In the wake of our region’s recent elections, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta celebrates civic engagement. The Foundation promotes open discourse and discussion that nurtures leadership, empowers individuals and strengthens communities. Each vote is a voice that shows a drive to make our community a better place for all to live and thrive.
This year, the Community Foundation made several significant investments aimed at boosting civic engagement around the 2017 local elections in our region:
- Center for Civic Innovation: $30,000 was awarded to the Center for Civic Innovation to provide opportunities for residents of Atlanta to engage with 2017 mayoral candidates through forums, facilitated conversations and special events.
- City of Atlanta Mayoral Forum on the Arts: In partnership with ChooseATL and a group of local arts organizations, the Community Foundation offered citizens a chance to hear mayoral candidates discuss their arts platforms on Monday, September 25. Over 400 people attended and 4,000 people watched a live stream of the event on Facebook.
- Ideas Challenge: $17,500 in grants was awarded to three residents to implement creative solutions for boosting local civic engagement.
- Our Future Atlanta: $49,264 was awarded to the Our Future Atlanta effort. Our Future Atlanta is a coalition of non-governmental organizations and community leaders that joined forces to create a shared agenda and engage Atlantans around the 2017 elections.
So how did our region do? Here are some preliminary results*: 96,777 City of Atlanta residents cast their ballot to vote in a new mayor, city council and school board. In 2013, this number was only 49,964. DeKalb County and Fulton County have also reported huge increases in voter turnout, from about 90,000 votes in 2013 to over 200,000 in 2017.
These numbers make us proud of the role we played in lifting up civic engagement and public will in our region. Here’s to each voice being heard!