Atlanta has done a lot in the seven years since he took the helm, but the city can’t rest on its laurels, Mayor Kasim Reed said in his State of the City address Feb. 2.
And to illustrate the point, he recalled a lesson from the former leader from a country that required some audacious ambition just to come into existence, according to prepared remarks.
Mr. Reed had met the late Israeli Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres at a dinner hosted by former Coca-Cola Co. CEO Muhtar Kent.
The mayor said the Nobel Peace Prize winner shared a conversation he’d had with one of Israel’s founding fathers, David Ben Gurion, about their aspirations for the nation they helped make a reality.
“He shared this memory of once, when they were walking, Ben Gurion said that he could never have dreamed of everything that Israel had become. All of his dreams for Israel came true. But the lesson that he took from this was that they had not dreamed big enough. Peres continued, saying, ‘when you close your eyes, when you take stock, if your list of accomplishments is longer than your list of dreams, then there is still work for you to do.’”
Mr. Reed used that anecdote at the close the speech to encourage his hearers to keep pursuing bigger and better things for the city.
“Let us never be accused of not dreaming big enough. Because what we dream, we can do. And what we do, we will do together. Let’s believe it will happen, and it will. It should be so and it will be so.”
Mr. Reed also touched on a variety of themes like staying welcoming to the foreign-born community, inclusive development, economic wins, a tenth-of-a-penny tax to support the arts, and much more.
See a story on the mayor’s posture on the immigration debate here.
See his full prepared remarks here.