Being United in A Time of Division

December 10, 2020

By Larry Hanson, GMA Executive Director

At GMA, we are united in our passion to serve all cities and all of you, so that you can better serve the citizens who reside in your 537 unique municipalities.

We come together to learn from one another—from our experiences, successes, challenges and our various backgrounds. Today, given the state of political discourse and division, it is no easy task to bring people together in a spirit of service and cooperation. Yet, that is what we are called to do. When you examine things closely, you realize that most of what cities do is apolitical. Providing for public safety, emergency response, infrastructure and public works are all examples of what cities do. Creating an environment for economic development and a high quality of life are goals we all strive for. None of these are for Democrats or Republicans— they are for Georgians. I’ve always appreciated the fact that municipal elections are nonpartisan and likewise, GMA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. While all of us support diversity of opinion and thought, there has never been a greater need for civility and respectful discourse than now.

These are challenging times we are living in. A health pandemic, social unrest, political turmoil and divisiveness, anxiety, apprehension and uncertainty influence our mental state and make it even more important to stay encouraged and positive. I am a fan of positive thinking and of reading positive, inspiring quotes. I hope one of these will connect with you:

  • Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make, makes you. Choose wisely.
  • Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
  • The amount of work is the same.
  • The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.

GMA will continue to work to be a positive force to unite our members and our cities through our professional commitment to advocacy, service and innovation. Let us never forget why we serve and why it is important that GMA remains the glue that keeps our “Cities United” in these challenging times.

Thank you for all you do to make GMA a successful organization. As I interact with our city and association leaders, it makes me proud to hear the many accolades they use to describe how GMA is serving their cities and making them better. That service is a team effort and is a tribute to each employee in our organization. We are proud to serve you, our members, and to be surrounded by so many dedicated and passionate leaders. You are the reason we are successful. Your encouragement and support are deeply appreciated.

Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay resilient and let me know if there is anything that we at GMA can do for you.

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