Georgia

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Elected Officials
Ways to Resist
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Updates
Updates
[edit]

  • 20/03/2017: Gov. Nathan Deal said he opposed a provision added to House Bill 159 which could allow private adoption agencies receiving state funding to discriminate against same-sex parents.[4]

Actions Taken by the State Government
Actions Taken by the State Government
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Legislative Actions[edit]

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Georgia lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:

  • HB 521 Legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour on January 1, 2018.
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  • HB 488/SB 119 would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
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  • HB 627 would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ state employees.[5]
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  • HB 552 would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment.
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Harmful Legislation
Harmful bills proposed by Georgia lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:

  • SB 160 Increases penalties for blocking any highway, street, sidewalk or other public passage. [6]
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  • HB 159 allows private adoption agencies receiving state funding to discriminate against same-sex parents.[7]
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See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.

Key Upcoming Elections
Key Upcoming Elections
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Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.

Register to vote here. The deadline is 30 days before Election Day online, 29 days in person, or 28 days by mail. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. A photo ID is required every time you vote.[8]

Federal Elections[edit]

  • Georgia's 6th U.S. Congressional district elections will be held on April 18th to file the vacancy left by Tom Price's cabinet appointment [9]

Competitive House Districts in 2018

State Elections[edit]

Local Elections[edit]

Mayoral Elections[edit]

  • The 2017 Atlanta Mayoral Election will be held on November 7, 2017. Current mayor Kasim Reed, a member of the Democratic Party who has been in office since 2010, is not eligible to run for reelection, as he will have served two terms.
    • Candidates:
      • Peter Aman, former Chief Operating Officer of Atlanta;
      • Al Bartell, Green Party Candidate;
      • Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta City Councilmember (District 11);
      • Vincent Fort, Georgia State Senator;
      • Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilmember (District 2);
      • Debra Ann Hampton;
      • Caesar Mitchell, Atlanta City Council President;
      • Mary Norwood, Atlanta City Councilmember (Post 2 At Large) and candidate for mayor in 2009;
      • Kimberley Johnson Obasuyi;
      • Robb Pits, former Atlanta City Councilmember, current Fulton County Commissioner (District 2, At-Large);
      • Michael Sterling, Former Director of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency;
      • Cathy Woolard, former Atlanta City Council President;
      • Tommy Youngblood, Jr., Former Civil Rights Activist for the NAACP.

School Board Elections[edit]

Prosecutor Elections[edit]

Sheriff Elections[edit]

County Commissioners Elections[edit]

City Council Elections[edit]

  • Atlanta City Council Elections will also be held on November 7, 2017 (filing deadline Sept 23rd) [10]

Obamacare / link=
Healthcare
[edit]

In Georgia, 14% of the population remains uninsured compared to a national average of 9%.[11] Georgia is a state that has not expanded Medicaid coverage to more people as allowed under the ACA.[12]

ACA Repeal[edit]

  • If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 406,000 people in Georgia (or 4.0% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 1,006,000 people (or 9.8% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/26/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and won't be required to provide essential health benefits.[13] Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities. The number would be even higher, but Georgia chose not to expand Medicaid, so fewer people gained insurance under the ACA.[14]
  • The number of uninsured people in Georgia is predicted to be 1,496,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 2,328,000, a 55.7% increase.[15]
  • Georgia is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.[16]
  • Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Georgia could pay up to 38% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.[17]
  • Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 71,000 jobs could be lost in Georgia. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.[18]
  • Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay Strategy, young adults in Georgia could pay $655 more in 2018.[19]

Policing
Policing
[edit]

The Facts

  • 132 people have been killed by police in the state of Georgia from the years 2013 through 2016.[20]
  • 42% of the people killed by police were black.
  • In 2015, 100% of people killed by police in Atlanta, Georgia, were black.[21]
  • Black people are 1.3 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
  • Atlanta is the state's largest city with the highest rate of police killings per capita.[22]

Immigration
Immigration
[edit]

The Facts[23]

  • Georgia was home to 970,979 immigrants in 2013, more than the population of Austin, Texas.
  • Immigration improves communities' housing values. From 2000 to 2010, the value added by immigration to the price of the average home was $4,216 in Fulton County; $11,496 in Gwinnett County; $1,197 in DeKalb County; and $3,779 in Cobb County.
  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 63,342 new immigrant business owners in Georgia. They collectively had total net business income of $2.9 billion, comprising 12.3% of all net business income in the state.
  • 88 percent of patents from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. These patents provided GIT with $2.3 million in licensing and royalty revenues.

Rights of Non-Citizens[edit]

  • Georgia bars unauthorized immigrants from receiving in-state tuition at public universities.[24]
  • Unauthorized immigrants cannot get a driver's license in Georgia.

Deportation[edit]

The Facts

  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 7% of Georgia's workforce in 2012, or roughly 325,000 workers.[25]
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Georgia, the state would lose $21.3 billion in economic activity, $9.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 132,460 jobs.

