By: Lynn Issac
December 5, 2017, emerged as a memorable day in the life of Deana Holiday Ingraham as residents of the City of East Point elected her as their 34th Mayor. Her platform during her election was to strive to make every resident and business feel connected to the city. Mayor Ingraham hit the ground running to help make her city the “City of Choice”.
As mayor, she envisions East Point becoming “the most sought after, safe and diverse community in Georgia.” Increasing the city’s attractiveness, retaining existing businesses and residents, and attracting new residents and businesses all play an important role in achieving that goal. Additionally, connecting to the community and making them feel welcomed and valued are also important. With that in mind, the City of East Point was one of the seven municipalities to join the Welcoming America Network and designated as a “Welcoming City.” This national, nonpartisan, non-profit provides a strategic plan that serves as a roadmap that points toward a more inclusive and prosperous region and promotes diversity. As a part of this network, the One Region Initiative was created for the metro Atlanta region to ensure that all people feel welcomed.
“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to implementing programs and policies that build a welcoming and neighborly atmosphere in our community and beyond, where all people, including newcomers, are welcome, accepted and integrated,” Mayor Ingraham shared.
As the city continues to grow and flourish, the construction of the City of East Point’s new city hall is a welcoming addition to the community. Slated to be completed in late 2018, this new 31,704 square foot facility will be catalytic to redevelopment in the City. Located adjacent to the original historic building, the space will house the mayor’s office, a multi-purpose City Council Chamber, several city offices, a community building, a beautiful water fountain, green space for an amphitheater, and an area for public gatherings and recreation. An additional 2,400 square feet was included in the project for future growth.
Economic development is important to the city, however equitable development is equally as important. Providing policies and programs that encourage strong and livable communities are key. “I believe that development should be equitable and more than brick and mortar, said Mayor Ingraham. “Community development is critical to revitalizing our City.”
The East Point Main Street Association operates the East Point Farmers Market, which offers fresh, healthy food options. The farmers market is open weekly on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in downtown East Point at 2757 East Point Street.
As the film industry continues to grow in Georgia, East Point is a part of the action. The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office (FMDE) designated East Point as one of Fulton County’s “Camera Ready” communities. The city has an impressive list of movie scenes filmed including:
Devil’s Knot, Prisoners, The Walking Dead, Constantine, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, MTV’s Teen Wolf, Netflix Stranger Things, and the popular Vampire Diaries series to just to name a few. The City is well-positioned for future projects and bordering the northern edge of the city is Tyler Perry Studios, a 330 acres redevelopment of the old Fort McPherson U.S. Army base.
In addition to serving as mayor of the City of East Point, Mayor Ingraham wears numerous other hats which include wife, mother, Co-chair of the National League of Cities Youth Education and Families Council, member of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
In closing, she is committed to the City of East Point. Her motto is: “There’s no point like East Point!”