Atlanta City Council Website
The Atlanta City Council Mission
Atlanta City Council
55 Trinity Ave
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Atlanta City Council Website
Ivory Lee Young
Keisha Lance Bottoms
The City Council is the chief policy making body for the City of Atlanta. The Council’s mission is to ensure that Atlanta is led by a groundbreaking, strong, and capable group of leaders that work for the good of all citizens across the city. As a legislative body, the council’s main role is to make laws. In addition, the Council has oversight of multiple agencies, boards, and commissions. The Atlanta City Council is comprised of 15 members and is led by Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell. Each member of the Atlanta City Council tirelessly works to improve the lives of Atlanta’s citizens. Together, they work to ensure safer and cleaner streets, bolster Atlanta’s economy, and institute many community-based programs. Working hand in hand with Atlanta’s mayor and the members of the executive branch, the Council plays a key part in the budget process and financial well being of Atlanta.
History of Atlanta’s Government
Originally settled as the end of the Georgia railroad line, Atlanta was first incorporated in 1847, using a 1 mile radius from the railroad depot as its limits. Atlanta thrived then with a population of 2,500, and has continued to expand since its founding. As of 2008, Atlanta was considered the thirty-third largest city in the United States. Even from its beginnings, Atlanta’s legislative branch has worked to foster a sense of free dialogue with the greater public that it serves. Today, the City Council welcomes the input of citizens both during committee and full council meetings. Currently, the council offices are housed in the Trinity Street annex of the Atlanta City Hall that was completed in March of 1989 which adjoins the original building circa 1930.
Making Laws for the City of Atlanta/ How City Council Works
As the legislative branch, the Council is responsible for the creation of laws enacted to run the city government. Legislation can be introduced in two ways. The first way is that it be introduced on the floor of Council by a Councilmember. This is known as a personal paper. The other way is that the legislation can come through a committee. Here in the City of Atlanta, legislation takes two forms -- ordinances and resolutions. An ordinance establishes a permanent rule of government. Every official act of the Council, operating with force and effect of law, must be an ordinance. Ordinances must be read before full Council at two regular meetings. Resolutions express intent or support of various projects and enterprises or establish legislative policy of a general nature. Resolutions, unlike ordinances, need be read only once and can be introduced and adopted at the same meeting. In some cases, the Council is required by law to hold a public hearing and must notify the public about the hearing.
After a paper has been through the committee process, the paper is voted on by the full Council. The Council may accept or reject the committee's recommendations. A majority vote is needed for adoption. Once adopted, the paper is sent to the mayor for signature.
In addition to legislation, the Atlanta City Council works hard to ensure that city government works for its citizens. Through the various Council Committees the council assesses various government programs and agencies. Each year, the Council is in charge of holding budget hearings in which the City’s budget, recommended by the Mayor, is strictly reviewed prior to being voted on by the Council.
The Atlanta City Council prides itself on being responsive to its citizens. Each councilmember employs a professional staff to address questions and concerns of Atlanta’s citizens. If you have a comment or concern and would like to speak to the council, there are many ways to get in touch with the Councilmember’s offices. You can call the Council’s general number at (404) 330-6030, or contact your Councilmember’s office directly, or visit the Atlanta City Council’s website at citycouncil.atlantaga.gov