I’m running to bring opportunities to, and improve the quality of life for all residents in South Cobb. My history of consensus-building spans government, community, and civic involvement. My guiding principle is clear: as your representative, I will make District 39 – not myself – the priority. I will serve South Cobb with integrity, compassion, and purpose. I will work to make South Cobb thrive for all of us.
We must find ways to address the real and growing problem of global warming. We must work towards sustainable development and more recycle options in Georgia. Regarding Sterigenics, Ethylene Oxide is not only a known carcinogen it is also highly explosive. If there was an explosion both Smryna and the surrounding communities would be impacted. For these reasons, I support stringent oversight on permits, testing, and monitoring of any company that works with dangerous chemicals.
My other concern is the failure of the Georgia EPD to notify residents of the dangers Sterigenics posed when it received the information. To make matters worse, the Georgia EPD entered into an agreement with Sterigenics without public input. For this reason, I support the lawsuit filed by Senator Jordan against the EPD for unlawfully entering into an agreement with Stringencies without public comment.
South Cobb deserves access to quality community resources and education. Public School teachers are the critical link for our kids to receive a quality education and avoid the school to prison pipeline. Teachers must be given the pay and pension increases Georgia promised. I will work with teachers to advance smart solutions and prioritize the vision for them, our students, and parents.
Prior to HB 987, families like mine, were at the mercy of assisted living facilities. My sisters and I went to extreme lengths to protect my mother when she lived in one. We recruited family and friends to help us. Most people cannot do this. While more protects are now afforded, more needs to be done for those living in smaller facilities. I will work to extend protections for seniors in small facilities, to include certification and reporting requirements.
Healthcare and Livable Wages
Access to healthcare, livable wages, and safe and affordable housing are directly related to our health. I’ve lost a brother in law and three friends to COVID19 and they had healthcare prior to the outbreak. For those with no healthcare, the chances of survival from this or any other illness is slim. Last year, the Georgia Pathways Medicaid program became law. The program basically requires people to work in order to qualify for Medicaid. People are being told the program will encourage the poor to “lift themselves out of poverty”. However, putting limitations on health care will not work and those without access to healthcare will continue to die in high numbers. COVID-19 painfully illustrates this fact. I will fight for Medicaid expansion to ensure all Georgians have health care.
With wages, I don’t know anyone that can live above poverty on Georgia’s current minimum hourly wage of $7.25. On this salary, people are forced to choose between paying rent or buying food and medications. Congress must raise the federal minimum wage in Georgia to $15. Related to this is housing. If you cannot afford to live in stable housing, it is hard to concentrate on work, education, or protect your health. Everyone deserves to live in a stable and affordable home.
More Protection for Tenants
We have made strides to protect tenants from retaliatory evictions. But we must do more. We need an eviction process that treats tenants with dignity and respect. I will propose legislation mandating tenants’ property be secured during the eviction process, instead of thrown out on the street.
Women’s Reproductive Rights
Women’s reproductive rights are a long constitutionally settled issue. I will vehemently oppose any attempted limitations on a woman’s right to choose.
Voters should choose their elected officials and not the other way around. If the hallowed principle of one man one vote is to ever mean something, then voting districts must be drawn fairly. I will fight for a non-partisan and independent commission to oversee the process which should be transparent and allow for community input.
Justice for All
America was founded on the guiding principle that all men are created equal. It is time to fully live up to these principles in-deed, not just words. We must protect the LBGQT community, and fight against so-called religious freedom bills that attempt to legally discriminate against them.
Last, we must find ways to fully integrate those returning to our communities from prison. It is in everyone’s best interest for people to become working and contributing members of society. Therefore, I have coordinated job fairs for returning citizens for the past five years. This past year, I volunteered with Cobb County to coordinate the job fair portion of Cobb Restore 360; the first criminal record restriction and job fair event in Cobb.