Democratic candidate, Gwinnett County Commission Chair Former Georgia Senator
Throughout my life, I've always been proud to call Gwinnett County home. I am a progressive raised by
progressives. Thus,I've Spent a lifetime embracing, and working for change. My parents were politically active in the anti-Vietnam war effort in the late 1960's and into the early 70's. When I graduate from Shiloh High School, I pursued my college career at the American University. While in college, I started my own work in politics. This included volunteering on the 1988 AI Gore for President campaign and volunteering at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. I received a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and international studies and went on to receive my J.D from Georgia State University.
Most recently, I served in the Georgia State Legislature for the last 16 years. My biggest legislative accomplishment that affects people locally is the bill I helped pass to create Community Improvement Districts (CID's, in Gwinnett County. I served on the Gwinnett Village CID for 10 years (now the Gateway
85 CID) and I was the first, and founding president . This work on CID's gave me experience working on local government issues and planning. Much of this experience focused on the transportation planning for mass transit that, along with the work of countless others, has ultimately grown into the Connect Gwinnet plan that is part of the Transit Referendum.
Throughout my career, I have continued to stand up for progressive causes. As a constant advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. I continuosly opposed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In 2003 and 2004, I led the fight against the state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. I also co-sponsored legislation to address hate crimes, bullying and voting rights.
As a legislator, I was the first in Georgia to propose a referendum that would allow Georgians to vote on the legalization of retail marijuana sales. Additionally, I was the first to propose full-spectrum medical marijuana legislation. Each year, I worked with the state legislation to expand Georgia's medicinal cannabis CBD oil laws.
I am also proud to have been a co-sponsor of the Georgia Entertainment industry Investment Act - the bill that created the tax credits that have brought so much movie and television industry business to Georgia. Gwinnett County has specially benefitted from Eagle Rock Studios.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with, and serve on the boards of AID Gwinnett, Gwinnett Sierra Club, Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity, and Norcross Cooperative Ministry. Currently, I am a member of the Sierra Club and the Peachtree Comers Rotary Club.
I continue to live and work in Gwinnett and want to ensure that we build a bridge to a bolder and brighter future for our county and all those in it. My values are to ensure that my fellow citizens are safe, treated with respect, have equal opportunity and are free from discrimination of any kind. I hope you join me in our campaign for Gwinnett's future.