We reached out to Georgia Voice readers on social media to ask you what the most important issue is to you as Election Day arrives. Here’s what you had to say.
“The most important issue for me is to complete the progressive agenda started by President Obama, and not having an unbalanced, unfit president that will take away the rights of women, LGBT people, and other minorities. Also as an immigrant myself, I want to make sure that America continues to be the beacon of light and hope for the oppressed throughout the world. Diversity is what made and makes America great.”
“I’m voting early to make sure that nothing gets between me and the ballot box on Nov. 8. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton for President because she’s the most qualified person to run for president and because I believe she has more to offer Atlanta than the other guy. I’m also voting for the two sales tax options to fund transportation in Atlanta. Passage of these two amendments will finally give Atlanta some control over our future by providing resources for transit on the BeltLine, improved bus routes and circulation times and other projects we need to get Atlanta moving.”
-Cathy Woolard, Atlanta mayoral candidate
“As important as a I think so many other issues are, during this election cycle I’ve looked at candidates from the top on down the ticket to see where they stand on social issues, especially including civility and equality. The current climate of incendiary rhetoric threatens not only to stymie progress, but also to take us backward. I see the cycle like this: Allowing, enabling or encouraging hateful speech and actions seems to give people license to withhold basic needs and rights from others, such as economic opportunities and access to education and health care.”
-B. Andrew Plant
“Opposing the Opportunity School District (Amendment 1) means that we stand up for the continued local guidance of public education in Georgia. With a “no” vote, we say that students of color and LGBTQ youth should be affirmed and not be denied resources for social and emotional growth across our state. Our teachers, faculty and staff deserve our support in keeping education out of the hands of partisan politicians and in the hands of community-approved school board members. Parents are speaking up about this takeover and now it’s time for us to use our voting power to show that we are listening.”
-State Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta)
“I’m paying attention to the amendments to the state constitution the most. There are some real policy changes that could profoundly affect lots of peoples’ daily lives, like whether or not the state should take over failing schools (Amendment 1) and remove control from local communities and whether or not the non-partisan oversight committee on judges should be disbanded (Amendment 3), which would pretty much be a catastrophe. Amendments 2 and 4 add new taxes on strip clubs and fireworks, but that money won’t go to solve the problems they’re trying to solve. I’m voting no on all four.”
“Safety of all! LGBTQ, #BLM, women, immigrants, homeless, senior adults, children, people in poverty.”
“I will tell you that I have to go with who I think will continue to advance our rights and look out for our community. There are so many changes going on in the world that are positive and that is good for us but trickles down to the youth that we serve and makes the southeast a breeding ground of ignorance and hate. It is not all rainbows and unicorns that fart glitter, and that has never been more evident than this election. The vile and vitriol that spews openly, as well as the violence that we see constantly, confirms to me that things are only going to get worse before they get better.”
-Rick Westbrook, executive director of Lost-n-Found Youth
“Tax reform is my most important issue. Rather than punishing achievement by over-taxing people who create wealth and jobs, I’d like to see the government stop giving tax passes to churches and corporations. Also, we need to implement a Fair Tax system so that everyone is paying their fair share, including people who earn incomes that are unreported.”
“As a member of the LGBT Georgia community, I am concerned about the upcoming 2017 General Assembly and the possible reintroduction of RFRA and other anti-LGBT bills that will come up in this session. It’s important to know where these candidates stand on our issues before you cast your vote. I would like to highlight two friends that I am supporting. State Rep. Taylor Bennett (District 80, Metro Atlanta-DeKalb) who has been an active voice of support for the LGBT community on many issues including his ‘no’ vote on RFRA, and candidate Sam Park (District 101, Metro Atlanta-Gwinnett) if elected will be the first openly gay man to serve in the Georgia State House.
It’s important we all pay close attention to the proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot and be informed. Amendment 1 Opportunity School District (OSD), please vote no. This is a state takeover of our Georgia public schools and gives all school authority to the governor. Amendment 3 Reforms Judicial Qualifications Commission, please vote no. We need for this commission to continue to have its clear independent decision-making. If approved, the governor and General Assembly would make the judicial appointments.”
-Glen Paul Freedman, Georgia Equality board chair