Statewide Candidate Forum on April 21st

Join the DeKalb Democrats on Saturday, April 21st as we present a Statewide Candidate Forum.
This forum will be a great way for voters to learn more about candidates running so that you can make informed decisions when you go to the polls on May 22nd.
Gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans be there, as well as candidates for United States Congress, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State.
The event will take place at the Maloof Auditorium located at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur from 5pm until 8:30pm.

Free tickets are available on Eventbrite.

 

Candidate Q&A Senate District 40

Two progressive Democrats, Tamara Johnson-Shealy and Sally Harrell, are currently running for Senate District 40. Republican Fran Millar currently holds this seat. We asked both candidates the same questions. The questions, and their answers are below. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

 

Sally Harrell

Why did you decide to run?

Our democracy is at risk due to gerrymandering. I know from my past experience that I can run a winning campaign even in a difficult swing district. It is critical that Democrats gain a larger voice in redistricting in 2021, or we will continue to have unwinnable congressional districts and a dysfunctional congress. By flipping Senate 40, we prevent the Senate Republicans from having a super majority, which slows down their ability to push a far-right agenda.

 

What experience do you have that is relevant to the office you seek?

From 1999 – 2005, I won three elections to the Georgia House of Representatives in a competitive “swing” district within Senate 40. While serving in the legislature, I influenced and passed legislation in the areas of education, healthcare (including disabilities) and mental health. I have a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia, and have served as a non-profit executive director. Having recently raised two children, now ages 16 and 18, I have seen first-hand the challenges that local families face, particularly with healthcare expenses, public schools and traffic congestion.

 

What are your top 3 priorities?

My top three priorities are education, healthcare and the environment. Our K-12 public education system needs to be fully funded, restoring cuts made since 2008 and before, and reversing the trend toward sending public dollars to private schools. Pre-school, college and technical schools need to be made affordable. Medicaid needs to be expanded to save our failing healthcare system state-wide. And perhaps most urgently, we need to slow the destruction of our environment by investing in innovative, clean energy solutions, especially in the area of regional traffic planning.

 

What problems/challenges/difficulties do you see in the state? What would you propose to do about them?

Georgia needs new leadership. While our income gap continues to widen, hospitals close or merge, and our teachers attempt to do more with less, our legislature has been wasting time and taxpayer money with debates about “religious liberty,” carrying guns into bars, churches and college campuses, and making life hard for immigrants. The leadership of the Gold Dome needs to join the 21st century – not bring us back to a time where racism, sexism, and other prejudices were the political norm. Our current representatives don’t want to change – so we must change our representatives.

We also need to have an open and honest conversation about how different members of our community are at a disadvantage simply because of their race or religion or lack of money, and we need to work closely with these groups to understand and identify ways we can support their priorities. I see this as a cornerstone to any progressive approach to governance, and I believe that making an extra effort to be inclusive and hear voices that are disenfranchised will benefit all of us in the long run.

 

What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from that?

As public servants, our first duty is to listen to learn. During my earliest days serving in the legislature, I tried hard to listen to the voices of the people. I quickly learned that listening is not easy, as some voices are easier to hear than others. The “loud” voices I heard as a new legislator turned out to be a few voices of a very vocal minority. Eventually, I learned to actively seek the input of the quieter voices, and even figured out how to be a voice for the voiceless. This allowed me to use the legislative process to make a bigger difference for more people.

 

Tamara Johnson-Shealy

Why did you decide to run?

This is my third run for Senate District 40.  I ran for the first time in 2014 and the second time in 2016.  I decided to run during the controversial Lavista Hills/Tucker cityhood initiative.  As a resident of the Northlake/Tucker Community, I witnessed, firsthand the divisive leadership of the current incumbent.  Friends, neighbors and neighborhoods were torn apart and I realized that Senate District 40 and the citizens of Georgia deserved better leadership.

 

What experience do you have that is relevant to the office you seek?

I am well versed in legislation and the legislative process in Georgia and nationwide.  As Senior Advocate of a professional, national organization my role is to bring people together.  In this position, I organize our members around the issues and monitor and fight legislation.  I understand that if policy is to work effectively, it must bring people together and not tear them apart.

 

What are your top 3 priorities?

As a Democrat, my top 3 priorities are healthcare, education and transportation.  Georgia must be intentional with providing healthcare for all.  Georgia must fully fund public education to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to learn.  Georgia must also make sure that we have viable transportation options that ease congestion and protect the environment.

 

What problems/challenges/difficulties do you see in the state? What would you propose to do about them?

