This August will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream” speech, the landmark oratory for which he is most remembered. Since then, a couple generations of school kids have learned about King and his dream—and for many, the two ideas—King and dreaming of equality—are so conflated we forget King crusaded against what he called the “triple evils” of poverty, militarism, and racism.
So while last night’s “Salute to Greatness” King Center dinner opened with a tribute to the Dream speech, it was nice to see an award granted to a person who advocates very practical tactics for tackling one of those evils. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize winning founder of Grameen Bank and pioneer of micro lending, was presented with a Salute to Greatness award for his efforts to help the poor in his native Bangladesh and beyond.
“Poverty is ...
On Friday afternoon, MARTA unveiled a draft of a five-year plan for how the transit authority can cope with a $30 million operating deficit. Authored by auditing firm KPMG, the "transformation road map" provides guidelines for implementing measures recommended in an audit last year. These include restructuring employee benefits and outsourcing certain business functions—savings that could amount to more than $100 million over five years.
In walking members of the media through the spiral-bound report, Robin Howard, MARTA's assistant general manager of internal audit, repeatedly emphasized the approach was "not about outsourcing" but was instead a "governance and business transformational opportunity." While the plan calls for exploring revenue-generating measures such as branded breeze cards and alcohol advertisements, the budget scale is largely tipped by privatizing such functions as payroll and HR, paratransit services, cleaning services, and IT. It also calls for increasing workers' base pay while decreasing retirement and healthcare ...
At halftime of yesterday’s Falcons-Seahawks playoff game, I ran into Thomas Lake, former Atlanta magazine writer and now Sports Illustrated senior editor. The latest issue of SI has a great story by Tom about his unrequited love for the Falcons over the past twenty years, how the unflagging devotion he’s had for the team has ended, without exception, in disappointment. Would this year be different? When I saw him in the entryway of section 322, the Falcons were up 20-0, and had played as close to perfect football for thirty minutes as any fan could reasonably hope for. We both grinned.
Within ninety minutes, of course, I had keeled over into the stinking vat of self-pity that is never far from any fan of Atlanta professional sports. Tweets from my row high up near the roof, over the span of just a few minutes, include the following:
It’ll be a ...
Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, and she and her husband will make a play for Georgia. So predicted Mayor Kasim Reed, who spoke to the Atlanta Press Club today. Since taking office three years ago, Reed has steadily been raising his national profile, largely through his strident support of President Obama. It's led many to speculate about his own political ambitions beyond a second term (he faces re-election this fall, which will be little more than a formality), but when Maria Saporta asked him directly if he had designs on statewide political office beyond his current role, he said simply, "No."
"This is my dream job," he said. "This is the job that when I was a kid I wanted to have."
It may be because he’s addressing a bunch of jaded journalists, but when he gives his annual talk to the Atlanta Press ...