Indivisible Georgia Coalition Alerts

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Bills That Require Your Attention: Okefenokee, Education for Immigrants and Refugees, and Environment Concerns


Many thanks to our member group Avondale ACTion for these 3 calls to action.
1. Advocate for protection of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. 
A bipartisan group of state legislators has filed House Bill 1289, which prohibits the Environmental Protection Division from issuing permits to mine on Trail Ridge, the ancient complex of inland sand dunes that forms the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s eastern boundary. Experts warn that mining along Trail Ridge would imperil the swamp’s delicate ecosystem. Although the bill will not stop a 740-acre titanium demonstration mine currently under consideration, it will prevent the issuance or amendment of permits that are necessary to expand mining operations, which could make the demonstration mine economically unfeasible.  The bill has been assigned to the House Natural Resources & Environment Committee.

Action:  1. Contact members of the Committee listed below.  2.  Contact Speaker of the House Ralston

Suggested Script:  I am a Georgia voter from [insert city of residence].  The Okefenokee is the wild heart of Georgia.  Don’t risk it.  Protect the future of the Okefenokee by voting YES on HB 1289 to permanently protect the Okefenokee Swamp from current and   future risky mining proposals.

Note:  Copy the following block of emails into the “bcc” section, and put your own name is the “To” line. 

Lynn Smith, Chairwoman lynn.smith@house.ga.gov 404-656-7149

Vance Smith, Vice Chair vance.smith@house.ga.gov 404-656-0254

Don Hogan don.hogan@house.ga.gov 404-656-0178

Timothy Barr timothy.barr@house.ga.gov 404-656-0213

Debra Bazemore debra.bazemore@house.ga.gov 404-656-0202

Debbie Buckner debbie.buckner@house.ga.gov 404-656-0116

Joe Campbell joe.campbell@house.ga.gov 404-656-0254

John Corbett john.corbett@house.ga.gov 404-656-5105

Viola Davis viola.davis@house.ga.gov 404-656-0109

Buddy DeLoach buddy.deloach@house.ga.gov 404-656-0178

Robert Dickey robert.dickey@house.ga.gov 404-656-5099

Karla Drenner karla.drenner@house.ga.gov 404-656-0202

Terry England terry.england@house.ga.gov 404-463-2247

Matthew Gambill matthew.gambill@house.ga.gov 404-656-0254

Leesa Hagan leesa.hagan@house.ga.gov 404-656-0325

Angelika Kausche angelika.kausche@house.ga.gov 404-656-0116

Lauren McDonald lauren.mcdonald@house.ga.gov 404-651-7737

Greg Morris greg.morris@house.ga.gov 404-656-5115

Randy Nix randy.nix@house.ga.gov 404-656-5146

Richard Smith richard.smith@house.ga.gov 404-656-5141

Jan Tankersley jan.tankersley@house.ga.gov 404-656-7855

Sam Watson sam.watson@house.ga.gov 404-463-2246

Marcus Wiedower marcus.wiedower@house.ga.gov 404-656-0325

Mary Frances Williams maryfrances.williams@house.ga.gov404-656-0287

Noel Williams noel.williams@house.ga.gov 404-656-0254

2. Advocate For Refugees and Immigrants In Georgia.
For many refugees and immigrants in Georgia, higher education is their path toward achieving success in the United States. But, for too many, higher education is out of reach. Supporting HB 120 and HB 932 will ensure that these Georgia students have access to in-state tuition in the only state they have ever called home.  H.B. 932 would grant resettled refugees in-state tuition at Georgia public colleges and universities immediately upon arrival. It also applies to individuals who risked their lives to support the U.S. military overseas, including our Afghan allies who had to be evacuated last summer.  H.B. 120 would make those with DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) eligible for in-state tuition at Georgia public colleges and universities. Because DACA only provides temporary immigration status, DACA recipients are currently required to pay exorbitant out-of-state tuition rates in the only state they call home.

Action:  Contact members of the House Higher Education Committee (see list below) and urge them to vote YES on these bills.

