My message is one of common sense and backed by three guiding principles: Family, Freedom and Fairness

I believe that all Georgians should be able to sustain a family, have simple, affordable healthcare, and receive a fair shake in life. And, everyone means everyone – no exceptions. To help achieve this, my vision for Georgia focuses on Health Care, Childcare, Employment, K-12 Public Education, Economic Development, Higher Education and Post-Secondary Pathways, Women’s Health, LGBTQIA+ Protections, Gun Safety, Criminal Justice Reform, and Protecting Voting Rights.

Just as I have shown during the last legislative session, I will continue to sponsor, co-sign, support, and vote for legislation that helps us reach these goals.



In Georgia, family comes first. Illness touches us all at some point, and taking care of family in sickness and health isn’t negotiable. Getting sick, being injured, or watching someone you love be unwell is a universal human experience.

We say America was founded on the idea that people are created equal. That’s why access to the medicines and care we need to live healthier should be equally available to all. Getting sick and needing care doesn’t depend on what’s in your wallet. But today, lobbyists and Republican politicians are using their power to deny the people of Georgia who are struggling to make ends meet the most cost effective, life saving medical care available. They rig the rules and benefit themselves with massive revenue handouts. Republicans and corporate billionaires are deciding who gets health care and who goes without. For some, profits come before health. For the rest of us, this is about fairness.

We lose out on $8 million dollars each day that we do not expand Medicaid. Life and health should not be for sale. Nearly 240,000 workers, students, veterans and other Georgians make too little to get financial help to buy health insurance and do not currently qualify for Medicaid. For many more Georgians, their coverage is inadequate, costs too much, or limits employment access to benefits.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Expand Medicaid in Georgia
  • Remove barriers to access
  • Reduce bureaucracy and “red tape”
  • Invest in mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs
  • Invest in PeachCare for Kids
  • Expand access to care for rural Georgians
  • Demand consumer protections and insurance reform
  • Increase network of providers, ensure people have adequate coverage, and prevent insurance companies from canceling plans or changing network status mid-contract



In a Georgia serious about childcare, without exception, every child would be cared for in a safe, nurturing, educational environment that gives all children a strong start and every parent peace of mind.  Child care workers, no matter where they are taking care of kids, would be treated with dignity and earn a living wage.

Families would have real freedom in how to care for their young children, and families who provide care for their children at home would be supported and valued. There would be fairness in the equity, access, and quality of Georgia’s childcare system.

However, this goal remains out of reach so long as legislators continue to woefully underfund our childcare and learning system. There are almost a million children in Georgia that need quality childcare, but whose families cannot afford it and struggle to make ends meet. The average annual price of childcare for an infant in a Georgia childcare center is almost $7,700—more than the average annual cost of tuition, $7,100 a year, at a University System of Georgia institution.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Remove barriers to access to care
  • Increase the income eligibility thresholds for child care assistance
  • Provide living wages and dignity for caregivers
  • Decrease child care co-payments for families
  • Universal Pre-K care
  • State policymakers should invest significantly in childcare and early education programs—including CAPS and after school programs—to expand access to high-quality child care and early education and create a robust system of high-quality providers, especially in marginalized communities
  • Fund child care assistance for single parent students who receive the HOPE Career Grant
  • Empower all stakeholders – parents, workers, providers – so that everyone has a real voice in shaping our childcare and early learning system



It’s time we respect people’s real contributions with fair wages—wages that you can sustain a family on. Every hardworking Georgian needs the opportunity to succeed and retire in dignity. To achieve this, we need a fair, inclusive economy. One full-time job at 40 hours a week should be enough to put food on the table and be home in time to eat it. People who work for a living ought to be able to earn a living.

Although these values are shared by most of us, they remain nearly impossible to achieve for many Georgians. A child born to parents at the bottom of the income scale has an 8% chance at best of working their way into the upper class. In Athens, Georgia, that number is 3.8%. Even middle class is often times not enough anymore to ensure a high quality of life with wages you can sustain a family on.

If we are going to be serious about valuing families, then we need our legislators to start putting families first by ensuring livable wages and supporting businesses that embrace practices that allow their workers to spend quality time with their loved ones.

Georgia fares better when we have an economy that works for everyone.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Ensure a living wage
  • Ensure that our workplace environments never discriminate against a person due to their race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability
  • Expand paid sick leave
  • Expand maternity leave
  • Increase worker protections
  • Protect unions of working people
  • Create stable workplaces that allow workers to plan schedules ahead of time
  • Allow folks to retire in dignity



Education paves the way for a bright and successful future for every child. Studies routinely link financial success as an adult to access and quality of their early education. Our children face many barriers to education today, including unstable housing, limited literacy development, and physical and mental health needs.

