On the Issues

Property Taxes

Though property taxes are assessed and collected by counties (and don’t fund the state), I believe state legislators have a responsibility to restrict what counties can do in regards to property taxes.

Currently, home values are inflated for tax purposes. Though you may have bought your home for $150,000 15 years ago, a new neighborhood went in across the street and your area is growing. So, now the county says it has a fair market value of $250,000. But you are on a fixed income and the increase in taxes is pricing you out of the home you’ve lived in for over a decade. Through no fault of your own, you are forced to sell and leave.

This practice puts our most vulnerable populations at risk. Those on fixed incomes, such as the elderly or disabled, and those struggling on low-incomes are disproportionately negatively impacted by these policies. Even middle-income families begin to see their spending ability lessen as their property value is inflated. And when housing recessions hit, those values are never reduced, so you are paying taxes on a price you could never actually get for your home.

I believe the value you are taxed on for your primary residence should be the value you paid. This protects the most vulnerable among us and reduces housing issues.

Photo by Scott Webb


Gun Safety

We have a public health crisis in this country. Gun violence. Not just mass shootings. America isn’t just number one in mass shootings in the world. Our gun violence rates across the board are astronomical. From suicide, domestic abuse murders, and accidental deaths up to mass shootings, we have a gun problem in this country.

I am not against gun ownership. Many of my friends and family own guns. I have spent a fair amount of time shooting guns. I will spend more time shooting guns. I don’t have a problem with guns. I have a problem with America’s addiction to guns and our lack of regulation around them.

I believe in common sense regulations that make turning legal guns into illegal guns harder, that keeps guns out of the wrong hands, that require more responsibility, and that include education, registries, and licensing. Some gun safety measures I support are:

  • Licensing and registration
  • Required education and testing
  • Age limits
  • Removal of private sale and gun show loopholes
  • Better background checks and longer wait times
  • Forfeiture of license and weapons after committing an offence
  • More restrictions on what can be owned
  • Storage and use regulations
  • Stronger penalties
  • Turn-in incentives

These don’t keep law abiding citizens from owning and using guns. And they won’t eradicate gun violence. But they will significantly reduce gun violence.

Photo by Derwin Edwards

I am proud to be a 2020 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. This isn’t about “gun control.” It’s about preventing gun violence in all its forms, and encouraging gun safety and responsible gun ownership.


Reproductive Rights

There’s no place to mince words here — bodily autonomy is under attack. Our rights are being stripped away. And the current legislative body in Georgia is helping it happen. The unconstitutional and oppressive HB481 reduces those capable of getting pregnant to incubators and threatens lives.

In a state with the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation, we can’t afford to deny anyone reproductive healthcare. We also can’t continue to be a state that claims to be pro-life while refusing to support new parents and young children. We need protections that ensure:

  • Access to abortion
  • Parental leave
  • Low and no cost options for childcare
  • Comprehensive sex education
  • Protections for LGBTQ+ parents and children

We also need to dedicate ourselves to reducing the maternal mortality rate, especially for black women.

These aren’t just women’s issues. These are issues that affect us all. And I am here to fight for them with you.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr.

I am proud to be endorsed by #VOTEPROCHOICE and pledge to always vote to protect the right to choose. Learn more at https://www.voteprochoice.us/

I stand with NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia in the fight for reproductive freedoms and rights. Everyone deserves the right to make their own medical decisions. As a NARAL Pro-Choice endorsed candidate, I am committed to always fighting for the right to choose you own healthcare path.

Education

As a nation, we long ago decided that educating our youth was a public responsibility. So much so, there are legal penalties if kids miss too much school. Yet we constantly divert money away from this crucial institution of our society.

Georgia ranks 31st in the country for K-12 education. Forsyth County may be 4th in the state, but in a state that isn’t in the top 50% of the country, that means there is room for improvement. We need to ensure funding for our public schools, make sure every child has similar opportunities — even if they don’t live in an area with money pouring in from high-priced properties.

Every child in Georgia deserves an education. And our teachers deserve more respect, protection, and compensation for their impact on the future generations. As your Representative, I will fight to better fund public schools in Forsyth.

I will also fight for policies that protect all students, regardless of background. That means better special education programs. Expanded dual immersion programs. Protections for LGBTQ+ students. Removal of policies biased against students of color, such as bans against certain hairstyles. Rethinking dress codes that teach young girls their bodies are shameful and young boys that they aren’t responsible for their own actions.

Photo by fauxels


Environment

Wendell Berry said that we should strive to live “the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children.”

As a current inhabitant of this beautiful planet, and as a mother, I am concerned about the future of our planet. We are increasingly making it more difficult for humans to survive here. Gorgeous natural areas are being bulldozed and lost.

