Candidate Q&A – Senate District 41

File photo.

Decaturish and Tucker Observer sent candidate Q&As to all candidates in our readership area running for state and federal office. The Q&As were sent to Senate District 41 candidates Kim Jackson (D, Incumbent) and Jayre Jones (R). The answers have not been edited.

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State Sen. Kim Jackson. Photo by Chris Berry. October 18, 2020.

Candidate name and party affiliation:

Kim Jackson, Democrat

Candidate website:

https://www.kimforgeorgia.com/

What is your occupation?

Vicar, Church of the Common Good; State Senator, Georgia District 41

What neighborhood do you call home?

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Why are you running for this position?

I have enjoyed beginning to meet the needs of my constituents as their state senator, but I know there is more work to be done. I remain committed to serving my constituents across DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

What are your top three priorities if you are elected? 

I have three priorities that inform my work and engagement with my communities: Protecting our voting rights, defending protections for women & children, and ensuring affordable housing for all. I recently participated in a Senate Study Committee investigating the impacts and possible solutions for unhoused individuals across Georgia. Costs of living increases combined with minimal increases in wages have proven to be detrimental to our communities. Home and food insecurity have far-reaching impacts on mental health, education, and job opportunities. Continuing to participate, propose, and support legislation while leading discussions to promote socio-economic growth and development are all ways I work to advocate for my constituents and communities.

If elected, how will you work with members of the opposite party to accomplish your goals? 

I believe in the power of collaboration and partnership for the greater good. My goals are for all Georgians to have access to the resources and information needed for everyday life, regardless of party affiliation. I have witnessed many of my colleagues affiliated with other parties wanting the same for their constituents. Together I believe we can sponsor and co-sponsor legislation and committee work, such as the bipartisan efforts on the senate study committee for unsheltered homelessness, to affect change across the board. I’m at urgent care. I’ve proven my ability and willingness to work collaboratively during my first term. In a clear non-partisan fashion, the general assembly unanimously passed my tenant release bill for victims of stalking. Additionally, during the 2022 session, every bill that I authored was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

How will you work with the leadership of DeKalb County to accomplish their legislative goals?

I look forward to strengthening cultivated relationships, I aim to continue my work in partnership with local leaders to bring growth to the socioeconomic development of our communities.

What is your reaction to the closure of Atlanta Medical Center and how would you work to improve healthcare access for all Georgians? 

I think the closure of the Atlanta Medical Center is horrendous and a huge loss for the Old Fourth Ward and surrounding communities. Grady and AMC were already dealing with overcapacity issues and Grady has stated they are not prepared to take on the additional burdens this closure would bring to their hospital. Medicaid should be fully expanded and cover the additional Georgians who are not currently eligible and will not be eligible under the new limited expansion recently approved by a federal judge. I believe a full Medicaid expansion could go a long way in improving access to care and limiting the closure of hospitals across the state.

If you are elected, would you support creating new cities in DeKalb County and Georgia? 

I support doing what is best for Dekalb County and at this time I do not believe the division of communities and their resources would prove to be beneficial for all. Many communities are already strained in terms of resources and funding for what is needed. There are rising costs in many areas of every day, and I do not believe we can afford to divide our communities to create new cities and place additional financial and economic burdens on our community members.

Should the General Assembly pass a law that guarantees a right to have an abortion in the state?

I believe the General Assembly should pass legislation that guarantees the right of choice for everyone who needs it. It is not my right or the right of our government to determine what is best for an individual and their body. We need to leave that decision in the hands of individuals and their medical providers.

What should the state do with any revenue surplus it receives? 

Minimally, surplus revenue should be put into our healthcare and housing infrastructure. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness or on the brink of homelessness is very high in our state and there are not enough resources available to these communities and individuals. I still receive dozens of emails from constituents needing rental assistance. Additionally, there are hundreds of thousands of Georgians without access to medical care. With the closure of six hospitals in urban and rural communities in the last fours years, we could use surplus funding to investigate the possibilities of opening up more public hospitals.

If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government?

Yes, I promise to conduct myself ethically and in a transparent manner. I currently release a monthly newsletter and do my best to include information and resources for my constituents and community. This newsletter is particularly beneficial in promoting ethical and transparent work in government as it provides a constant method of communication from my office and the work of the General Assembly to those we serve.

Jayre Jones

Candidate name and party affiliation:

Jayre Jones – Republican Party

Candidate website:

jayre4georgia.com

What is your occupation?

Research Scientist

What neighborhood do you call home?

Tucker

Why are you running for this position?

State Senate District 41

What are your top three priorities if you are elected? 

Tax Reform, Education reform, and Crime

If elected, how will you work with members of the opposite party to accomplish your goals?

My hope is to explain the details of these policies and how they will benefit from helping to pass them as it will help their constituents as well. Additionally, I am open to discussing policy changes they are interested in passing that can help my constituents also.

How will you work with the leadership of DeKalb County to accomplish their legislative goals?

Having grown up in Dekalb county I would like to see significant improvements with various initiatives. I would have no issue helping with these initiatives with county officials and making sure the goals can be accomplished in a reasonable time frame with a reasonable budget.

What is your reaction to the closure of Atlanta Medical Center and how would you work to improve healthcare access for all Georgians? 

First, I would like a detailed report concerning why the Atlanta Medical Center shut down so that these problems can be avoided in the future. As someone who has worked with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for years now I know the turnover rate at Grady is very high. Their personnel are worked to the bone and they have an enormous burden handling the trauma care for all of Atlanta. Second, I would like to fund a second trauma center so we can take the pressure off of Grady and improve outcomes for both patients as well as staff. The funding that was just allocated by Governor Kemp to expand Grady is fine as a short term fix but the second trauma center needs to be on the agenda as well.

If you are elected, would you support creating new cities in DeKalb County and Georgia? 

If voters were to support the formation of new cities then I would have no issue with it.

Should the General Assembly pass a law that guarantees a right to have an abortion in the state?

I would need the details for this law concerning the circumstances in which this would be permitted. There are very few instances I would ever support abortion being an option.

What should the state do with any revenue surplus it receives? 

I have a long list of what I would like the surplus to be utilized for but my priorities would be to allocate this money to schools that are in a severe state of disrepair or to construct new schools in areas where schools are overwhelmed past their capacity. The problem is that there have been serious issues with Dekalb county spending money wisely. The general assembly will need to set rules concerning bids for the money to avoid being squandered.

If you are elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner? How would you work to promote ethics and transparency in government?

Ever since I decided to run my objective has always been to be sincere and open with my neighbors and fellow Dekalb residents. We may not agree on everything but we mostly want the same things. I believe the best way to implement improvements to governance on both a local and state level is to be honest with your constituents. I would also like bills to have summaries that most people can understand concerning what they do. I would endeavor to convince my fellow members of the general assembly to just have an honest conversation with their voters concerning what is wrong and how they would like to fix it. It would be nice to host events for people to come to where they can talk to me or other members of the general assembly about what problems need fixing and even tap our constituents for ideas they may have to solve these problems.

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