March 9, 2024

Post-Crossover Report

I have qualified for reelection to the House, and I ask for your good wishes, your support, and most importantly, YOUR VOTE!


I have qualified for reelection to the House, and I ask for your good wishes, your support, and most importantly, YOUR VOTE!

I officially qualified to run for reelection on Tuesday. There were many Georgia citizens, both Democrat and Republican, waiting to qualify so that they can run for public office! I am pictured above with my friend from All Saints', David Ross. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you currently in HD 82, and if elected in the May 21 Democrat primary, I will continue to serve you in a new district with a new number--HD 84. As with many legislators, our new district is significantly different from our current district, and I have attached a map for your information. The new HD 84 is in light green. For more detail about 2024 redistricting, go to the Fair Districts GA mapping section at


Looking at any new district, I like to know the schools that are located in the district and their performance standards—HOW ARE children doing in the varied neighborhoods and school options available? The schools in the new HD 84 are as follows:

  • Druid Hills High School
  • Westchester Elementary School
  • Clairemont Elementary School
  • Winnona Park Elementary School
  • Glennwood Elementary School
  • Talley Street Upper Elementary School
  • Wadsworth Magnet School for High Achievers
  • Columbia High School
  • Snapfinger Elementary School
  • Peachcrest Elementary School
  • The Anchor School
  • Towers High School
  • Canby Lane Elementary School
  • DeKalb School of the Arts
  • DeKalb Preparatory Academy Charter
  • Miller Grove Middle School

According to U.S. News & World Report, we know that DeKalb School of the Arts has a 98% graduation rateand Towers High School has a 74% graduation rate, even though the schools are only 3 miles apart. Every year, the DeKalb School of the Arts is ranked in the top 10 in the state. As I campaign this spring, summer, and fall, I'll be paying close attention to new neighborhoods, new voters, and the opportunities available to the citizens of HD 84. I look forward to visiting with you, learning more about your schools and neighborhoods, and, as always, please tell me about any issue that concerns you and how I should be using my time.

I do have an opponent in the Democratic primary. I will be back in touch on how you can volunteer and help me win on May 21st.


Many mental health provisions from House Bill 520 survived Crossover Day. Rep. Todd Jones and I have been working behind the scenes directly with Senators to complete all of the reforms that were set forth in HB 520 that did not pass in the 2023 Session. As you may remember, the Lieutenant Governor was adamant about not passing HB 520 last spring until his demands for Certificate of Need (CON) were met, and now in 2024 we are in a different posture and are working to take provisions of HB 520 and attach those provisions to other bills that are freely moving back and forth across the Rotunda from and to the House and Senate for final action.  

The major good news is the progress made for new funding for mental health services in both the 2024 Supplemental Budget and Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. In the House Budget, there is an additional 2.5 million for housing vouchers for the mentally ill and disabled. There is also a 2.5 million dollar add for the APEX program. Additional monies are provided for a variety of services for crisis beds, jail competency restoration services, and the mentally ill homeless population. Now the Senate will respond to the House Budget proposals. The additional budget numbers are encouraging—Stay tuned!


I have introduced, along with my colleagues from the Dekalb delegation, legislation to change the name of Memorial Drive to Veterans Memorial Drive. East Fair Street in Atlanta was renamed Memorial Drive in 1930, ostensibly to honor the Confederate dead, but done so at the height of legalized racial segregation and Jim Crow mob violence. Please read the full press release below.

We have not been allowed a hearing for HB 794, a bill introduced in 2023 to bring some modern sensibility to the Stone Mountain Memorial Authority. Renaming Memorial Drive to honor all veterans and not just Confederate soldiers is another effort to highlight the way state resources are used to support the memorialization of the Confederacy or the “Lost Cause." The State of Georgia has allocated 10 million dollars in bonds both in the FY 2024 and FY 2025 Budgets to Stone Mountain Memorial Park for building improvements or repair, even as the Evergreen Conference Center at Stone Mountain is suffering from a 30-40% vacancy rate. The conference center's loss of revenue is due to the Park's memorialization of the Confederacy. This is not sustainable, and we need to push for change so that our beautiful Park will both thrive and dignify the lives and memories of all Georgians.