 Yet for many children in Georgia, the difference between achieving high levels of academic performance or struggling to acquire a quality education typically comes down to the zip code they are born into. Republican legislators cont
inue to neglect our public school needs and are intent on diverting our tax dollars away to private schools. Law makers supporting “school choice” through voucher programs, private school tax credits, and education savings accounts only further deprive our children and their public schools of the scarce resources they need to provide high quality education and services to all our children.

The good news is that I and other lawmakers fully funded the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula for our schools and the children they serve for the first time in 16 years. Although it was a onetime bonus from “windfall” money and is for this year only, it does show that when legislators are serious about education, they can find a way to make things work. Now we need real, long-term solutions.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Adjust and update our decades old QBE formula for funding public education
  • Fully fund our schools, teachers, and transportation needs
  • End austerity cuts
  • Ensure our school funding keeps pace with inflation
  • Equalize funding for districts with less property wealth
  • Strengthen teacher benefits and increase the share of teacher retirement costs that local districts operate with by shifting more of the responsibility to the state



Most of us all want the same things in life: the freedom of choice in career options, to sustain a family if we so choose, and decent pay for honest work. However, these aspirations depend almost entirely on what higher education and post-secondary career pathways we have available to us.

According to state estimates, Georgia needs another 250,000 college graduates with certificates, college diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees to meet its workforce needs by 2025. The state suffers from the effects of a workforce deficit commonly referred to as a middle-skill gap. Middle-skill jobs require education beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. Nurses, welders and electricians are examples of middle-skill jobs that require college credentials like certificates, diplomas, and associate’s degrees.

However, young people typically find that university attendance is often promoted over other post-secondary pathways; those that do graduate from college typically face debt and sometimes struggle to find work, and many people in Georgia are faced with working for unsustainable wages or nothing at all. The costs of college has gone up while state appropriations per student have gone down. The result is that people in Georgia are struggling to make ends meet while trying to provide for themselves and their families, all while being shut out of the benefits of higher education and post-secondary options.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Ensure graduation without debt
  • Embrace and invest in different post-secondary career pathways, such as state colleges, technical school, and HBCUs
  • Expand service cancellable loans
  • Increase access to HOPE
  • Increase tuition-free technical certificates
  • Control costs
  • Defend the rights of DREAMers
  • Provide free ACT/SAT testing statewide



Georgia gains enormous value and vibrancy from its status as one of the most diverse states in the country. What we need are opportunities for people from all backgrounds to innovate and contribute. We need legislators to create a fairer economy. Today, Georgia’s economy provides high profits and decent economic gains—to some. The share in economic gains is unbalanced and the declining opportunities for many weaken our communities and undermine real growth for our state.

In 1940, 92% of Americans wound up earning more than their parents. Today, that number is down to just 50%. Georgians today are working harder than ever yet struggling to succeed.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Childcare Tax Credit
  • Smart tax and fiscal policy that invests in our state by reducing corporate handouts
  • Prioritize economic mobility
  • Expand broadband and internet services
  • Expand access to capital for current and future small business owners, particularly historically marginalized groups such as women and people of color
  • Invest in our roads, bridges, transit, water and sewer systems, and green energy
  • Conservation and efficiency efforts to protect our land and water
  • Promote innovation in sustainability, diversity, and reliability of clean, green energy initiatives
  • Strengthen our financial wellness by protecting Georgians, particularly members of marginalized communities, from discrimination based on credit scores and savings
  • Promote tourism, outdoor recreation, and support Georgia’s booming film industry
  • Continue to support and expand our agricultural industries so they remain competitive on an international level
  • Promote and invest in public-private partnerships that help grow our rural economies




Women’s health is inextricably intertwined with a wide range of women’s rights issues, from economic security, to reproductive health, to safety and security. Women are more often than not the primary decision maker for their family’s health care needs. Women are also more likely in Georgia to be the primary caregivers of young children, be single parents, and are more likely to pay out of pocket health care costs. More than half of Georgia’s counties do not have an OB-GYN provider, and Georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country. In a Georgia committed to real equality, we need legislators to work towards a state that values and protects personal, private decisions, as well as ensures access to affordable, quality healthcare.

Important to reproductive freedom and women’s rights is recognizing that low-income women and women of color are at greater risk to experience poor health outcomes, be underserved in access and quality to health care, and experience higher rates of acute health risks, such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and diabetes. A serious effort to make equality a reality encompasses these diverse needs.

Empowering women not only empowers families, but our communities and economy.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Ensure women have control over decisions that affect their health, future, and families
  • Protect reproductive health care access
  • Make informed, research-based policy decisions by identifying gender and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes and access to care services
  • Expand Medicaid to stabilize rural hospitals and increase OB-GYN provider access
  • Create clear legislation that defines conduct and sexual harassment, not just in the work place, but in any setting where there is a duty-of-care relationship
  • Increase sexual harassment prevention and training programs
  • Create clear pathways for harassment complaints



As Georgians, we value the “American Dream” and recognize that individuals who love each other should have the freedom to be who they are and go where they want to go. Being in a loving, caring relationship and starting a family is a fundamental human experience. We also believe in the Golden Rule, or treating others the way we want to be treated. As such—no matter our differences—most of us all want the same things: to freely love another person and create a meaningful, lasting relationship with them, the freedom to live one’s life without fear of persecution or punitive laws, and the chance to raise and sustain a family if we so choose in a loving, caring environment. 

