Some is not a number and soon is not a time. My goal is to improve the quality of life for every single resident in District 105 and I have a plan to have this done with your help exactly one year from now.
Where I stand
We can ensure a bright future for Georgia. But to do so requires thoughtful awareness of and smart solutions to help overcome the problems facing our state today.
The current economic climate has made it clear that no industry, neighborhood or region is safe from hardship. We must invest in education, economic development, infrastructure and transportation in order to grow our tax base and create new jobs.
Sadly, regardless of where our children live – in cities, suburbs or in rural areas – they are not graduating from high school. Georgia ranks in the bottom five states nationally in the percentage of students attaining a high school diploma. We must change this.
An excellent educational foundation is a required first step for success later in life. Improving Georgia’s public schools will create a stronger, more diverse and better-trained workforce. A steady improvement will strengthen communities, drive population growth, raise property values and increase public safety.
While Georgia is fortunate to have a diverse economy – home to 13 Fortune 500 companies – we must provide better support to industry and business in each corner of our state, so that as the economy recovers we can be a leader in creating jobs and developing industry to ensure more opportunity for all Georgians.
Another critical piece in making Georgia more livable, improving our schools and recruiting more jobs is making sure we have the infrastructure in place to support our initiatives. We must consistently support and improve MARTA, make the Atlanta Beltline a reality and develop high speed rail options on pace with our neighbors in Florida and North Carolina. Improving transit in Georgia will help us increase our role as an environmental steward, as will conservation and comprehensive solutions related to Georgia’s water rights.
If we elect leadership focused on education, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, we can take Georgia in the right direction.
Our schools and children are suffering thanks to massive cuts to education funding over the past eight years.
Education cuts have been implemented every year since 2003, even when there was money in the budget. The current leadership has cut almost $3 billion from education. Teachers have been furloughed, class sizes increased and foreign language, music, art and PE programs all but eliminated.
The state has lost sight of the crucial role education plays in ensuring future prosperity for our state and equal opportunity for all.
We must restore funding cuts, invest in early childhood education, and give high school students the option to take technical/vocational courses that can enable them to be trained for a skilled, high-paying job immediately upon high school graduation.
Making high school more relevant to students would help decrease the drop-out rate, which is currently the second-worst in the nation. We need to hire, train and provide support for the best teachers and reward them for their results.
A well-educated workforce will permit Georgia to attract good jobs and will also halt the growth of Georgia’s prison population, which has grown to the fifth-largest in the country. It costs twice as much to incarcerate a person as to educate them.
The vast majority of Georgians are educated in public schools and those students are at a clear disadvantage against students from other parts of the country, and increasingly, the world.
Georgia needs elected officials who will not accept Georgia’s public schools place in the bottom 10 percent of all U.S. schools. Our students and families deserve better, and the future prosperity of our state depends on it.
Gwinnett traffic ranks as one of the worst commutes in the country and most Gwinnettians have no realistic choice but to drive their cars to work.
For years, the Republican-controlled Legislature has failed to come up with transportation funding solutions for much-needed improvements. It finally took an initial step towards funding this year, but there is much still left to do. Gwinnett needs a first-rate mass transit system, and MARTA has been unable to be that because it is the only major public transportation agency in the country that does not receive any state funding for operations.
Gwinnett’s notorious gridlock damages job growth as well as the environment. The current system is unsustainable, and mass transit, renewable energy and energy efficiency are a necessary part of our future.
The sooner that fact is realized byGwinnett and by Georgia and changes are made to our current methods of transportation, the more attractive we will be to companies and potential residents, and the more we will prosper.
The benefits for our quality of life and our state are limitless.
Our future ability to attract jobs to Georgia depends on making improvements in areas long neglected by our state leadership.
Two top issues businesses look at when deciding to relocate are the quality of the education system and the quality of the transportation system.
Georgia has been lacking in both areas.
Failure to solve these issues is driving business away from Georgia and will only continue to do so unless addressed, urgently.
The future necessarily involves using energy and water more efficiently than we have in the past.
On the neighborhood level, we must promote and make accessible expansive recycling in neighborhoods and office buildings.
Government spends your money, and as such has a huge responsibility to be accountable and efficient in how it does so.
I will demand transparency, accountability, and adequate controls to ensure that your money is spent on smart policy initiatives that will give you a return on your investment and not on special interests.
Currently, the state has seriously eroded its tax base with over one hundred lobbyist-driven sales tax exemptions that cost the state billions of dollars annually.
Meanwhile, our state’s leaders have raised our property taxes and decimated the education budget, demonstrating that the spending at the Capitol needs to be re-prioritized.
Local Issues, I promise I am here for you.
As your State Representative, I’ll work hard to ensure that the needs of my constituents are met at the Capitol, particularly when it comes to local legislation.
I’ll build the relationships necessary to get the legislation passed and keep you informed of its progress.
My constituents will always come first, and I pledge to be accessible to you, sending a monthly email newsletter and responding to any constituent request within one business day.