Georgia elections take place in five weeks--NOVEMBER 8th! Get your yard sign today through website or email me your address at email@example.com. We need your help in securing an election win for Democrats in Georgia. Voter registration ends October 11th, so please contact any new voters and make sure they register in the next few days. You may request a vote-by-mail ballot now. What issues are most important to you?
CONTINUATION OF HB 1013
MENTAL HEALTH WORK
Continuation of the HB 1013 and Mental Health reform is my main ongoing priority and something I work on everyday. I chair the Workforce and Systems Development Subcommittee for Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission. On September 15 we had a substantive subcommittee meeting on data sharing, the practice of providing important health data access to partnering health providers throughout Georgia. We are working on a draft bill to establish data sharing protocols among agencies. In addition, and in support of further mental health reform, I have had several other meetings regarding mental health issues in the past month, including with Georgia Student Finance Commissioner Lynn Riley on September 19th to discuss education loan cancellations. See below for more details on these meetings with various Georgia constituents and organizations.
Video of September 15th Subcommittee for Workforce and Systems Development Subcommittee for Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission
On September 10th I spoke to a group of Georgia psychologists in Druid Hills.
I met on September 8th meeting with GEEARS -
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students.
I spoke to the Interfaith Children's Movement of Georgia on September 11th. Two high schoolers, Isobel and Madison, presented the issues of children's mental health needs and gun violence - thank you and great job!
Video of the September 12th meeting of the Georgia House of Representatives Governmental Affairs Special Subcommittee on Local Service Delivery. We met to discuss health standards of care delivery in rural areas.
CLOSURE OF WELLSTAR ATLANTA MEDICAL CENTER
The upcoming emergency room closure on October 14 and complete November 1st closure of the 460-bed Atlanta Medical Center will massively impact residents of Atlanta and the state of Georgia, as it is one of only five Level 1 trauma centers in the entire state. Governor Kemp’s announcement that Grady Hospital will receive $130 million in remaining federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) for 185 more hospital beds does not pay for personnel and is not an adequate solution for such a tremendous problem. Furthermore, third and fourth-year residents in the Internal Medicine Residency training program will now be assigned to other Wellstar hospitals.
The MARTA board, in the first quarter of 2023, will vote on whether MARTA will extend access via light rail or rapid bus transit for the new Lindbergh to Avondale transit line. The board will also vote on the route of the new line. A lot is happening to bring this 30-year-plan to reality, and most of the extension will go through the center of HD 82. As chair of MARTOC, I will report more in the near future as this huge transit addition finally moves forward.
On September 14th the Senate and House Judiciary committees, of which I am a member, met to confirm the appointment of former state senator and Superior Court Judge William Hamrick as sole Georgia Statewide Business Court Judge of the recently-established business court.
I was appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to join the Justice for Children Commission. We met on September 30th, and I am pleased to be part of this important commission. Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charles Bethel is the new chair. For more information on the responsibilities of the commission, go to https://georgiacourts.gov/j4c/.
There will be constitutional amendments and statewide referendums on the November 8th ballot. I intend to vote yes on all of them, and will be reporting further on ballot initiatives in the next newsletter. Here is further information for your consideration: https://ballotpedia.org/Georgia_2022_ballot_measures
I have many upcoming events and would love to see you and talk about the issues of our state and district that matter to you!
*10/8 - LaVista Park Festival
*10/8 - Oakhurst Porchfest - join us at 156 Jefferson Place between 3 and 4pm. Bring your yard sign and lawn chair!
*10/11 - St. Luke's Chapter at All Saints' Episcopal
*10/14 - Atlanta Master Chorale at Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory
*10/23 - Emory Open Streets at Emory Village
I was invited this week by Environment Georgia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Federal Clean Water Act. We highlighted ongoing issues of concern in Georgia's rivers, particularly the South River and the Ocmulgee that are both part of the Altamaha River basin.
Progress on renovations at Druid Hills High School is significant and impressive. Many questions remain on how the budget of $50 million will be used. I will continue to monitor this situation closely.
Thanks to the Medlock Neighborhood Association for inviting me to speak on Monday, October 3rd. I appreciate your neighbors' work for the Clyde Shepherd preserve and the newly-arriving homeless population. The Free99Fridge is helping people. We can learn from you.
Thanks to the Emory Center for Child Development and Enrichment for such a warm welcome on October 5th!
I loved being with you.
Todd Jones, Brian Strickland and I joined the Council of Substance Abuse to celebrate National Recovery Month. it was a great crowd. Thank you for all your important work!
Here is our next governor, Stacey Abrams, singing backup with the Indigo Girls! Very cool event - go Stacey!
I enjoyed attending the fabulous Decatur Book Festival panel on Georgia politics and hearing Greg Bluestein talk about his newest book Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power.
Huge thanks to Georgia Equality for endorsing our campaign. I'm honored to continue working toward the mission to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and allies throughout the state. HAPPY PRIDE EVENTS!!
I greatly enjoy my appearances on Bill Nigut's Political Rewind. Here is a recording of my last appearance on September 27th. Listen to the full show HERE.
Thank you to LaVista Park and Victoria Estates for inviting me to your neighborhood ice cream social on September 18th and for showing your yard signs! I dearly appreciate the support of my decades-long friend Barbara Hund.
Thanks again to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Georgia chapter for this wonderful award. I am proud to be part of the Legislative A-Team!
I appreciate your interest and advocacy. Please reach out to me by email or phone to let me know your thoughts about proposed legislation or community concerns.
You can search for and track bills, watch the House (or Senate) in Session, watch committee hearings, monitor legislation by committee, and find contact information —- all on the revamped General Assembly website. Here are quick links:
Make your views known. Write to the leaders: