Atlanta Mayor Tries to Pull Federal Dollars South

Atlanta Mayor Tries to Pull Federal Dollars South


Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made visiting Washington an important part of serving his constituents.

The mayor seeks funds from President Barack Obama’s $450 billion American Jobs Act.

His latest trip to the nation’s capital centered on events for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference.

While in D.C., Reed spoke with the black Georgia delegation and pushed for money for the $4 billion in sewer system upgrades mandated by the federal government. Reed pointed to the fact that the local community, including residents, have already taken on higher costs related overhaul and that the federal government should chip in. It’s not a handout, he argued, as much as it is assistance.

Reed also continued his work for at least $50-$70 million related to the Port of Savannah deepening project. The undertaking will allow for larger ships to access the port, thanks to a wider Panama Canal project due to be finished in 2014. The project, in particular, is one where he is working closely with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to ensure the state is not left out of the mix.

The finished port, with a final estimated price tag of $600 million, will be a major economic selling point for the state. It will be allow the area to compete globally in shipping coupled with close access to the transportation hub of Atlanta. For both politicians, the project is a must-have in the down economy.

Mayor Reed, in remarks to local media, says he is keeping his eye on the prize of federal dollars from the president’s jobs package.

“I think we need to pursue the jobs bill, which is why we need to be aggressive right now,” Mayor Reed told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“What I’m focused on is making sure that there is no significant infrastructure legislation that is passed where Atlanta and Georgia don’t win,” he added.

Going on a national scale to promote the interests of his city and Georgia, or to tout their successes, is nothing new to Kasim Reed.

In addition to his work as Atlanta’s top pitchman, Reed has also made two major media appearances this year on CBS’ “Meet the Press.” In his interviews, he discussed the city and his work with the Obama administration. He also co-hosted an Obama administration “Winning the Future” town hall event in April with Atlanta residents.