Closer Look: ATL Chief Housing Officer Talks City’s New Affordable Housing Strategy; Tennessee Dept. Of Agriculture Shares Best Practices For Hemp Farming; 2020 Census Could Miscount More than 4 Million

Chief housing officer of the City of Atlanta, Terri Lee discusses the the One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan, which was released today.
Chief housing officer of the City of Atlanta, Terri Lee discusses the the One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan, which was released today.
Credit Grace Walker

Monday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott:”

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s unanimous ruling that a lawsuit involving the city of College Park and Clayton County can move forward. Today’s ruling reverses, in part, a judgment by the Fulton County Superior Court, which had ruled the lawsuit was prohibited and that governments are protected under sovereign immunity. The City of College Park is seeking an equal share of tax revenue from alcohol sold at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, an arrangement which dates back to 1983.
  • In other news, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms revealed the One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan today. The mayor’s office calls it an extensive and detailed plan to increase the supply of housing. Terri Lee, Atlanta’s Chief Housing Officer will join Closer look in the studio later on the program.
  • And finally, the funeral for one of Atlanta’s oldest residents and a history maker is today. Edward Johnson was a World War II flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen and later became the first African American licensed master electrician in Atlanta.  He died last week at 103 years old.
  • 5:05: The 2018 Farm Bill, signed by President Donald Trump in December, in part expanded the cultivation of hemp beyond research or pilot programs. Since then, states across the country, including in Georgia, have passed measures legalizing hemp farming. To learn more about how states can implement hemp farming legislation we’ll look to the state of Tennessee, which started a hemp cultivation pilot program back in 2015. The state began with 49 licensed growers, but today, the program has grown to 2,900 licensed growers. William Freeman, the public information officer for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture joins us from WPLN in Nashville to discuss how his state grew its hemp cultivation program and lessons Georgia can learn from Tennessee’s program.
  • 24:12: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has said she will invest $1 billion to create and preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing by the year 2026. Today, the Mayor will a strategic plan for reaching this goal, which her office says will “serve as a roadmap to increase the supply of housing in the City of Atlanta for a full spectrum of residents.” We hear more of the details for implementing these projects from chief housing officer of the City of Atlanta, Terri Lee.
  • 40:58: The United States Supreme Court is still considering whether the 2020 census can include this question: is this person a citizen of the United States? The High Court has until the end of the month to issue a verdict, and many experts say the decision could come any day now.  Still, regardless of how the court rules, many experts say the 2020 census remains at risk for miscounting the United States population. A new report from the Urban Institute found that more than 4 million people are at risk of being missed in the upcoming census. We discuss the implications and likelihood of a miscount with Robert Santos vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute, who joins us via Skype.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.