Opening Statement by the Honorable Mayor Andre Dickens of the city of Atlanta, at the U.S. Presentation to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concerning the U.S. Report on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD Report)
As Submitted for the Record
Madam Chair, distinguished members of the Committee, representatives of civil society:
I am Andre Dickens, and I am the 61st Mayor of the City of Atlanta — the Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., home of former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, a Black Tech Mecca, Best City for Diversity in the Tech Workforce, and a top City for women-owned businesses. A City that has thrived due in large part to nearly 50 years of black business and civic leadership.
Like all major cities, we face challenges of affordability, of inclusion, and of racial, economic, and health disparities. In Atlanta we don’t claim to have all the answers; we are transparent on the challenges we face and take a collaborative approach to identifying and implementing innovative solutions.
Today 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and is projected to increase to 68% by 2050. The current population of the Atlanta metro area is roughly 6 million; by 2040, our population will be around 8.4 million. With urban growth, comes an increasing responsibility to improve the lives of our residents, to ensure access to infrastructure and social services, housing, education, healthcare, safety.
There is a clear intersection between global and local affairs, and we are committed to finding multilateral solutions to global problems. This is why I am joined here today by my International Affairs Director, Vanessa Ibarra. Our goal is to build a strong coalition of city and state leaders to shape national and global initiatives. As another great Atlantan, Congressman John Lewis, once said: “Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What the legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation.”
We are a City committed to human rights and stand firmly against racial discrimination, we are the voice of the voiceless, and will continue to be the catalyst for change. I am honored to be here.
And now I turn it to my colleague ,Damon Brown, Special Assistant Attorney General at the California Department of Justice (DOJ)
Thank you, Madam Chair.