Suggested Script:  I ask that you support HB 120 and HB 932, which would provide in-state tuition benefits to Georgia Dreamers, resettled refugees, and recently evacuated Afghan allies. Passing these bills is not only the right thing to do for affected individuals, but it is also good for the state and our economy. For these individuals, Georgia is the only state they have ever called home. Yet, many must forego their dreams of higher education because they cannot afford out-of-state tuition. This is a missed opportunity for these students and a missed opportunity for their communities in need of teachers, nurses, engineers, and more. I believe these bills are an important step toward making Georgia a stronger and more inclusive state and I urge you to vote “Yes” on HB 120 and HB 932.

Note:  Copy the following block of emails into the “bcc” section, and put your own name is the “To” line. 

House Higher Education Committee

Charles Martin, Jr, Chair, 417-A State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-514 chuck.martin@house.ga.gov

Ginny Ehrhart, Vice Chair, 401-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-0152 ginny.ehrhart@house.ga.gov

Patty Bentley, 607-D Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-0287 patty.bentley@house.ga.gov

Calvin Smyre, 404-A Coverdell Legislative Office Building Atlanta, GA 30334 404-656-0109 calvinsmyre@synovus.com

Samuel Park, 611-E Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-03 sam.park@house.ga.gov

Matt Dubnik, 401-J State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-785 matt.dubnik@house.ga.gov

Marie Metze 511-G Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-637 marie.metze@house.ga.gov

Angelika Kausche 409-E Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-0116 angelika.kausche@house.ga.gov

Jasmine Clark, Ph.D., 607-E Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0287, jasmine.clark@house.ga.gov

Betsy Holland, 409-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0116betsy.holland@house.ga.gov

Scott Holcomb, 511-E Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-6372scott.holcomb@house.ga.gov

David Dreyer, 604-D Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0265david.dreyer@house.ga.gov

Rhonda Burnough, 409-C Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0116 rhonda.burnough@house.ga.gov

Trey Kelley, 504-G Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-0188trey.kelley@house.ga.gov

David Knight, 245 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 463-2248david.knight@house.ga.gov

Kasey Carpenter, 408-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.  Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 657-1803kasey.carpenter@house.ga.gov

Katie Dempsey, 245 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 463-2248katie.dempsey@house.ga.gov

Rick Williams, 601-B Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0254rick.williams@house.ga.gov

Marcus Wiedower, 612-A Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg.  Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0325marcus.wiedower@house.ga.gov

Dale Washburn, 401-D Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-0152, dale.washburn@house.ga.gov

Clay Pirkle, 220-B State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-7850  clay.pirkle@house.ga.gov

Karen Mathiak, 608-D Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg. Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-0298  karen.mathiak@house.ga.gov

Rick Jasperse, 218-C State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 (404) 656-7153   rick.jasperse@house.ga.gov

Robert Dickey, 228-B State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334  (404) 656-5099  robert.dickey@house.ga.gov

3. Support Environmental Justice:  Oppose the Landscape Equipment and Agricultural Fairness Act (Leaf) HB 1301
This law bars local governments from regulating or prohibiting the sale or use of gas-powered leaf blowers within their jurisdictions.  There are at least two major issues with this bill.  First, it takes away local control from jurisdictions that have a much deeper understanding of the situation in their respective areas of the state than does the General Assembly.  Second, the bill skirts the harm that emissions from gas-powered leaf blowers cause to the workers that use the devices and to the air quality for all of us, to say nothing about the noise pollution such blowers produce.  The workers that routinely use gas-powered leaf blowers are generally low wage workers often without health insurance.  The impetus behind this bill appears to be appeasing the landscape industry that relies heavily on gas-powered blowers.  Passage of this bill would delay the widespread use of battery-powered devices which can be a safer alternative to the gas-powered blowers.

Action:  Contact your representative here.

Suggested Script:  I am a Georgia voter who values environmental justice.  I oppose the Landscape Equipment and Agricultural Fairness Act, HB 1301which is certainly misleadingly named.  This Act protects the interests of large landscaping businesses and not local communities or workers who use gas-powered leaf blowers.   Please vote NO.


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