I was born in 1961 to Southern parents who met after moving to New York City, who were searching for better opportunities than the segregated and racialized South could afford. I was a product of both the struggle and subsequent strength of my parents. Raised during the tumultuous 60s and 70s when survival was a daily fight, the Civil Rights Movement engraved a certain consciousness, pride, and fighting spirit in me. Figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, and John Lewis were an inspiration to me to keep fighting for a better life for not just myself, but my entire community. I loved school, but I became a single mother at the age of 17 and was forced to drop out of school to support my first child. I didn’t want that to stop me from getting a job though, so I went back and got my GED a few years later.
After I had my third baby when I was 30, I wanted to find a better place to raise my kids and give them the best life possible. So I relocated to Baltimore in the early ’90s and attended Baltimore Community College where I studied Political Science. It was here I began involving myself in local community organizations and grassroots initiatives to help disadvantaged communities fight for the resources they need. After doing the work in these communities for several years, I started imagining a life in public service where I could advocate for the disadvantaged communities that reminded me of the neighborhoods I grew up in as a kid.
Our community needs someone who can relate to their struggles, understands the core problems that exist in their community, and will fight to solve them.
I moved to Georgia in the 90s and got back involved with several organizations and grassroots initiatives to advocate for disadvantaged and silenced communities within our borders, eventually settling in Griffin in 2018. Working with Black Voters Matter, the Spalding County Democratic Committee, the Eastern Stars, and my church, New Birth Fellowship of Praise, I helped organize voter registration drives, vaccination campaigns, and other vitally important missions within several different communities. It was in this work I realized our community, our district, and our state needs representation that reflects the experiences of real people. Members of our community are struggling to survive, but we’re represented by a Senator who can afford to loan his campaign $25,000 in cash and enjoys free dinners from lobbyists in Atlanta. Our community needs someone who can relate to their struggles, understands the core problems that exist in their community, and will fight to solve them. That is what I plan to do as your next State Senator.
I am not running for office to make a name for myself, to make myself wealthy, or just to benefit myself and my friends. I am running to make everyone's lives better- to grow our local economy, to grant everyone affordable and accessible healthcare, and to ensure everyone's rights are protected.
Georgia should have a robust healthcare system that protects and treats patients at a low cost. For over ten years, Republicans have neglected our healthcare system and rejected billions of dollars given to our state through the Affordable Care Act. That money was meant to insure over half a million Georgians and close the Medicare coverage gap so that all Georgians who wanted health insurance would have access to it. As your State Senator, I pledge to expand Medicare in Georgia and treat healthcare as a human right, not a luxury afforded to only the wealthy few.
Republicans have also attacked a woman's right to choose, creating unconstitutional laws that virtually make abortion illegal. Many women fear attacks on their birth control are next. As your State Senator, I will protect women's healthcare, women's right to choice, and women's access to birth control.
Civil Rights in America and in Georgia are under attack! Republican attacks on People of Color, Women, and the LGBTQ+ community are running rampant. Voter suppression bills that have passed through our state legislature are a direct attack on Black and Brown Americans' right to vote in Georgia. Some Republican leaders are considering policies that limit women's rights to choice, even in cases of rape and incest or when the mother's life is threatened. On top of that, there's a barrage of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced and passed by our current state legislature. All these bills are despicable and dehumanize groups of people by treating them as second-class citizens.
When I'm your State Senator, I will not tolerate hate or discrimination in our government in any form. I will fight for your voting rights, your right to control your own medical decisions, and your right to love who you love and be who you are.
Drug use is a problem in District 16 and has been for years, but our current politicians haven't solved it. Instead, they've treated addiction strictly as a moral failing and chosen not to help people who need it. The answer to drug addiction and drug use is not mass incarceration or allowing more overdose deaths- it's cannabis legalization and making addiction treatment accessible to those who need it.
I want to invest more money into mental health and addiction-related treatments so we can properly treat people who suffer from addiction, take them out of unsafe lifestyles that lead to crime and overdose deaths, and help them repair their families and be productive citizens. I also want to legalize cannabis so that people with chronic pain can use a more effective, less addictive treatment and to stimulate Georgia's economy and create jobs.
The State of Georgia is known as the Empire State of the South. Our economy is booming as more businesses realize how amazing the people and resources of the State of Georgia are; however, the economy is not working for everybody, just a wealthy few.
I want to raise the minimum wage. If someone works a full-time job, that person should be able to afford things like rent and be able to live a comfortable life. I want to encourage companies to invest in local communities and offer tax incentives to companies that do social good. I also want to jumpstart Georgia's economy overall.
I want to attract more companies that will be major players in the next stage of the economy by continuing to offer tax incentives and rewards if they build, hire, and develop in Georgia. I will work to continue expanding Georgia's green energy economy. I also want to expand the economy by legalizing and taxing cannabis.
Climate change is a threat to humanity's very existence, and we have to take major steps to ensure future generations will have a healthy planet to live on for years to come. Almost all major sources of pollution stem from major corporations. While everyday people probably should adjust their carbon footprints, those of us in government have to take on big business and ensure they are properly managing their much larger carbon footprints as well. As your State Senator, I will do just that.
I will offer tax incentives for companies that are carbon-neutral or carbon-negative. I will ensure large corporations follow existing environmental regulations. I will also give you back the $5,000 tax credit for purchasing an electric vehicle that Georgia Republicans ended in 2016.
Georgia's public school system is ranked in the bottom half of the country. We have to invest in our schools and raise the quality of our children's education. We must ensure they are equipped to be successful in the modern work force. This means making our state's higher education institutions more accessible to all Georgians. This means ensuring students are being taught accurate information and being given the opportunity to think critically and ask questions in the classroom. Republican efforts to stop our children from learning social and historical facts they find uncomfortable will not make our society better- it will make our students less competitive in the real world.
As your State Senator, I will let our teachers teach the facts and give our students the tools to be successful once they graduate. I will invest more resources into our schools. I will work with local Boards of Education to better prepare our children for success in the workplace. Lastly, I will restore the HOPE scholarship to fully pay for a college student's tuition when they attend a public college in Georgia.
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