In these guiding principles, Georgians stand largely united with one another. There are over 300,000+ members of the LGBTQIA+ community who live in Georgia and, for many of us, these individuals are members of our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to truly protect our LGBTQIA+ family members. Republican legislators routinely introduce discriminatory bills that harm members of our community. Georgia is 1 of only 5 states in the nation that does not have a civil rights law protecting people from discrimination in public places. With a recent poll showing nearly 3 in 4 Georgians—and 63% of Republicans—support comprehensive LGBTQIA+ nondiscrimination protections, it is time for Georgia to embrace protections for everyone. Love is love.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • A comprehensive civil rights bill in Georgia that provides protections to the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Support Hate Crimes legislation that protects members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized Georgians
  • Oppose any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity



Common sense gun safety laws keep our children and communities safe. Georgia is the 4thhighest state in total deaths by firearms. Only Texas, California, and Florida suffer from more gun violence. Legislation like the “Campus Carry” law only serves to create more problems for ourselves and our loved ones. After the passage of HB 280 (Campus Carry) in 2017, loaded firearms have been found unattended in such places as a university residence hall restroom, bus stop, and athletic center. If the goal is to promote gun safety, reduce gun violence, and keep firearms out of the wrong hands, then there are more effective, time-tested methods for keeping our children, loved ones, and communities safe and secure.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Repeal Campus Carry
  • Universal background checks
  • Prohibit bump stocks
  • Impose a mandatory waiting period before the sale of a firearm
  • Keep guns out of the hands of those that perpetrate domestic violence
  • Oppose efforts to “arm teachers” and place guns in our schools with our children
  • Increase information sharing between federal and state law enforcement officials by requiring federal officials to notify state law enforcement within 24 hours of when an individual who is prohibited from buying a gun tries to purchase a firearm and fails their background check
  • Require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms
  • Allow for the ability to petition Extreme Risk Protection Orders
  • Embrace research, community-based strategies, and prevention programs that help keep our communities safe and secure by reducing the risk of threat in the first place



Though many Georgians may never find themselves in any part of our legal system, there are some communities that have long been denied a level playing field and bear the brunt of corporate and judicial cruelty. For some, their livelihoods and freedom are taken away because they simply don’t have the money to post bail, navigate the legal system, or provide for adequate defense. In the places that need criminal justice reform the most, their voices are often overlooked, forgotten, or ignored. Our legislators have deliberately created rules that favor some at the expense of many.

A fairer Georgia creates a level playing field throughout all interactions with law enforcement and the judicial system. An equitable system creates a level playing field where money doesn’t make one above the law and a lack of money doesn’t lock another into a perpetual cycle they can’t rise out of. No matter what you look like or where you come from, our Constitution guarantees everyone basic legal rights. America is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave, so let’s make it that way.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Decriminalize poverty through diversions, juvenile justice reform, and civil penalties for certain nonviolent offenses like traffic infractions
  • Decriminalize marijuana and expand medical marijuana
  • Decriminalize minor traffic offenses
  • Incorporate cultural competency and implicit bias training into Georgia’s statewide standardized Police Officer Safety Training program
  • Prohibit the use of private prisons and probation companies
  • Lower incarceration rates while increasing rehabilitation services
  • Eliminate cash bail
  • Reduce recidivism through investing in substance abuse and treatment programs
  • Improve pretrial services and supervision
  • Allow local municipalities to decide how best to serve their communities through local reform efforts



The right to participate in a fair and free election is a fundamental right granted to all of us by the United States Constitution. It is this right that is the building block of democracy and of our nation. Every time we cast our ballots, this most basic right allows each of us to create a state that values our families, protects our freedoms, and ensures that we all receive a fair shake in life.

Yet, Republican legislators manufacture barriers and create rules that deny this most basic guaranteed right to hundreds of thousands of Georgians, including members of our family, friends, and neighbors. Nearly 300,000 Georgians are disenfranchised, having lost their right to vote, and an additional almost 800,000 Georgians were removed from the Secretary of State’s voter registration list between 2014 and 2016.

It is vital to the health of our democracy that all Georgians be allowed to exercise their fundamental right to vote without persecution and without voter suppression.

We have the ability to make things better. Here’s how:

  • Protect and expand the right to vote
  • Support automatic voter registration
  • Establish same-day voter registration
  • Establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission
  • Use secure ballots with a paper trail