APN Candidate Q&A, Kelli Hooper, HD 63
(APN) ATLANTA — In our continuing coverage of the upcoming May 24, 2016 Primary Election and Non-partisan General Election, this article presents the responses by candidate Kelli Hooper to the Candidate Questionnaire for State House candidates.
Hooper is one of five candidates seeking the seat, which is being vacated by State Rep. Ronnie Mabra (D-Fayetteville).
Candidate Debra Bazemore’s responses were published last week:
Candidate Jasmine Bowles had no phone number listed in her public qualifying document. APN has emailed a questionnaire to her email address as listed in the document.
APN left a voice message for candidate Kenneth Kincaid, but has received no response to date.
Candidate Linda Pritchett previously responded to an APN questionnaire when she ran for the same seat in 2012.
Hooper is an attorney, small business owner, and self-described activist, according to a biography she provided to the Fayette County Democratic Party.
Hooper’s responses are as follows:
DO YOU BELIEVE ALL HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES SHOULD KEEP MINUTES INCLUDING A RECORD OF ALL VOTES, YEAS, NAYS, AND ABSTENTIONS; AND THAT THOSE MINUTES SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC? DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL IDEAS FOR TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS?
Yes, the state of Georgia has lagged behind much of the rest of the country when it comes to transparency and ethics reform. Minutes should be taken at committee meetings and those minutes must then be made public.
One way I believe we could improve transparency is by improving the user interface for accessing lobbyist reports so that the public knows exactly which special interests are influencing specific legislators. The current website is difficult to use and the lobbying information is presented in the most convoluted way possible. Despite incremental steps towards reform in the last few years, lobbyists still hold far too much sway under the Gold Dome.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON NUCLEAR POWER?
The production of nuclear energy does not contribute to climate change, unlike all other forms of energy which can be mass produced. I believe that nuclear power is currently the cleanest source of energy which can be produced on the scale necessary to power Georgia, but should be phased out as quickly as possible by expanding the use of wind and solar power.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS, IF ANY, TO EXPAND WIND AND SOLAR IN GEORGIA?
My plan to expand wind and solar energy in Georgia is to reduce the barriers in place for homeowners to gain access to that energy and expand the tax credits for manufacturers of solar panels and the equipment necessary for wind turbines. Wind and solar energy are the future of our state, and I intend to legislate in such a way that accelerates when that future arrives.
WOULD YOU SUPPORT REDUCING PETITION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDEPENDENT AND POLITICAL BODY (MINOR PARTY) CANDIDATES FROM THE CURRENT ONE PERCENT STATEWIDE, FIVE PERCENT NON-STATEWIDE REQUIREMENT? IF SO, WHAT SHOULD THE NEW REQUIREMENT BE, IF ANY?
Yes, the ability to offer oneself for public service is essential for a healthy democracy in our state and our country. The petition requirements should be as simple and accessible as possible.
WOULD YOU SUPPORT ADDING A VOTER VERIFIABLE PAPER AUDIT TRAIL TO ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS IN GEORGIA?
Yes, I would support adding a voter verifiable paper audit trail to electronic voting systems so that the election process may run as smoothly as possible.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE REFERENDUM TO CREATE A STATEWIDE OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO TAKE OVER SO-CALLED “FAILING” SCHOOLS?
I believe that the referendum to create the so-called “opportunity school districts” is one of the worst decisions that Governor Deal and the legislature have made in recent years. If the referendum passes, local parents and teachers will be shut out of making decisions on education even more than they already are.
The answer here is more local control, not less. The state has no clue what is best for local schools, nor do the private companies that the state would hire to run those schools. Passage of this referendum would be a disaster for our already suffering educational system.
DO YOU SUPPORT AN EXPANDED MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM (IN-STATE CULTIVATION, FULL PLANT MEDICINE, EXPANDED LIST OF CONDITIONS)? DO YOU SUPPORT DECRIMINALIZATION (NON-MEDICAL)? DO YOU SUPPORT LEGALIZATION (NON-MEDICAL)?
I support all of the above, medical cannabis has proven to be extremely useful in treating dozens of different conditions and Georgians should be able to access it as easily as possible. Marijuana should also be decriminalized and legalized. Prosecuting people for possession of marijuana has needlessly torn families apart for decades. Legalizing marijuana would reduce our prison population and inject millions of dollars into our state budget through taxation.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON CITYHOOD AND ANNEXATION IN GENERAL? DO YOU BELIEVE GEORGIA’S CITYHOOD AND ANNEXATION LAWS SHOULD BE CHANGED? IF SO, HOW?
I believe that the current system is functioning as intended, with voters having the opportunity to decide how they want their community to be structured.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE PROPOSALS FOR NEW CITIES IN DEKALB COUNTY, SUCH AS STONECREST AND GREENHAVEN?
My position is to allow the process to proceed as it has for all of the other new cities around Atlanta. Local delegations in the House and Senate respond to the will of their constituents, constituents who then get to vote on whether or not they want to create a new city.
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE PROPOSED CITY OF SOUTH FULTON?
My position is to respond to the will of the voters in the upcoming referendum. Whether the residents of the proposed City of South Fulton want to create the city or not, it is their decision to make and I look forward to working with them to turn their decision into action.
DO YOU SUPPORT GMO LABELING?
Yes, the people of Georgia have a right to know where their food comes from and how it is produced.
DO YOU SUPPORT ANY OF THE RECENT PROPOSALS REDUCING THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD, OR ALLOWING LOCAL JURISDICTIONS FLEXIBILITY TO REDUCE EARLY VOTING?
Absolutely not. The state legislature should be expanding opportunities to vote, not restricting them. When I am elected, I look forward to working with my fellow representatives to ensure that elections in Georgia remain free and fair.
DO YOU SUPPORT A U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE CITIZENS UNITED RULING, CLARIFYING THE ABILITY OF CONGRESS TO REGULATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS? (THE STATE COULD EITHER CALL FOR SUCH AN AMENDMENT BY RESOLUTION OR CALL FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION.)
Absolutely, campaign contributions have grown wildly out of hand since the Citizens United ruling in 2010. Allowing such egregious spending has eroded the will of the many and given a select, wealthy few people far too much power. I support any measure which puts power back into the hands of everyday Americans.