Clean air, clean water, and clean soil are vital to human life. They are inalienable rights of every living person. We can and should do more to protect our water, land, and air. Though Georgia ranks well for air quality nationally, we rank 30th for pollution. It is time to stop putting profits over preservation. No one’s bottom line is more important than the health and quality of life of Georgians. 11% of Georgians have asthma — that’s twice the national average. We rank #2 for most pollution from vehicles. These are distinctions I’d rather not have.

Slowing down climate change and taking steps to reverse what we can is something that needs to be addressed at the corporate level. Personal actions like reusable shopping bags and food containers are great. But real change can’t occur unless corporations are reigned in. I will fight for policies that make companies – the biggest polluters doing the most harm – reduce their environmental impact.

Photo by Markus Spiske

I am honored to be endorsed by the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club. Protecting the environment, investing in mass transit and renewable energy sources, and ensuring clean air, water and soil for all Americans are just a few of the issues Sierra Club and I share passion for. ​


Voter Access

Voter Access is perhaps the most pressing issue of our time. If people are denied the right to use their voice and exercise their right to vote, we can’t make any real change. It is vital that we fight to have easier options to vote.

What we have been seeing the last few years is shameful. Polling places closed, early voting limited, restrictive and unnecessary I.D. requirements, the Secretary of State refusing to recuse himself from overseeing an election for himself. Now they are trying to block absentee ballots from happening, after their success in the primaries.

It’s no secret why the GOP is determined to keep people from voting – and it isn’t “voter fraud.” It’s because they don’t want the people they need to exploit to stay in power to oust them from that power.

We need laws that ensure everyone has access to voting. More polling places, easier vote-by-mail, more early voting, a federal holiday for voting day and more.

Image by Element5

Money in politics and lack of participation in elections has become increasingly dangerous to our democracy. I am proud to be endorsed by Fight for Reform, the state level project of End Citizens United and Let America Vote. I am dedicated to campaign finance and election reform that makes elections more transparent and allows every citizen to participate in our democracy.

Without free, fair elections we cannot call ourselves a free country for the people by the people. I am honored to be a Fair Fight endorsed candidate and will continuously fight to ensure everyone has easy access to exercise their right to vote.

Affordable Healthcare

How many of you have had to weigh just how bad your medical issue is against the cost of going to the doctor? Or know someone who has? Even those with insurance don’t always know what is covered and have to decide if their child’s fever is really that bad and risk a bill for several hundred dollars that they don’t have.

We all come together when a friend, neighbor, coworker, or member of an organization we love (such as church or team), gets sick and needs help. We can do that on a much larger scale if we work together to improve healthcare access.

The failure of our Governor and Legislature to expand Medicaid has had disastrous effects for Georgia, especially those in rural areas. Georgia ranks 39th in the United States overall for healthcare, and 41st for access. Our maternal mortality rate is the highest in the nation at a rate of 46.2 – a number that jumps to 66.6 for black women. Half of all counties have no OB/GYN. Some counties have no doctor at all. We have some of the highest healthcare prices in the nation, but a median income of less than $30,000.

These numbers are unacceptable. Our state cannot thrive if our citizens are dying from preventable issues. Medical access is a right for every citizen of Georgia and I will fight to make sure everyone has the access they deserve. No one should have to choose between debt and death.

Photo by EVG Photos


Equality & Diversity

Forsyth in 2020 doesn’t resemble the Forsyth of a decade ago. It is rapidly growing, and the growth includes more and more diverse families and voices. Our legislators no longer speak for the majority of Forsyth residents.

We have issues nationwide with systemic bias, and Forsyth is no different. Forsyth has an ugly history when it comes to diversity and race. It is time for representation that recognizes these biases and fights to remove them. Someone who is willing to learn from those with different life experiences, to listen, and to act. As your Representative, I would use my position to amplify the diverse voices of Forsyth.

Equality across race, sexuality, gender, health and more are important to me. That includes issues such as:

  • Criminal justice reform
  • Religious freedom for all religions
  • Clear separation of church from state matters (e.g. removing “blue laws”)
  • Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Protections for the LGBTQ+ community
  • Protections for those with disabilities

Photo by fauxels

The separation of Church and State was a founding principle of this nation that seems to have gotten lost over recent decades. I am proud to be endorsed by the Freethought Equality Fund due to my commitment to ending the stigma for atheists, humanists and others and to keeping religion out of politics.

I am committed to ending police violence against the very citizens they are meant to protect. I am honored to be a part of the People for the American Way and Next Up Victory Fund “Stop Police Killings” slate.



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