Policy

  • Georgia police are allowed to question individuals about their immigration status if they are held for another reason and the officer in question has reason to believe the detainee is an unauthorized immigrant.[26]
  • Georgia is one of 26 states that filed lawsuits against the federal government to delay or obstruct implementation of President Obama's DACA executive order.

Sanctuary Policies[edit]

Clayton County, Georgia, will not honor an ICE detainer unless ICE procures a judicially authorized detention order.[27]

Refugee Resettlement[edit]

According to State Department data, 997 refugees were resettled in Georgia in 2016.[28]

Voting Rights
Voting Rights
[edit]

The Facts

  • For the 2012 presidential election, Georgia reduced the early voting period from 45 to 21 days and cut early voting the weekend before Election Day. A law requiring voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship when registering to vote is subject to ongoing litigation.[29]
  • Georgia considered legislation in 2015 to allow automatic voter registration. The bills died in committee.[30]

Mass Incarceration
Mass Incarceration
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The Facts

  • Georgia had 94,235 incarcerated individuals in 2014—52,485 in prison and 41,750 in jail.
  • 518,507 were on probation in 2014, while 25,931 individuals were on parole.
  • 14.1% of Georgia's prison population is serving life sentences, while 1.4% of the population is serving life without possibility of parole.
  • Black individuals were incarcerated at a rate of 1,066 per 100,000, while white individuals were incarcerated at a rate of 329 per 100,000. The Hispanic rate was 235 per 100,000.
  • 3.23% of the Georgia population is disenfranchised due to felony convictions, while 6.28% of the black Georgia population is disenfranchised.
  • Georgia spent $1,568 million on corrections in 2014.[31]

Benefits / Tax Cuts
Benefits / Tax Cuts
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Income Tax[edit]

The Facts

  • Georgia residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:[32]
    • Households: 1,271,000
    • Adults and children: 844,000
    • Children: 504,000

Policy

Public Benefits[edit]

The Facts

  • In 2015, an average of 839,207 households and 1,800,531 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Georgia.[33] In 2011, approximately 18% of the population of Georgia was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps).[34] The average monthly benefit in Georgia was $281 per household and $129 per person in 2016.[35]
  • In 2016, an average of 24,830 households, including 12,806 families and 22,389 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month.[36] The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Georgia was $280 in 2014.[37] Average benefits in Georgia have fallen in value by 34.4% since 1996.[38]
  • In 2016, an average of 63,956 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.[39]
  • In December 2015, there were 24,484 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category[40] receiving an average of $321.35 per person, for a total of $7,868,000.[41]

Housing/Infrastructure
Housing/Infrastructure
[edit]

Housing[edit]

The Facts

  • 307,800 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.[42]
  • In 2014, Georgia had 28 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)[43]
  • In Georgia, there were 12,909 homeless people in 2016.[44]
  • Of the homeless population, there were 1,145 families, 1,055 veterans, 708 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,815 people experiencing chronic homelessness.[45]
  • Georgia received $974 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.[46]
  • In Georgia, more than 137,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.[47]
  • Nearly all Georgia households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.[48]

Policy

Infrastructure[edit]

The Facts

  • Georgia’s infrastructure received a score of C from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2014.[49]
  • This study gave the state “good” scores for aviation, energy and rail, and identified parks, dams and transit as being in “poor” condition.[50]
  • In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 17.6% of Georgia’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 19% of Georgia’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.[51]
  • Driving on these roads leads to an additional $60 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.[52]

Policy

  • According to Governor Nathan Deal (R), road maintenance is a major infrastructure priority for Georgia.[53]

Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
[edit]

Planned Parenthood[edit]

The Facts[54]

  • Georgia has four Planned Parenthood centers.
  • In 2015, two centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
  • On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 532,250 women of reproductive age.

Policy Solutions / Issues

Abortion[edit]

The Facts[55]

  • There were 28 abortion providers in Georgia in 2015.
  • In 2014, 20.6 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Delaware had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.

Policy Solutions / Issues[56]

  • There is a 24-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
  • Parental notice is required for minors.
  • Ultrasound requirements exist.
  • Abortion is prohibited at 20 weeks except in cases of life or health endangerment.
  • Mandated counseling includes misleading information.
  • Medical abortion is limited.
  • Private insurance coverage is limited.
  • State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.

Women and Wages[edit]

The Facts[57]

  • In Georgia, 16.7% of women live in poverty. Single mothers make up 42.5% while women aged 65 and older make up 12%. These figures are above the national averages, which are 36.5% and 10.3%, respectively.
  • For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.81, which is one cent above the national average of $0.80.
  • African American women are paid $0.63 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.48 for every dollar made by white men. Both figures are slightly above/equal to the national averages, which are $0.63 and $0.54, respectively.

