Where I Stand
1. Public Education. As a graduate of Atlanta Public Schools I am a strong advocate for public education. I have met and talked with our new Atlanta School Superintendent at several local events recently. She is on the right track to make the administration of our local schools much more efficient and effective. I will be following her administration closely to make sure she spends our tax dollars more wisely.
On a statewide level, our schools are underfunded. I will support efforts to restore much-needed funding to our public schools across the state. I support Common Core as an effort to raise standards.
2. Pro-Business. I would insist that we have our state run on sound business principles, with tax policies that are fair to everyone. I have an undergraduate degree in Management from Georgia Tech, an MBA in Marketing and 19 years of business experience.
I’ve worked for large corporations such as Georgia- Pacific, Siemens and the Weather Channel. I also worked for an advertising agency and ran my own marketing consulting firm for several years. My most notable success was writing and producing the video presentation that helped local Georgia firms design and build the Georgia Dome. I will be a strong ambassador in helping to bring new businesses to Buckhead, while seeking to limit the impact of traffic in regards to new development. I am a proud member of the Buckhead Business Association and Alpha Kappa Psi national business fraternity..
3. Leadership. While a student at Georgia Tech, I became the political editor of the Technique, the student newspaper. I investigated the state funding formula for schools of higher education and wrote about the need to adequately fund science and engineering education.
In 1975, I was elected to the congregation council of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta, becoming the youngest person to serve is this leadership position. Over the next 20 years, I was elected 3 more times, once serving as Vice President of this church — the largest Lutheran Congregation in the South. In 2007, I led a successful effort to bring a local operation of the national Lutheran Volunteer Corps to the South for the first time. They placed full time volunteers in several non-profit organizations in Atlanta, helping improve the quality of life for the people of our city.
4. Interfaith Work. I am graduate of Grady High School in Atlanta, where I became sensitive to the beliefs of many Jewish friends. Over the years, I have worked as a volunteer for several interfaith efforts, including the Atlanta Hunger Walk and an alliance of congregations along Peachtree. For several years, I worked for the Atlanta Interfaith AIDS Network. While there, I helped organize a national interfaith Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. I have also worked with other interfaith organizations, always feeling very enriched to learn of each denomination’s traditions and core beliefs. I will bring this experience in bridging religious beliefs to find common ground in the Georgia Legislature.
5. Women’s Rights. When I was a student at Georgia Tech, I heard many disparaging remarks about women students, who were very few in number at that time. I used my influence as the Political Editor of the Technique to begin a series of articles, featuring outstanding women attending Georgia Tech, in order to help change attitudes. That started my understanding of women’s issues. My understanding has grown through the years, having worked for several women bosses during my professional career. I am a strong advocate for Equal Pay for Equal Work and Women’s Reproductive Rights. I would fight for these rights in the Legislature.
6. Good Government. Being a candidate has reinforced my observations about some the things that are wrong in our political system. We need several reforms, to help restore confidence in government. One example of out-of-touch government is the “guns everywhere” legislation passed earlier this year that allows for guns in churches, bars and airports.
I actively lobbied our state and national elected officials for over 20 years with some of my top concerns being safe schools and anti-bullying legislation and AIDS funding (both passed with bi-partisan support). I also initiated, wrote and successfully pushed through countless resolutions on public policy issues for the Lutheran Church. I believe that we must be strategic and engaging when influencing our elected officials to pass specific legislation. I have the track record to prove that I know how to leverage different groups to achieve results down at the Capitol.
We should change our system of drawing political district lines. Both parties have abused this system so we can’t trust the politicians to do this job any longer. The current system encourages the most extreme voters to make the decisions for over 80% of the legislative seats in the primary, when the smallest number of voters are engaged. I strongly advocate we go to an INDEPENDENT system like Iowa or California, which have a non-partisan commission draw district boundaries. Getting this system approved in Georgia will not happen overnight, but we must start the discussion so citizens can put pressure on our representatives to do the right thing.
7. Strong Neighborhoods. I have been a homeowner in Buckhead for 32 years. When the traffic in Garden Hills became a major neighborhood issue, I helped to fund and support traffic calming measures. I have closely monitored local issues at NPU meetings and have been very impressed by the planning process of the North Buckhead Civic Association, especially as it relates to citizen input on parks and pedestrian issues. Buckhead is blessed with incredibly beautiful residential areas. I will work to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods.
8. Seniors Issues. I have witnessed the full range of issues facing our seniors as I took over all aspects of care for my parents in 2005. This has also made me very aware of how age discrimination, accessibility and transportation issues impact our residents as they mature. I will fight to end age discrimination and raise the needs of seniors in the Georgia Legislature.
9. Human Rights. I’ve been an active advocate for employment non-discrimination laws for over 20 years. I also support marriage equality and the protection of women’s rights as basic human rights.
10. Family Values. I have always honored the value of healthy families in our society. My parents were married for 65 years, so they set a great example. It was a joy to organize celebrations of my parent’s 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries.
Since 2009, when my Dad passed away, I have focused on making sure my Mother, who also lives here in Atlanta, has the best medical care and quality-of-life.
11. Caring for Children. While serving on the development staff for Lutheran Services of Georgia, I saw first-hand the needs of many children in our state. I forged a strong relationship with a local organization called “For the Kid in All of Us” started by Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan. Due to my work, this generous organization provided thousands of dollars of toys at Christmas and backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children served by Lutheran Services of Georgia at the beginning of each school year.