Atlanta continues to push progressive policy even as national and state policy stumbles.
While Trump has been vacationing at Mar-A-Largo, threatening the health of people everywhere and terrorizing immigrants, Atlanta has been busy making improvements that will actually help people. The city recently decriminalized marijuana, updated it’s climate change goals and increased sustainability efforts at the airport.
One of Atlanta’s main environmental initiatives is the Better Buildings Challenge, a project designed to cut water and energy use from buildings by 20 percent. Schools and city buildings, as well as dozens of commercial buildings are participating, even some of the city’s biggest skyscrapers.
The city is also getting electric vehicles and plans to get solar panels for some of its buildings. It has even cut energy usage at one water treatment facility by half. Meanwhile, scientists estimate that Trump’s disregard for climate change has cost taxpayers $350 billion in weather events worsened by climate change.
Atlanta’s other recent success is that Mayor Kasim Reed signed a measure a few weeks ago decriminalizing marijuana in Atlanta. The measure will reduce the penalty for possessing an ounce or less of pot in the city from $1,000 to $75 and eliminate jail time under those circumstances. Although Atlanta and Georgia still have a long way to go on the medical marijuana legalization front, it’s a huge step in the right direction.
We need to keep the ball rolling in Atlanta and start it rolling in other parts of the state. The best ways to do that is to check out Better Georgia’s current petitions or consider running for office yourself! The only way to keep making progress is to stay informed, get involved and vote in each and every election.