August Recess: Georgia’s Cities Engage with U.S. Senators

November 1, 2021

During the August recess, city officials across the state had the opportunity to build relationships with Georgia’s U.S. Senators and share information about the local perspective on infrastructure needs and other topics. A few examples include:

Union City Mayor and Past President Vince Williams, Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman, and Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch were invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with local officials and Sen. Jon Ossoff in Atlanta.

In Augusta, Mayor Hardie Davis hosted Sen. Raphael Warnock and his staff to discuss the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate and the investments it will bring to the region and the state of Georgia.

And in Tifton, Mayor Julie Smith, GMA first Vice President, hosted a roundtable briefing with Sen. Ossoff and a diverse group of local officials to discuss the city’s urban redevelopment project, broadband, housing, education and a number of other topics. During this half-day event, the itinerary included a driving tour of the URA with the senator and a 90-minute roundtable discussion at an elementary school in the heart of the URA with local leaders on issues facing the community and how the federal government can help. The senator brought with him the legislative staffer from Washington, DC who covers infrastructure, along with other key staff. This was an important and unique opportunity for the senator to gain firsthand understanding of the challenges facing this city and rural Georgia cities generally. As he was taking notes, it was evident he was hearing about problems and issues that he was previously unaware of, including chronic flooding in neighborhoods in the city that requires the elementary school to close during heavy rain events; and thinking of how proposals Congress has been working on can be updated to reflect real needs in our communities (e.g., expanding funding for coastal resiliency in the draft infrastructure bill to allow cities across the state to be eligible for federal grants).

GMA has remained engaged with Georgia’s senators since they took office in January, encouraging them to visit communities throughout the state during twoday GMA outreach visit to Washington, DC in July with Mayor Smith.

“Cities remain engaged with federal officials and remain a trusted voice for leaders in Washington as they continue work on issues cities care about,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “These visits to cities in Georgia are an example of how GMA’s federal advocacy outreach to build relationships has tangible benefits for our member cities.” 

This article was originally featured in the September/October 2021 edition of Georgia’s Cities Magazine.

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