APN Q&A: Becky Evans, Candidate, HD 83
(APN) ATLANTA — In our continuing coverage of the May 22, 2018 Primary Election, Atlanta Progressive News sent questionnaires to the candidates for the Democratic Primary for House District 83, where Becky Evans is challenging State Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta).
APN published Rep. Mosby’s responses earlier this week, on May 08, 2018:
Becky Evans served as an aide to State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) and is now a community volunteer. Becky Evans yard signs are appearing in yards throughout the Druid Hills neighborhood that comprises the northern part of the district.
Evans’s responses to the APN questionnaire–which are impressively progressive in general–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?
Absolutely. Increasing transparency in government is one of the main reasons I got into this race, and I want to fight to restore ethics and accountability at the Gold Dome. I believe that the more citizen oversight we have, the more effective our government will be.
In addition to committees, the DeKalb House and Senate delegations should also have minutes that are public and available within 48 hours of a meeting, and a bill tracker that is public and current, so that concerned citizens can follow the status of local legislation.
I would actually go a step further and say as our next State Representative I believe that every legislator should post their checkbook level spending for their state budgets online. How a legislator spends the $7K or so they are allocated is something Georgia residents should have access to. It IS taxpayer money, after all.
As our next State Representative, I will host monthly opportunities to meet with voters – town halls, breakfasts in coffee shops – on a variety of topics so the public can make their voices heard. I am very supportive of and would fight for DeKalb adopting a similar system to the NPU system used by the City of Atlanta to ensure citizen input on important community issues.
What is your position on nuclear power?
I am against nuclear power. My opponent not only voted in favor of Plant Vogtle, but has allowed Georgia ratepayers to foot the bill for the single biggest financial boondoggle in our state’s history. The plant isn’t even going to produce energy for Georgia; according to industry insiders familiar with the plan, the majority of the power produced by Plant Vogtle will be sold off to neighboring states, turning it into just a profit producer for Georgia Power, paid for by Georgia families and small businesses. That’s an incredibly bad deal for our families – and Rep. Mosby signed off on it and has done nothing to fight against it.
We need to make sure the state puts incentives in the right place when considering future energy investments. The cost per kilowatt hour for nuclear energy will be 13 cents, compared to 4.4 cents for solar energy. These numbers are from the staff of the Public Service Commission.
What are your plans, if any, to expand solar and wind power in Georgia?
As our next State Representative, I will be the strongest possibly ally for the wind and solar industries, and will also fight to invest in ways to make these technologies affordable and accessible to average homeowners in our community. Solarize DeKalb and Atlanta are strong examples of how to get solar power into more homes through bulk buying power and consumer education, and I would like to see this kind of programming throughout the state. I have been a long-time supporter of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, who are leading this charge, and as our next State Representative, I will ally with them and other advocacy groups to make sure we help the State of Georgia become 100% Green Energy certified within the next 20 years. I want to explore putting solar panels on rooftops of all public buildings, such as schools. I am also in favor of passing legislation that would mandate that a large percentage of our power be produced by these renewables.
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?
Absolutely. Voters have the right to self-determination and we should have as many voices as possible to facilitate this.
What is your position on SB 403 – new voting machines and law?
As a 25 year DeKalb County homeowner and someone who has watched every election cycle here in Metro Atlanta since I graduated from Emory, I believe we need to revert to having a paper trail for our voting process. Given all of the alleged Russian collusion and tampering issues coming out of Washington, and similarly problematic allegations from Secretary Kemp’s office, I believe that we must establish a more transparent and accountable voting process. The technology proposed in this bill does not achieve that. It seems to me that with this bill, we would be trading one bad piece of technology for another. Georgians deserve to feel that their votes count, and I am excited to work with groups like Common Cause to see what are our best options are for accomplishing this.
What is your position on automatic voter registration?
I am fully in favor of making voting as easy and accessible to people as possible, especially young people, so I fully support the automatic registration of voters.
Do you support same-day voter registration?
Yes, absolutely. While the Republicans like to argue that it might increase voter fraud, states like North Carolina and Maryland have been doing it successfully for years. I fully support anything to increase voter registration and voter turnout.
Do you support expansion or reduction of early voting periods?
I support the expansion of early voting periods, hours, and locations, and would also support methods of making information about early voting more widely accessible.
What is your position on charter schools?
As a proud parent of three children who went through the DeKalb County public school system, I believe that investing in public education reaps long term benefits. I support democratically governed, great neighborhood public schools and high quality public charter schools. I oppose for profit charter schools focused on making profits off of public resources. I believe high quality public charter schools do provide options for parents, but should not destabilize or replace traditional public schools. Charter schools should reflect their communities and thus should accept and retain proportionate numbers of students of color, students with disabilities, and English Language learners in relation to their neighborhood public schools. I support increased transparency and accountability for all charter schools. While I fully support all Georgia parents having the right to choose their child’s school, I believe that we must have strong public schools in order for all of our children to thrive. Additionally, it has been proven time and time again that good quality public schools are not only good for the children, but the community as a whole. Property values go up, crime comes down – all kicked off by having a good quality public school in the neighborhood. Now that we have finally fully funded the QBE for the first time ever (after our kids’ schools went 15 years of not being fully funded under Rep. Mosby’s tenure), I believe that with good policies and strong leadership, we can focus on improving the quality of public education statewide.
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. Each municipality had its own unique needs and challenges, and preemptive state legislation gives us little room to work with these. For example, it is currently illegal at the state level to pass any measure of rent control, but I believe that with our state minimum wage as low as it is, and housing prices skyrocketing across our community, it is essential that we can pass local legislation to keep rents reasonable. As our next State Representative, I would not only fight to remove such restrictions, but would also champion policies in DeKalb to replace them that would suit our community best.
What is your position on the proposed new city of Greenhaven? Vista Grove? Eagle’s Landing de-annexation from Stockbridge?
While I fully support the right to self-determination of communities, I am overall concerned about the effects of cityhood and de-annexation movements on essential services, especially for more vulnerable residents.
My understanding with the proposed city of Greenhaven, much of which falls within my district, is that it is unlike many of the other cityhood movements. As so much of the rest of DeKalb has pushed to incorporate, a large portion of South DeKalb has been left with inadequate services and funding for schools. Like many residents, I am rightfully frustrated by this. But while I understand those concerns, I don’t think it logistically makes good sense.
Do you support an expanded medical cannabis program, including (a) in-state cultivation, (b) full plant medicine, (c) expanded list of conditions?
Yes. Absolutely. I would like to see, however, more quality control exerted in Georgia to protect families administering these drugs – especially to children. As someone who lives down the street from CDC, I’m incredibly motivated to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect public health during this much-needed transition to passing medical cannabis.
Do you support state level decriminalization, or removal of possibility of jail time for minor possession of cannabis?
Yes. I am thankful that City of Atlanta has made steps in this direction, but we should expand this effort to true decriminalization.
Do you support legalization of cannabis, as has been established in nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia?
I am not yet fully supportive of fully legalizing cannabis and want to see more states move to studying the current usage levels and populations before I would sign my name to fully legalize in Georgia.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2018)