I am seeking your support as the Democratic Nominee for House District 144.
General Election: November 6, 2018 (Early Vote October 15 - November 5, 2018)
- My Walden family legacy is based on representing the under-represented and greatly influences who I am today, in the spirit of serving others.
- In the tale of “Two Georgias,” Central Georgia is at the center of it all and deserves strong Statewide advocacy for its greatest asset: our people!
- Central Georgia wants access to a decent quality of life, which greatly depends on access to education, access to jobs and access to healthcare.
- This race isn’t about identity politics. This is about what we collaboratively value for Central Georgia.
- This is about our future. Every decision made in the Georgia General Assembly affects our children’s future. As a mother, I don’t take that lightly.
- As a lifelong Central Georgia resident who has lived in Bibb, Jones, Houston and now Twiggs, I seek our issues and opportunities and work tirelessly for our assets and identity.
What I offer
- I can articulate what we need, what we stand for and what we want as Central Georgia. I am someone who can serve effectively in the General Assembly by knowing and naming our needs and working sensibly on either side of the aisle.
- Those needs are going to revolve around access for our region: access to education, access to healthcare, access to decent jobs and access to quality of life.
- We can learn from listening to those who live it. When in doubt, let’s ask our teachers and our farmers.
- When working at the State level, look among the region’s local representation – the school boards, the county commissioners, the law enforcement – to work together on what works best. We don’t need identity politics for a pragmatic approach to achieving the most for our region.
- I am pro-business, without giving up the spirit of the mom-and-pop business (after all, I am one!), and value working collaboratively as a region so large and small businesses want to be here.
- In order for people to thrive, we need access to the resources Georgia provides. The role of the State Representative is to advocate for our region, work for our people and create points of access to support jobs, healthcare, education and the decent quality of life in which these create.
Among the Areas of Access
- Identify and assist areas to improve food access in USDA-defined food desert neighborhoods: We need to seek public policy recommendations that support supermarkets and other fresh food retail in underserved areas of the state, many which are found in Central Georgia.
- Seek recruitment and retention efforts to improve healthcare access: While there is funding to ensure community health centers can continue to provide high quality and affordable care to those in need, it goes beyond physical locations – we need people practicing medicine here. Just as there are food deserts, our region also faces obstetrical deserts where maternal care is unavailable within a 40-minute drive. Studies show maternal mortality is significantly higher in rural areas. While there are underlying health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, we need to improve geographic access to improve prenatal care. Family physicians offering obstetrical services have dropped by half in recent years. Many mothers in this region are faced with driving to other counties, up to 40 miles away, for care. District 144 also has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the State, and our State has one of the highest rates in our Nation.
- Support digital inclusion efforts that provide reliable Internet access: The 21st century economy requires broadband, and with a lack of Internet access – as well as its reliability and affordability – our region faces devastating statistics in connectivity. All seven of our counties have gaps in digital inclusion. In some of our areas, 37 percent of the population does not have access to Internet. We must seek solutions to conquer this regional digital divide, so homework can be done at home, businesses can thrive, citizens can engage and our global market isn’t limited.
- Enhance workforce development and work-based learning: The growing success of Career Academies, Dual Enrollment opportunities and Career, Technical and Agriculture Education (CTAE) programming are meeting the demands of a skilled workforce and providing opportunities to learn beyond the traditional classroom. Students are staying in school when engaged with CTAE pathways and are successfully graduating with their next steps in place, whether it’s going to college or beginning a career or apprenticeship that is meeting our high-demand industries’ skilled workforce needs.
Other Areas of Access We Can Work to Improve for Central Georgia
- Access to increased teacher satisfaction and support that enhances dignity in the classroom. Character education is proving to have positive results in our region – reducing disciplinary issues, improving attendance (teachers and students) and creating learning environments where teachers can teach and students can learn.
- Access to preventative healthcare measures, secondary steps like screening and detection, tertiary care after a diagnoses and quaternary prevention that can lead to healthier lifestyles.
- Access to affordable and available behavioral healthcare, including mental health treatment and addiction recovery.
- Access to enhanced public safety through uniform and available wireless E911 Systems
- Access to creative industries, including the support of the maker movement in our region and continued support of the Georgia Musical Investment Act, which creates a tax incentives for music production in Georgia.
- Access to Family Leave Policies that improve workforce retention and create healthier work environments.
- Access to decent jobs that recognize the value of a living wage, close the gender pay gap and strongly stand against discrimination in the workplace.
- Access to Medicaid expansion. This wouldn’t just improve the health and wellness of thousands of our families in the region, but even our farmers and Veterans would gain access to more affordable primary and specialty healthcare.
- Access to innovation for agricultural processes but the freedom to operate where farmers’ knowledge, motivations and values play an important role.