The problem that I see in Georgia is its inability to serve all Georgians equally and fairly.  We have areas in Georgia that are under served and do not have access to resources and opportunities.  I would propose that as policy is initiated, we are intentional in making sure that legislative initiatives work for all Georgians.

 

What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from that?

I am an extremely hard worker.  When I start something, I am focused until it is completed.  I am dedicated and committed to all that I do.  A mistake that I have made is “not stopping and smelling the roses”.  It is still a challenge for me, however, I have learned that I need to slow down and take life’s journey one day at time.

 

#ResistanceSummer

Please join the DPG next Thursday, July 20 at 7pm to learn more about their #ResistanceSummer organizing program.
Join us by dialing 712-457-0200 Pin 6775.

It is a program centered around capacity building at the local level, that will enable each of your committees to:

Activate your existing volunteer base
Recruit new members
Engage new members
Reach out to low-turnout voters

The DPG is officially launching the program this week along with a digital ‘Commit to Vote’ card. The digital CTV cards will allow you to collect voter data like emails, cell phones, address, etc while also allowing you to recruit volunteers.

In order to take part in this organizing effort we ask that committees follow these simple steps.

Collect Commit to votes (Digitally or using actual cards)
Host volunteer phone-banks centered around calling low-turnout Democrats
Enter Data
Follow-up with card signers to recruit them for volunteer activities/opportunities
Follow-up with volunteers recruited over the phone to invite them for volunteer activities/opportunities
Repeat

If we follow this approach over the next few months we will have used valuable time establishing trust and engaging base voters who are our most valuable resource. For the past few years Georgia has consistently lost statewide elections with a vote deficit of 190,000 – 200,000 votes in state with a population of over 10,000,000 people.

Through doing our part and engaging with voters early on we are certain to increase the amount of voters who show-up during our November municipal elections and our Gubernatorial election next year.

June 20th Election

Do you live in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District? It covers parts of Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Do you know where your polling place is? Some have changed and there has been some erroneous information out there. Find the answers here, the only official place online to get your voter information.
https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
Get a FREE ride to the polls:
If you have the UBER app, text VOTEGA to 38470.
If you don’t have the app, call 770-765-7175.
You will get a free ride to and from the polls.

Early and Absentee Voting Information

Do your part to help elect Jon Ossoff and Flip the 6th on June 20th!

REQUEST A MAIL-IN (ABSENTEE) BALLOT
1. Fill out this Absentee ballot application (Georgia has no-excuse absentee voting by mail, so anyone who is a registered voter in the 6th is eligible to vote by mail!).
2. Mail, fax, or email your completed application by Friday, June 16. However, we recommend turning them in at least a week before to make sure you get your ballot in time. Also, make sure you use two stamps when mailing your application back.
3. Receive your absentee ballot by mail. You can check the status of your application and your ballot at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
4. Return your completed ballot by mail no later than Election Day, Tuesday, June 20.

VOTE EARLY IN PERSON
In DeKalb, there will be five locations open beginning on May 30th.

North DeKalb Senior Center
3393 Malone Drive Chamblee, GA 30341
Tues – Fri May 30 – June 2 (8 AM – 6PM)
Mon – Fri June 5 – 9 (8 AM – 6PM)
Saturday June 10 (9 AM – 4PM)
Mon – Fri June 12 – 16 (8 AM – 6PM)

DeKalb County Voter Registration and Election Office
4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300
Decatur, GA 30032
Tues – Fri May 30 – June 2 (8 AM – 6PM)
Mon – Fri June 5 – 9 (8 AM – 6PM)
Saturday June 10 (9 AM – 4PM)
Mon – Fri June 12 – 16 (8 AM – 6PM)

Dunwoody United Methodist Church
1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Tues – Fri May 30 – June 2 (8 AM – 6PM)
Mon – Fri June 5 – 9 (8 AM – 6PM)
Saturday June 10 (9 AM – 4PM)
Mon – Fri June 12 – 16 (8 AM – 6PM)

North DeKalb – Tucker Recreation Center
4898 LaVista Road, Tucker, GA 30084
Tues – Fri May 30 – June 2 (8 AM – 6PM)
Mon – Fri June 5 – 9 (8 AM – 6PM)
Saturday June 10 (9 AM – 4PM)
Mon – Fri June 12 – 16 (8 AM – 6PM)

Briarwood Recreation Center
2235 Briarwood Way NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319
Tues – Fri May 30 – June 2 (8 AM – 6PM)
Mon – Fri June 5 – 9 (8 AM – 6PM)
Saturday June 10 (9 AM – 4PM)
Mon – Fri June 12 – 16 (8 AM – 6PM)

If you live in Cobb or Fulton, please visit the Jon Ossoff website for more information.