APN Q&A: State Rep. Howard Mosby, HD 83
(APN) ATLANTA — In our continuing coverage of the upcoming Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Primary Election, Atlanta Progressive News is focusing on a contested State House Democratic Primary, for District 83, a seat currently held by State Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta).
Mosby is facing challenger Becky Evans. Evans has also provided her questionnaire responses to APN, to be published tomorrow.
Mosby was first elected in 2002. In the redistricting that followed the 2010 U.S. Census, Mosby was drawn into a district with then-State Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (D-Atlanta). Benfield chose not to run against Mosby, and resigned from the State House at that time, seeing an opportunity to spend more time with her children.
Mosby is part of a political dynasty, which includes Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong (District 5), his sister; and his late father, Nathaniel “Nate” Mosby, who once served on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.
Mosby’s responses are as follows:
Do you believe all House and Senate Committees should keep minutes, and those minutes should be made public? Do you have any additional ideas for transparency and public participation in the legislative process?
I do support the keeping of minutes, however with the partisan nature of the General Assembly, I would be concerned about the slanting of what was being reported. Both the House and Senate keep official “journals” of the legislative activities in each house, however not as formal as minutes.
As for additional ideas, both the House of Representatives and the Senate do live stream committee meetings, however not all committees are streamed. It should be the policy of the General Assembly that all meetings, major committees and minor committees, be streamed live and copies kept on file for the entire legislative session (2 years).
What is your position on nuclear power?
Because of the regulatory and cost constraints around developing nuclear power, this form of energy is not necessary in our society today. Up until the expansion of the GA Power plants on the Savannah River, there haven’t been any expansion of nuclear power plants in decades in America.
Also, there are many forms of renewable energy we could adopt before turning to nuclear power. Nuclear power has proven to be very costly in terms of plant construction costs, security costs, and worker safety.
What are your plans, if any, to expand solar and wind power in Georgia?
I have been and will continue to be supportive of legislation that provides tax incentives for growing solar and wind farms to create clean energy in Georgia. The state should also incentivize more research in developing additional renewable energy sources from our colleges and universities.
Do you support reducing or eliminating the ballot access petition requirements for independent and minor party candidates – currently one percent for statewide seats, and five percent for non-statewide seats?
I do support the reduction of ballot access petition requirements. I would, as a first step, make both the statewide and non-statewide seat percentage the same, 1%.
What is your position on SB 403 – new voting machines and law?
I voted against SB 403 because it didn’t go far enough to provide for an independent verification of the votes cast on the electronic machines.
What is your position on automatic voter registration?
Our democracy should make every effort possible to ensure every one of its citizens participates. Voter registration should be automatic as soon as you reach voting age.
Do you support same-day voter registration?
Do you support expansion or reduction of early voting periods?
I support the expansion of voting periods. With Georgia having one of the country’s lowest voter participation percentages, we should be expanding ballot access instead of restricting it as what is being proposed in this current legislative session.
What is your position on charter schools?
I think public charter schools have a place in our educational system. However, because of the nature of charter schools (organized for a specific ideology or purpose), charter schools should never been seen as a replacement for public schools and directing public funds away from traditional public schools. I do not support public dollars being directed to private charter schools through tax incentives and other methods.
Do you support empowering Georgia’s cities and counties to address affordable housing and environmental challenges – including by repealing state laws that preempt local governments?
Absolutely I support these efforts. Affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues in Metro areas around this state, specifically in Atlanta.
As revitalization efforts continue in urban settings, the success of those efforts yield housing opportunities out of reach for the average citizen and literally displaces the poor and elderly on fixed incomes from their homes and communities.
We must develop avenues for those individuals to either age in place and participate in increased property values without losing their homes.
What is your position on the proposed new city of Greenhaven? Vista Grove? Eagle’s Landing de-annexation from Stockbridge?
I am opposed to the creation of the cities of Greenhaven and Vista Grove.
I’m opposed to Greenhaven because of its size and complexity on its creation. Atlanta took over one hundred years to grow into a six-digit population. This proposed city will be the second largest city in Georgia.
Vista Grove is a city that, like Dunwoody and Brookhaven, is proposing to service its citizens better than the county and cheaper. In my opinion, you cannot place a new government on top of an existing government and that new government (with the old government in place) operates cheaper than the existing one.
The City of Eagles Landing kerfuffle, in my opinion, based primarily around race (framed as partisan.) In 2018, it is unfortunate to say that. African Americans usually vote in a high percentage as Democrats. Republicans (usually can be identified as majority Caucasian) are behind this legislation. Why now introduce this legislation if race is not the issue? The City of Stockbridge elected its first African American Mayor and City Council 2016. Now, there is a move to deannex a large portion of Stockbridge and create a new city called Eagles Landing. During the committee hearing, one of the supporters testified that “changing demographics” is a major reason for lobbying for this change.
Do you support an expanded medical cannabis program, including (a) in-state cultivation, (b) full plant medicine, (c) expanded list of conditions?
This is a no brainer. This state (actually every state) should have a medical cannabis program to assist in the treatment of ALL medical conditions that show positive benefits from cannabis. We don’t need a list of conditions. We don’t have a list for Tylenol. The plant should be grown in Georgia, harvested in Georgia, and processed for use in Georgia under state law.
Do you support state level decriminalization, or removal of possibility of jail time for minor possession of cannabis?
I do support the decriminalization of the possession of cannabis. Our jails are full of individuals (cash bail is another issue the state should abolish) who have been arrested with minor amounts of cannabis that shouldn’t require jail time. This negatively affects job prospects for those with arrest records, consumes tax dollars in the prosecution of and housing of those arrested with minor amounts, and breaks up family units who now have loved ones incarcerated away from the home.
Do you support legalization of cannabis, as has been established in nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia?
I do support the legalization of cannabis.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2018)