2020 Legislative Priorities
For the more than 45 years, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC) has sought to protect the general welfare of Black people and other people of color and disadvantaged citizens of Georgia in matters of health and welfare, education, social and criminal justice, employment and economic empowerment. Our 2020 Legislative Priorities embody the above purpose and those issues we intend to address this upcoming session.
With the entire country’s eyes on Georgia in 2020, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, comprised of 65 House and Senate members, presents its 2020 Legislative Priorities. This document represents our collective concerns as citizen representatives and also speaks to the challenges facing many of our constituents, ally organizations, and community partners. As a Caucus, we advocate for public policy that pushes our state to be more equitable, just and innovative. This is a roadmap for substantive action on matters that impact not just African Americans, but all Georgians.
Regardless of your political affiliation, zip code, faith, or any other self-identifier, we have made a space for you to benefit from the following legislative priorities and invite you to advocate for the General Assembly to act boldly, conscientiously and with the foresight to build a Georgia where we all can thrive and achieve our dreams.
A Message From the Chair
The 2020 Georgia General Assembly will be a highly charged session due to the array of challenges facing our state and the heightened political climate we are currently in. As a Caucus, we understand the implications and are prepared to work collaboratively to represent the interests of all who work and live in the Peach State of Georgia.
To guide our legislative effort, we created this 2020 Legislative Priorities document to appropriately identify and contextualize our policy positions. The five issues-Closing Georgia's Digital Divide, Removing Barriers to Affordable Healthcare, Making Smart Investments in Education, Continuing to Reform the Criminal Justice System, and Protecting the Workforce and Strengthening the Middle Class-embody our values, philosophy, and goals as an organization. More importantly, it reflects the real needs and concerns many of our constituents face daily.
We hope this document serves as a tool for collaboration, consensus building, and serves as a forum for debate and sound policy development. Please share your thoughts about our priorities and upcoming bills that warrant our attention. Only together can we ensure all Georgians are represented in the legislative process.
Yours in Service,
Chair, Georgia Legislative Black Caucus
2020 Legislative Priorities
Closing Georgia’s Digital Divide
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus supports policy measures that improve digital connectivity in support of education and economic development opportunity. Both the present and the future of our local economy rests on Georgia students and workers having access to the latest technology, including high-speed (broadband) internet, connected classrooms, STEAM education and training. The Caucus intends to work with our colleagues to adopt legislation that expands broadband — especially in rural counties — and increases access to technology (through the lens of equity). We also support initiatives that increase the number of African Americans and other underrepresented groups in STEAM fields.
Removing Barriers to Affordable Healthcare
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus supports policy measures that expands healthcare access and increases its affordability to all Georgians. The Caucus intends to work with our colleagues to adopt legislation that provides rural counties quality affordable healthcare, supports our hospitals, invests in further diversifying the medical profession, and fully explores all federally funded options capable of meeting the health care needs of Georgians.
Making Smart Investments in Education
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus supports policy measures that contribute to improving African American access, retention, and completion at our state postsecondary institutions. The Caucus intends to work with our colleagues to expand pre-K, pursue innovative approaches towards improving K-12 student performance, increase high school graduation rates, improve college readiness, increase public investment in our public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as explore other fact-based, data-driven legislation capable of achieving greater equity and success.
Continuing to Reform the Criminal Justice System
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus supports policy measures to address the historic and systemic inequality within the state criminal justice system as it pertains to the arrest, conviction, incarceration, parole, and reentry of African Americans and other people of color. The Caucus intends to work with our colleagues to adopt legislation that targets the causes of such disparities, halts private sector profiteering from the incarceration of minorities, invests in citizen re-entry, decreases the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers and ensures greater sentencing equity, including diversion and treatment for non-violent, drug related offenses.
Protecting the Workforce and Strengthening the Middle Class
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus supports policy measures that improve African American upward mobility and ends intergenerational poverty. The Caucus intends to work with our colleagues to adopt legislation that supports home ownership, access to capital, small business development, workforce development, access to childcare, and investment in multimodal transit and transportation.