Below are HR 1351 and the signatures and district numbers of all members of the DeKalb delegation.


I enjoyed speaking on Friday with Bill Nigut, Greg Bluestein, Tia Mitchell and Congressman Buddy Carter and on WABE's Politically Georgia. You may listen to the podcast episode wherever you get your podcasts or at


Polling question from last newsletter:

Should Georgia ban speed cameras in all school zones across the state? Total votes: 550

Yes: 16.8% (92) No: 83.2% (458)


I have many questions regarding Rivian's plans to halt its $5 billion electric vehicle factory in Georgia.

1. When did Governor Kemp learn of Rivian’s decision to stop construction?

2. How is the property purchased by the Joint Development Authority titled today? Does Rivian hold title?

3. How much has Rivian received of the $5 billion of incentives to date? Can Georgia claw back any money already received by Rivian?

I have more, but basically let’s “follow the money," and make a plan to recover what we can. Read the AJC's article about the Rivian factory "pause" here.


The DeKalb County House delegation meets every Monday at noon or following adjournment of Session. We will make every effort to stream every meeting live on Facebook. Follow us on Facebook:


Yesterday I enjoyed seeing the MANY students from Talley Street Upper Elementary along with my dear colleagues Rep. Omari Crawford and Senator Elena Parent. We had no idea that Stacey Abrams would join us! I love seeing my constituents at the Capitol!

Loved visiting with Agrlin Braxton and some of the many wonderful scouts visiting their Capitol on Thursday, March 7th.

Important visitor to the House floor on March 7th! Mayor Dickens is doing a great job focusing on housing and the homeless.

I enjoyed meeting Malia Wright, who paged for me in February. Thanks for coming to your Capitol!

Thank you Georgia WIN List and Melita Easters for endorsing new Democratic candidates and returning Democratic legislators!

Georgia Water Coalition on Capitol Conservation Day!

On February 27th, I met with ER pediatrician physicians who are telling legislators about gun violence impacts on children. Welcome to your Capitol!

My Senator! Brightens my morning— welcome to our House!

Nice to see Georgia College & State University President Cathy Cox!

What a day - Mrs.Vietnam Georgia 2024 winner and runners up, substance abuse recovery leaders, and DeKalb Day at the Capitol! Mike Thurmond came to help celebrate Gloria Butler and her fabulous career—- she is retiring and will be missed! Plus, grilled pb&j sandwiches for lunch—All are welcome in our final ten days!

Before and after a tense and difficult 16 hour Crossover Day, I enjoyed being with Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey and former House colleague Mike Thurmond. Mike was at the Atlanta History Center talking about his new book on Oglethorpe, and my former constituent Natasha led the Ellmann Lectures—both stars! Now back to the final days of Session!

On Crossover Day, Students from Midtown High School were at the Capitol advocating for more students to have opportunity to take AP tests. Great job, students!

On February 27th, as part of the Georgia Water Coalition, Rachel Liu spoke in favor of Okefenokee protections in HB 71. Thank you, Rachel!

I enjoyed meeting with Anna Rader, a PhD student in neuroscience at Georgia State University. Joining her were Michael Parkerson and Chris Green from GSU Government & Community Affairs.


Sunday, March 10th - The Oscars!

Monday, March 11th - DeKalb delegation and City of Atlanta meeting - livestream link

Friday, March 15th - Temple Shabbat

Sunday, March 17th - Annual Purim Parade

Thursday, March 28th - SINE DIE


I am on the following legislative committees. You can watch live every time they meet. Click on the links below for livestreams, agendas, archives and more.



  • Appropriations - Human Resources
  • Governmental Affairs - State and Local Government
  • Judicial - Leverett (two)

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 and tell me what issues interest you the most.