APN Candidate Q&A – Janine Brown, HD 59

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janine brown(APN) ATLANTA — With qualifying for State House and Senate races wrapping up this week, Atlanta Progressive News continues our in-depth foray into these critical elections.

 

As first reported by APN, State Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D-Atlanta) is exploring a run for Mayor of Atlanta in 2017 and will not be running for reelection.

 

Three candidates–Janine Brown, David Dreyer, and Josh Noblitt–are running for the seat.

 

APN has received questionnaire responses from the Brown and Noblitt campaigns, and also today sent a questionnaire to Mr. Dreyer.

 

We will begin by publishing Janine Brown’s responses below, and will publish the other candidates’ responses soon, under separate cover.

 

Brown has experience as an international staff representation in Washington, D.C., with Communications Workers of America from 1995 to 2006; worked at United Way in Atlanta as Community Services Liaison from 2006 to 2012; and is the Vice President of with Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment.

 

To date, she has been endorsed by State Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta), Atlanta City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong (District 5), Georgia’s WIN List, and Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council.

 

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.  I believe there should be a public record of all committee votes, and minutes should be made public.  Transparency in government is an important part of increasing trust in government and engaging voters.  Technology should be used to help get information out to voters on the actions of their legislators.

 

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON NUCLEAR POWER?

 

While nuclear power has reduced pollution from coal, we must address the issue of long term problems of waste that is produced from nuclear power. We must think of the consequences of our action long term and work toward healthy cleaner sources but also meet demand in a cost efficient safe way.

 

Solutions could include energy efficiency and alternative energy generation such as solar and wind power.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS, IF ANY, TO EXPAND WIND AND SOLAR IN GEORGIA?

 

I support efforts to expand wind and solar in Georgia.  We need to make solar more accessible to consumers. Expansion of solar in particular is already underway in Georgia and has provided good jobs.

 

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?

 

We should encourage participation and I would support a reduction in the percentage.

 

WOULD YOU SUPPORT ADDING A VOTER VERIFIABLE PAPER AUDIT TRAIL TO ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS IN GEORGIA?

 

Voters need to have confidence in the electoral process. I would support a verifiable paper audit. In addition, access to voting needs to be expanded, including adding additional early voting days and hours.

 

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE REFERENDUM TO CREATE A STATEWIDE OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO TAKE OVER SO-CALLED “FAILING” SCHOOLS?

 

I am opposed to the “Opportunity School District” referendum and will actively work to educate voters to the dangers of this legislation.  This legislation would reduce citizen’s ability to have direct input and control over local schools by removing the “failing schools” from control of local school boards and placing it in the hands of the appointed Opportunity School District Superintendent.  These policies have failed in other states and left children and communities no better off.  Every child in every neighborhood deserves a quality public education that meets their needs and prepares them for either higher education or a career.  We need to support students, families and teachers to make sure this happens.

 

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 fully support expansion of medical marijuana including in state cultivation, full plant medicine and expanding the list of conditions. Non-medical marijuana use should be decriminalized.  I support legalization of non-medical marijuana with proper regulation.

 

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 don’t generally support cityhood as I believe it creates an additional layer of government.  I also have concerns about smaller jurisdictions ability to provide adequate service.  However, since there are many precedents for cityhood already, I believe it is best to let citizens speak through the democratic process.

 

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE PROPOSALS FOR NEW CITIES IN DEKALB COUNTY, SUCH AS STONECREST AND GREENHAVEN?

 

See above.

 

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE PROPOSED CITY OF SOUTH FULTON?

 

See above.

 

DO YOU SUPPORT GMO LABELING?

 

Yes. Consumers should have access to this information about the food they buy and eat.

 

DO YOU SUPPORT ANY OF THE RECENT PROPOSALS REDUCING THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD, OR ALLOWING LOCAL JURISDICTIONS FLEXIBILITY TO REDUCE EARLY VOTING?

 

No.  Voting days and locations should be expanded and not reduced. We need to make voting easier for people.

 

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.)

 

Yes.  The Citizens United decision has reduced the voice of average people in politics. Any reasonable effort to change this should be entertained.

 

(END/2016)

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