Lethia Jones Kittrell – Georgia – State House District 156
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am Minister Lethia Jones Kittrell. I was born and raised by my parents, The Rev. Herbert L. Jones Sr & Mrs. Angeline Gills Jones of Fitzgerald, Georgia who were strong democrats and community advocates. I served as the campaign manager for both my dad’s campaigns for Mayor and worked closely with both parents as advocates for change. I am a community change agent by nature who inherited my father’s legacy as was a foot soldier and strong leader in our region during the Civil Rights days. My professional career can be summed as over thirty-five years in community service, as an Instructor and Corporate trainer in both Severely Emotional Behavior Disordered and Adult Education environments, substitute teaching. I have over thirty years in small business ownership & projects management. I served for twelve years as a professional vocational liaison between school and community and have served as director over several regional and community-wide nonprofits, programs, activities, and events. I am the small business owner of Jones Insurance and Tax Services, LLC where I specialize in a variety of financial services. I currently serve as Co-founder and CEO of Fitzgerald for Change Community Outreach Incorporated, former COO of 1st Community Faith in Action, Inc, and have served as Director of Grants Administration for several non-profit organizations both in the Atlanta area and rural county environments. I bring to the table over 35 years of experience in financial services, a direct understanding of community services, and a wealth of experience as a corporate trainer and educator in Special Needs and Adult Education environments.
Why are you running for office?
I am running to fight to ensure my children’s children are able to grow up with the rights and freedoms every American deserves. Additionally, I’m runningto protect our rights and freedoms as citizens of the United States of America from the angry few. and to keep Georgia blue.
What are the three biggest issues facing your community?
Affordable Housing, A fair and equitable Workforce, and Affordable Healthcare
How do you propose to solve those problems?
A lack of affordable Housing is a major issue in my community- At present, I run a Nonprofit that advocates for housing and rental assistance in the following ways 1) Advocating for housing resources as an active participant at the Senate Study Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness. and 2) we have hosted several community-wide townhalls, roundtables, and housing literacy workshops to listen and help the community with housing and Rental Assistance issues. As an elected official I will continue to work on this important issue as a top priority.
Another strong issue in my community the establishment of a fair, equitable workforce – In an effort to assist individuals who are looking to improve workplace performance and alleviate skill training burdens of employers, my non-profit and I have proposed an Equitable Workforce Project that seeks to bring high-quality employability training resources into the community. This virtual training offers individuals the option to enhance performance at a time convenient for them and in a location that reduces strain of finding childcare or affording gas. The primary goal of this project is to build a bridge for participants to thrive and perform to their greatest potential in the workplace, ensuring financial stability for them, their family, and the overall community. As an elected official it is my aim to make this a primary goal across the district.
A third primary issue is affordable quality healthcare that is assessable to all throughout the district. All too often our hospital has had only one ambulance on duty and has had to call on neighboring towns many over an hour away to help them in emergency situations. During times of critical distress, patients in our district are airlifted and transported over an hour and a half away after waiting over a hire for transport to take them there. With the number of hospitals closing in our area this has become a major concern. Our overly tapped medical resources are already in distress in our district and we deserve better. Quality and affordable healthcare is a critical right of all Georgians. As an elected official I will advocate and work hard to bring a strong understanding of all three of these issues and push for the allocation of resources we need and deserve.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
I firmly believe that if we don’t confront environmental and climate concerns now, in the very near future, my community may not be here.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
Laws that protect our children by requiring owners keep their guns from thieves, such as in lock boxes. I would support laws that would require gun owners to be educated on gun safety measures with a renewal requirement each year. I would support universal background checks especially in the wake of increased mental health challenges due to COVID crisis.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
It would give the over 33% record holders the open door they need to get their lives back on track and off the street where they are easy prey for gang participations and violence. It would decrease the rate of recidivism in our community.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
I will help write and support legislation and executive actions at the state level that fight the criminalization of reproductive healthcare providers, patients seeking care, abortion providers, counselors, advocates, family members, friends or anyone who provides advice, transportation, or support to any woman seeking abortion and other reproductive services.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
Automatic voter registration and ex-felon voting rights restoration.
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