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Mayor talks transportation, Hillary Clinton, and filmmaking at Atlanta Press Club

Listen to his full 40-minute speech and Q&A

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  • Joeff Davis
  • Mayor Kasim Reed spoke at the Commerce Club, but dodged answering questions about his political ambitions beyond his mayorship.

Mayor Kasim Reed spoke to the Atlanta Press Club this afternoon at an event held at the Commerce Club downtown. Over the course of approximately 40 minutes he recapped some of the past year's highlights and shed light on some potential initiatives in 2013.

His recent accomplishments are well-documented, but in brief the mayor emphasized economic development and the expansion of the Atlanta Police force, among other achievements. He also touched on the city's sound fiscal state, amassing $126 million in its reserves, including $107 million in "unencumbered" funds that can be invested back into the city.

"You can't help other people when you're broke yourself," the mayor told the audience of journalists and other media professionals.

Reed touched on several plans throughout his speech that could materialize in 2013. Now that Atlanta has been given an extension by the federal government to complete the $4 billion overhaul of its sewer system, Reed said, the city will focus on making as much as $300 million dollars in improvements "above the ground" that would include "roads, bridges, and streetscape." Funding for the projects would come from a bond package and not require raising taxes.

"How a city looks and feels, the experience of a city, and the beauty of a city matters a great deal," Reed said. "So that's what we're going to do next. We're going to have the largest capital investment above ground we've had in modern times."