical factors in a region’s quality of life and economic competitiveness." - Rocky Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

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Legislative Advocacy for Cities is a Year-Round Commitment

February 14, 2021

By Larry Hanson, GMA Executive Director

"Cities and their residents are affected by the Georgia General Assembly and the United States Congress, as well as by the regulatory decisions made by state and federal agencies." - Larry Hanson, GMA Executive Director

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Let Us Build Community to Uplift our Democracy

February 14, 2021

By Vince Williams, GMA President

My heart is aching. The destructive behavior on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol has tested our democracy, our democratic institutions and the ideals on which our country was founded.

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