Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mayor Shirley Franklin Among Mayors to Discuss Priorities in Public Education

U.S. Mayors from across the country will convene with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and members of Congress for the Mayors’ National Forum on Education on Tuesday March 31, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Mayors will hear presentations from the following during the Forum: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA), U.S. Congressman & Urban Caucus Chair Chaka Fattah (PA), and School Superintendents from the District of Columbia, New Haven, CT and Trenton, NJ public school systems.

Made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Forum will provide an opportunity for mayors to dialogue with Department of Education officials about mayoral priorities in education. The Forum will also cover topics such as early childhood education, high school dropout prevention and afterschool programming.



Mayor Sam Adams, Portland, OR
Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee, WI
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York, NY
Mayor Kevin Burns, North Miami, FL
Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, West Sacramento, CA
Mayor David N. Cicilline, Providence, RI
Mayor Ron Dellums, Oakland, CA
Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., New Haven, CT
Mayor Virginia Dupuy, Waco, TX
Mayor William D. Euille, Alexandria, VA
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Washington, DC
Mayor Shirley Franklin, Atlanta, GA
Mayor Willie W. Herenton, Memphis, TN
Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, CA
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Richmond, VA
Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, Stamford, CT
Mayor Thomas Masters, Riviera Beach, FL
Mayor Doug Palmer, Trenton, NJ
Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Allentown, PA
Mayor Brian U. Stratton, Schenectady, NY
Superintendent Andres Alonso, Baltimore, MD
Superintendent Karen Angello, Allentown, PA
Superintendent Sheldon Berman, Louisville, KY
Superintendent Tom Brady, Providence, RI
Superintendent Allen Johnson, Asheville, NC
Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The City of Atlanta’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Awarded Accreditation by the National Recreation and Parks Association

The City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (DPRCA) was awarded accreditation status through the National Parks and Recreation Association’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation program. CAPRA reviews best practices of parks and recreation departments’ operations, management and service to the community. The announcement was made at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2009 Spring Conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 20, 2009.

“The process of accreditation is an extensive undertaking that requires park and recreation agencies to respond to 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient agency operations,” says the City of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. "The Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs under the leadership of Commissioner Dianne Harnell Cohen worked diligently to complete the accreditation program with successful and lasting results for the City and the community.”

“This national recognition by the National Recreation and Parks Association is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a parks, recreation and cultural affairs agency and sets us apart from thousands of other agencies and systems throughout the nation.” says Dianne Harnell Cohen, Commissioner of City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs who accepted the National Accreditation Award. “Achieving accreditation validates our commitment to overall excellence in providing programs and services to the City of Atlanta.”

One of the City’s strategic partners on parks and green space, Park Pride, was instrumental in the rigorous accreditation process. Park Pride works with communities all over Atlanta to improve parks and provides assistance.

“Just seven years ago parks advocates were calling the department dysfunctional and to come so far in such a short period of time is a great accomplishment,” Park Pride Executive Director George Dusenbury said, reflecting on DPRCA’s recent accreditation.

For more information on the City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, please call 404-817-6788 or visit us online at www.atlantga.gov.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Atlanta Announces Municipal Carbon Footprint to Measure Emission Reductions

Data release coincides with inaugural sustainability report for Atlanta

Today Mayor Shirley Franklin released Atlanta city government’s first report on greenhouse gas emissions as the first step towards the goal of reducing emissions in the city seven percent by 2012. Also known as the “carbon footprint,” the figure was calculated with the help of a student-faculty team from the Georgia Institute of Technology and establishes a baseline to measure progress in Atlanta’s sustainability efforts.

“The City of Atlanta’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 came to 540 thousand metric tonnes, which is equivalent to the household energy use of 150,000 Atlanta residents or 98,000 passenger vehicles,” said Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor at the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems at Georgia Tech and primary author of the report. “Having conducted an inventory and committed to reducing emissions makes the City of Atlanta a leader in the state and region and well ahead of federal action on climate change.”

“We know that the opportunities to reduce our emissions are great, particularly now with the federal administration’s focus on green job creation and green energy,” said Mayor Franklin. “With funding from the recently-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Atlanta’s sustainability efforts will focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives which will create jobs, save money and protect our environment,” she said.

Determining Atlanta city government’s carbon footprint coincides with the release of the inaugural sustainability report for Atlanta. Produced by Sustainable Atlanta (a non-governmental partner to the city’s Office of Sustainability), the report compiles readily available data to create benchmarks for measuring Atlanta’s sustainability efforts, including the city’s carbon footprint. The report – available at www.sustainableatlanta.org – also provides best practices, context, proposed strategies and action in the areas of water; energy and climate change; parks and greenspace; and recycling and materials management.

“The Sustainability Report for Atlanta is both a map and milepost,” said Lynnette Young, executive director of Sustainable Atlanta. “It is a snapshot of Atlanta’s current status as it relates to sustainability and a context for future measurement and opportunity, determining what we can do together to help the city advance sustainable lifestyles for everyone.”

Launched in 2008 with support from the Kendeda Fund, the Atlanta Office of Sustainability is working across city departments to “green” operations and at the same time, maximize efficiencies. Sustainable practices implemented at City Hall are already generating a 20 percent drop in electricity use, with a forecast of nearly $135,000 in annual operations cost savings.

With the municipal carbon footprint established, the next step will be to develop the Atlanta Climate Action Plan. "The Climate Action Plan will be our blueprint to guide all city departments so that current initiatives and near-term objectives are aligned with achieving the 2012 emissions reduction goal," said Mandy Schmitt, Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability. "This strategic effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions supports the ultimate goal of making Atlanta a community that lives within the self-perpetuating limits of its environment, while maintaining high standards for economic growth, environmental integrity, and social justice."

According to Schmitt, near-term goals for Atlanta city government to achieve by the end of 2009 include:

1. 10 percent drop in energy use in general fund* facilities through low/no-cost conservation measures yielding $300,000 to $500,000 in annual savings
2. Five percent drop in water use in general fund facilities
3. At least two renewable energy demonstration projects
4. Three percent drop in fossil fuels used by municipal fleet yielding $267,000 in annual savings
5. 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in general fund facilities

Atlanta’s greenhouse gas inventory was guided by a protocol developed by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. Atlanta is one of more than 1,057 cities, towns and counties worldwide that are members of ICLEI and that have made a commitment to sustainable development. Atlanta also hosts ICLEI’s Southeast Regional Office, and city staff shares office space with ICLEI representatives to maximize the organization’s resources in developing performance-based, results-oriented campaigns and programs.

About Atlanta’s Sustainability Initiative
The ambitious goal of reducing Atlanta city government’s greenhouse gas emissions seven percent by 2012 was set by Mayor Franklin in 2005 in Washington, D.C. when she and 140 other mayors identified environmental sustainability as a critical factor for American cities. They signed the U.S. Mayor’s Conference Climate Protection Agreement charging themselves with creating and implementing sustainability plans based on best global practices. With the help of the Kendeda Foundation, the Franklin administration then launched a parallel effort both inside and outside city government: The Office of Sustainability is reforming city government operations, while Sustainable Atlanta, a private-sector team of consultants led by former Atlanta COO Lynnette Young, is developing public policy recommendations for sustainability improvements throughout the city. For additional information regarding the City’s sustainability initiatives, visit
www.atlantaga.gov/mayor/sustainability.aspx, and to learn more about Sustainable Atlanta, go to www.sustainableatlanta.org or contact Dana Hartline at 404.832.6358 or dana.hartline@edelman.com.
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