Keisha WaitesIncumbent Rep. Keisha Waites faces three challengers in the July 31 Democratic primary.

GA Voice tried unsuccessfully to reach the other challengers — LaTrenka Riley, William Fisher and Antonio Lewis.

Georgia Equality, Victory Fund and Stonewall Democrats endorsed Waites.

What are the top three issues you want to support in the General Assembly?

Community revitalization and sustainable economic development are my top priorities for the 60th district, which includes Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties. However, my focus is to secure and fund viable transit solutions and attract businesses and corporations to the region.

I will continue to support legislation that funds a Regional Transportation System; this must be a collaborative approach at the federal and state levels of government to ensure its success.

Finally, ensuring the financial solvency of Peach Care and preserving Grady.

Please list your top three accomplishments within the LGBT community or on behalf of LGBT equality.

1. I am proud to have made history by being the first minority in the State of Georgia to run for the state legislature openly gay.

2. As a freshman legislator I immediately went to work lobbying colleagues concerning Rep. Drenner’s bill HB630, which would have outlawed discrimination and unlawful termination against state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identify. I also signed the legislation as a co-sponsor

3. As a freshman legislator during the 2012 legislative session, I attempted to recognize and commend the University of Georgia’s GSA organization with a resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives. Sadly, my Republican colleagues decided to insert politics and voted down the resolution. Despite their actions, I visited the UGA campus and met with LGBT student leaders …

Why should LGBT voters vote for you?

Even in my short time as member of the Georgia General Assembly, I have immediately gone to work on important issues that affect every community throughout the state of Georgia.

Within 30 days of being elected, I began actively lobbying my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, concerning House Bill 630 that would protect state employees from being fired due to their sexual identity, preference or orientation.

I also believe that having this effort to improve my urban district, being led by a proud member of the LGBT community, is beneficial to the LGBT community’s overall goals.

When our heterosexual counterparts see that we are just as passionate about our civil liberties as we are about putting people back to work, improving the quality of life for all people and protecting the rights of all humans, we can build bridges and establish effective partnerships that will be beneficial to LGBT people for generations to come.

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