Valor, Courage, Sacrifice

By Sen. Ed Harbison

Having completed two combat tours during the Vietnam War, nothing has brought me greater honor than serving on behalf of the United States military. Now, as your senator and chairman of the state senate's Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committee, I am humbled to work on veterans' behalf to secure legislation that provides comprehensive resources they need.   

THANK YOU to all those who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. military and all the family members who support them. We salute you for your valor, courage and sacrifice.
 
On this Veterans Day 2014, I extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to our veterans, active duty military, National Guard, reserves and their families.
 
Please join me in honoring our nation's heroes by offering your thanks to members of the military in our state and this great nation. 

Hearing Voices

By Curt Thompson

                  Contrary to the title, no I am not writing about ghosts and ghoulies this week. We still have month before Halloween, after all. I’m referring to a different type of voice; a voice that many people around the world are not able to hear, or even speak for that matter. I’m referencing one’s own inner voice - their thoughts, their beliefs, and their viewpoints on issues. How they see the world, and also how they want to help fix the problems they see. As Americans, we are lucky to live in such a free country. We’re able to be heard on many levels. From city government all the way to federal, citizens have a right to make their voice heard, and they also have a say in how their communities are affected in the process of change. All of this is done by something we may find trivial, but something that’s been fought long and hard for – having the right to vote.

                  America was founded on the beliefs of equality, freedom, and letting every person be able to speak their minds freely. In the beginning, it was only white men who owned land that could vote. However, it wasn’t just white men who were in America. Slowly but surely, the movement grew to allow black men to vote in 1869. That was met with staunch opposition from southern leaders, and they quickly filed for a “grandfather clause” – which states that only those who had grandparents registered to vote may do so. With the addition of poll taxes, and literacy tests, the opposition against minorities grew until almost 100 years later in 1965 when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act which made these tests illegal, as well as poll taxes. This is when everything changed for the better. When truly all citizens could have their voices heard.

                  We take this liberty for granted, at times. Not realizing actually how many countries still have dictators or still live under communist regimes where everything is dictated by one person. Often times if you have anything to say against that person, or their beliefs then you are often times exiled, put on trial, or generally punished – just for speaking your mind. In America, we’re able to have that freedom to say what we want. We have that freedom to worship whatever deity it is we choose to, or that freedom to sleep with who we want to; and for the most part, not be judged for it. But all of this hinges on people getting to the polls and letting their congressmen and women know exactly what it is they want out of them. They’re not mind readers; elected officials need input from the constituency to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

                  Which brings me to the end of all of this – if you have a problem with something that is currently happening, or want to change something in your community, you have got to get to the polls. You can’t just sit and gripe and yak about it. Talk is cheap. People can talk all day long but truly never say anything. Voting is a way for us to be heard, and a way for us to keep power with the people. But people get caught up with the idea of, “Well what’s my one vote going to change?” This is where democracy fails. When people start to feel complacent and as if they really have no say in what’s going on in their country. One vote truly can make all the difference. Even if things don’t go the way someone wants then, at least they tried. The only way to truly fail at something is to give-up.

                  Everyone make sure to register to vote and get to the polls in November. The First Lady of the United States was recently in town and encouraged all Georgians to make the polls in order to make a difference. FLOTUS knows how important it is. We should honor her request. It’s the only way you can be heard. Get out there, make a change, and make a difference in not only your life, but your loved ones lives as well. Use this freedom that sometimes we tend to overlook. It’s a freedom that has been fought over by so many people, so many countries, and we as Americans won it for our citizens. You have every tool you need to have things change in favor of you; all you have to do is use them. And with those tools, you can build a much more beautiful world because you have chosen to help create it,

Breaking the College Bank

The legend of Ouroboros is the perfect way to describe the student loan situation in America. Ouroboros in Greek mythology is a serpent that eats its own tail, which in the myth represents cyclicality. Forever doomed to do the same thing over and over without and kind of actual outcome. 

Congratulations to all Re-elected Democratic Senators

The Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus congratulates Democratic State Senators who won contested primaries last night.  Each and every one of you has been an immense asset to the State of Georgia and through your hard work will return in 2015 to continue working to create a strong and prosperous Georgia with good, high-paying jobs, a strong educational system, and an honest government that works for everone.  

Congratulations to:

  • Senator David Lucas (D-Macon)
  • Senator Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale)
  • Senator Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta)
  • Chairwoman Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta)
  • Senator Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro)
  • Senator Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain) 

as well as all the incumbent Democratic Senators who won reelection without opposition.  

Congratulations Hardie Davis

The Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus congratulates Augusta's next Mayor, Sen. Hardie Davis.  Mayor-Elect Davis will be an invaluable asset to the people of Augusta and will work tirelessly for and accountable, transparent and collaborative government, economic growth and job creation, public safety throughout Augusta, and stronger public schools.

Congratulations Elena Parent

 

The Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus is proud to welcome 42nd Senate District nominee Elena Parent.  The Caucus is excited to work with Elena to help rebuild our economy for working families, increase educational opportunities, fight for crucial investments in transportation, and stand up for a government that works for Georgians, not deep-pocketed special interests.

2014 Legislative Summary

Georgia’s 2014 Legislative Session is over, but its impact will be felt for some time.

The 18-member Senate Democratic Caucus entered this legislative term one member shy of its ability to block constitutional amendments. While Democratic numbers haven’t allowed the caucus to block simple majority bills on the floor for some years, this was the first time Democrats worked within a Republican Super Majority.

Additionally, passing Democratic legislation faced greater odds this year because of Sen. Jason Carter’s announced bid to replace Republican Governor Nathan Deal. GOP political maneuvering for the November elections was at an all-time high.

Despite these overwhelming odds, Senate Democrats worked as a team on priority legislation that would improve access and funding for education, create jobs and foster an environment for economic growth, while working towards honest and transparent government.

The majority of bills in the Democratic Caucus’ legislative package were never given a committee hearing. Still, there were legislative successes, measured both by passing and working to defeat legislation and in obtaining funding for critical programs.

The attached document recaps the Senate Democratic Caucus’ work in 2014. 

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