Domestic Violence in Georgia[edit]

The Facts[58]

  • In 2013, 29,779 victims were served by Georgia domestic violence services.
  • There are 27 Georgia counties with no access to domestic violence services and another 26 counties with limited access.
  • Georgia ranks 9th in the nation for the rate at which women are killed by men
  • In 2014, firearms were involved in 66% of all domestic violence fatalities.
  • In 2014, children witnessed 29% of Georgia intimate partner violence.

LGBTQ Issues / link=
LGBTQ+ Issues
[edit]

Religious Freedom Law[edit]

Georgia does not have any religious freedom acts. Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.[59]

Nondiscrimination laws[edit]

Georgia does not have any nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit, state employment or jury selection.[http http://hrc-assets.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com//files/assets/resources/SEI-2016-Georgia.pdf] However, attempts to pass such laws were made in 2016 and could be renewed in 2017.[60]

Parenting laws[edit]

Georgia does not have any nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in surrogacy or granting parental presumption for same-sex couples. It lacks laws on second-parent adoption and nondiscrimination in foster care, as well as laws granting de facto parental recognition for same-sex couples. Georgia does not have laws on consent to inseminate (meaning that in case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as parent).[61]

Hate crime laws[edit]

Georgia does not include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group and does not require reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.[62]

Youth Laws[edit]

Georgia has passed anti-bullying laws covering cyberbullying, but they do not explicitly mention LGBTQ+ youth. It does not have laws promoting transgender inclusion in sports, nor laws requiring school suicide prevention policies or protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. The state does not have laws addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness nor promoting inclusive sex education or juvenile justice policies. Georgia has also passed school laws that criminalize youth, which tend to disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ students.[63] [64]

Health and Safety[edit]

Georgia does not include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and does not ban insurance exclusion for trans health care. It has exclusions from state Medicaid for transgender health care and does not provide inclusive health benefits for trans state employees. Georgia does not allow gender marker change on drivers’ licenses nor on birth certificates. It has passed HIV/AIDS criminalization laws, but does collect information on LGBTQ+ health.[65]

Educational Justice
Educational Justice
[edit]

The Facts

  • Georgia is ranked 31st in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $5,616 per student.[66]
  • As of 2013, Georgia ranked 22nd in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $52,880 per year.[67]
  • 89% of students in Georgia attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 82% higher income.[68]
  • As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 4.1% of total public school enrollment.[69]
  • Georgia's overall graduation rate is 73%, which is below the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
    • White: 80%
    • Latino: 64%
    • Black: 65%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 83%
    • American Indian: 67%
    • Economically Disadvantaged: 63%
    • Limited English Proficient: 44%
    • Students with Disabilities: 37%[70]

Consumer Protections /Worker's Rights
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
[edit]

The Facts

  • Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15, which is lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. It is also one of the lowest minimum wage requirements in the country, above the states that do not have a minimum wage requirement.[71] Georgia’s minimum wage applies to workers who are exempt from the federal minimum wage laws, such as workers with disabilities.[72] Georgia’s living wage is $10.88. [73]
  • Georgia has no state law for paid sick leave.[74]
  • Georgia has no state law for paid family leave.[75]

Policies

  • Georgia has Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.[76]
  • Georgia is a state with an at-will exemption.[77] "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law.[78] Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.[79]
  • Georgia does not have a public policy exemption,[80] meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).[81]
  • Georgia does not allow for implied contract exemptions.[82] An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements.[83] As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.[84]
  • Georgia does not support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.[85] Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.[86]

Climate / Environment
Climate / Environment
[edit]

The Facts

  • Almost 32% of Georgia’s electricity generation is nuclear, about 24% is from fossil fuels and the rest is from renewable sources.[87]
  • Georgia has 16 sites on the National Priorities List.[88]
  • Approximately 3.78% of Georgia’s land is federally owned.[89]
  • In 2014, the Black & Asian or Pacific Islander populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices—76—compared to an overall index of 69 and a White index of 64.[90]
  • In 2012, Native American adults in Florida were most likely to have asthma (11.2%), compared to 8.2% overall.[91]

Policies

  • The environmental agency in Georgia is the [Environmental Protection Division, which is a division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
  • Georgia does not currently have a Climate Action Plan.

Disability Rights
Disability Rights
[edit]

The Facts

  • 12.2% of Georgia's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
  • Georgia adults with disabilities have an employment rate of 31.6%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in Georgia have a 74.1% employment rate.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
  • Approximately 16.1% of eligible voters in Georgia have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.[92]
  • Of adults with disabilities in Georgia, 27.1% live in poverty, as opposed to 14.3% of non-disabled adults.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 29.6%, as opposed to 26.4% for nondisabled children. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
  • In Georgia, 5.3% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]

Organizations
Organizations and Events
[edit]

Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.

Resistance/Social Justice/General[edit]

Disability Rights Organizations[edit]

Event Calendars[edit]

See also Upcoming Events/Opportunities.

Local News Sources
Local News Sources
[edit]

Relevant City and County Information
Relevant City and County Information
[edit]

Atlanta[edit]