We cannot compromise the right to vote. Every Georgian should have the right to vote, and it should be easy and convenient to vote. Unfortunately, we’ve seen repeated attacks on our right to vote from Republicans, from attempts to reduce the number of early voting days, to voter purges, to requiring voters to use photo ID.
Last year, while working as a poll watcher in East Point, I saw numerous parents voting on Sunday with their children. It was clear that this was the only day many of these parents had the time to vote. I also served as a poll watcher at South DeKalb Mall during these Sunday early voting days, where there were lines about 100-yards long.
We cannot eliminate Sunday voting or any early voting days. If we eliminate any early voting days, we effectively deny someone the right to vote.
Not only do we need to stand up and fight as hard as possible to prevent future efforts to make it harder to vote, but we also need to expand the right to vote. In the voter protection boiler room on election days, the number one complaint we receive is that people are trying to vote at the wrong precinct. For many voters with little time off of work or reliant on public transportation, going to the wrong precinct could mean losing the right to vote. I propose eliminating the requirement that people vote at their precinct. With today’s modern technology, voters should be able to vote at any polling place on election day, regardless of their precinct. And as your State Representative, I will introduce legislation to institute expanded voting at all voting locations and fight to protect early and Sunday voting.
Ultimately, voting is so important to me because our state and country can only progress if we protect our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect this fundamental right.
Fighting for Working Families
Every year, we continue to make it harder and harder for working families in Georgia. Our current Governor has refused to expand Medicaid for about 400,000 Georgians. We have to do better. We have to expand Medicaid to make sure all Georgians can have adequate healthcare. Despite the political rhetoric under the Gold Dome, we can do this responsibly. We owe it to the thousands of Georgians being crushed under medical bills or not receiving adequate care to stop playing national politics and expand Medicaid now.
We also have to raise the minimum wage. Georgia’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. We have far too many families with one or both parents working multiple jobs and still not making enough to provide for their family. This has to stop, and paying a living wage the first step to ensuring financial stability and security for the hardest working Georgians.
Investing in Transit
The Metropolitan Atlanta area is growing more rapidly than I can remember, but we are hindered by our lack of vision regarding transit at the state legislature.
Transit attracts businesses and new residents to our city, but it also increases the quality of life for our current residents. Regrettably, MARTA is the only major transit system in the country that doesn’t receive state funding. That has to change. As the metro-area becomes increasingly central to the well being of Georgia, the legislature must keep pace by supporting and investing in an efficient and accessible regional transit system.
As your State Representative, I pledge to work with key stakeholders to expand MARTA, but more importantly, to also give MARTA the autonomy to control its own future.
As a father of two boys, I know there is not a more important issue to a parent than the well-being and future of their children. That value should cross party lines, and as a State Representative, I pledge to fight for quality public education options for not just my children, but every child in Georgia.
Over half of Georgia’s budget is dedicated to K-12 public education, and yet, we’re still struggling with the crisis of failing schools. Georgia’s funding formula is from the 1980s. We have the same tired debate year after year, instead of bringing all the stakeholders to a table to build the best public education system in the South. We need a new direction.
As State Representative, I will be an advocate for a 21st century approach to education. I will strongly oppose any cuts and fight for smarter, student-focused investments. I will listen to the educational leaders in our district and take their experience and expertise to the Gold Dome, because they know how to fix this problem, not the Governor, and not the Legislature.
Some of my most cherished memories of growing up, and now raising my two boys, are camping and canoeing trips around this great state. For years, I’ve supported organizations who work to preserve Georgia’s beauty.
The environment is one of those rare issues that can bring together rural and urban Georgia. As State Representative, I will work with this already vibrant coalition to make sure that large polluters are not able to use legal loopholes or tax breaks to continue to get away with harming Georgia. As we continue to attract major businesses to our state, we have to do it responsibly with conservation and preservation considered every step of the way.
Discrimination is never acceptable. The proponents of the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration have tipped their hand as to their true purpose by repeatedly rejecting language that would definitively state that the law cannot be used to discriminate against the LGBT community.
I pledge to work as hard as possible and bring as many individuals and groups as possible together to defeat any future proposals for a RFRA-type bill in Georgia because marriage and the ability to love without obstruction are rights that all Georgians deserve.
For the past ten years, House District 59 has been blessed to be represented by Margaret Kaiser. She's a positive figure that has worked to bring people together, not divide them. I'm honored to have her support, along with many others, to carry on that work. We reject divisive politics. My campaign has been relentlessly positive. I truly believe that goodness binds us, no matter our zip code, who we love, or where we are on the political spectrum.