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Best New City Initiative
Summer 500
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A centerpiece of Eddie DeLoach’s mayoral campaign, the Summer 500 program is a high school internship/apprenticeship program which attempts to match 500 high school age applicants to participating local businesses.

The idea, which reflects the Mayor’s own small business background, is to give industrious young folk real-world job experience the summer before their senior year which will prepare them for ready employment upon graduating high school or college, should they attend.

An added benefit, the Mayor contends, is that crime will be reduced because more young people will have more opportunities.

Summer 500 initially came under fire because it requires passing a drug test and applicants can’t have any felonies. The Mayor and City Manager’s response is that there is already a similar program for at-risk youth, and that most employers for insurance reasons cannot take on interns with a law enforcement record. —Jim Morekis

Runner-up: Hiring more police