ATLANTA – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) announced that the Stitch was awarded one of the country’s first Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grants. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the Stitch a $1.1 million Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grant. This is the second-largest federal investment in the Stitch. In March 2022, Congresswoman Williams secured a $1.16 million Community Project Funding Grant for the Stich.
The Reconnecting Communities Program is based on legislation written by Congresswoman Williams and administered by the DOT. The Stitch is a project from the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) to cap the Downtown Connector from Piedmont Avenue to the Civic Center MARTA Station.
Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said:
“I authored the legislation for the Reconnecting Communities Program because infrastructure should strengthen communities–not divide them. The Downtown Connector divided the Black neighborhoods of Buttermilk Bottoms, Bedford Pines, and Sweet Auburn through the 1956 Federal Highway Act. The Stitch will take steps to reconnect parts of our communities that have been divided for far too long. I am grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for awarding the Stitch one of the country’s first Reconnecting Pilot Program grants.”
A.J. Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District said:
“We are grateful that the Stitch is moving one step closer to reality by receiving one of the nation’s first US Department of Transportation Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grant awards, and we heartily thank Congresswoman Williams, Senator Ossoff, and Senator Warnock for their support of our application. This $1.1M in funding will be combined with other funds dedicated by ADID, Invest Atlanta, and the USDOT to advance the engineering of this transformational project. We look forward to working with our partners at the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Regional Commission, and the Georgia Department of Transportation to begin community outreach, planning, and design of the Stitch this spring. Like Mayor Dickens often says about Atlanta, the Stitch is a group project that can’t happen without input and support from the Atlanta community, so please visit the Stitch website thestitchatl.com to find opportunities to participate in shaping the Stitch.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said:
“As we continue to revitalize Downtown Atlanta, there are historic wrongs that are being righted through projects like The Stitch to re-connect neighborhoods and build a sense of community. Thank you to Congresswoman Williams for her continued leadership in bringing home these significant investments to ensure Atlanta has modern infrastructure that meets the needs of our growth.”
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.