Author Archives: staff writer

Swearing In

At the Capital for the Swearing in Ceremony for the 3 New Democratic House Members.  Teri Anulewicz of HD 42 is one of the new members next to me. Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley , Zahra Karinshak is a candidate for SD 48 and Rep. Sam Parks HD 101. A great event

Government Day at Lanier Elementary

I had a wonderful day at Lanier Elementary School on November 15.  Reading to the second graders is always a treat especially if the book is about Presidents.   They had just started  their government unit and I had the privilege of helping them to kick it off.

I read to all FOUR 2nd grade classes at the same time!

Thanksgiving

As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2017, you and I must reflect on what all we are thankful for. I know I have.  I’m  doing it as I send this message to you, the citizens of Gwinnett, and especially those in House District 100. And I will never leave out those that make it easy for me to do the things I do in the district.  I’m very thankful to have had your support for the past four years and am looking forward to the 2018 session to start on January 8, 2018.

I’m very thankful to have family and friends over to celebrate this day of eating the fried turkey that I will drop at 2 pm for the 4pm dinner. Thankful for deserts my nieces are delivering from Sweet Mays Deserts, thankful that my wife, Linda, is making the potato salad from scratch, Thankful that my daughters and their husbands are bringing my 3 grandsons, Daniel, Evan and Miles… Thankful for my and families good health.. And lets not forget that I am really very thankful I have good vision, that I can watch NFL Football all day., and thankful that I will be at home in Gwinnett…

And I do want to wish you, friends and family a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Atlanta Gay Pride Parade 2017

I am missing the Falcons game as promised I would participate in the Gay Pride Parade.  I will always keep it 100 …for ALL!

Me with Tamara Johnson Shealey

Me with Cheryl Williams as “Miss Dawn Kee” and Steve Toggerson

Yours Truly

A Win-win!

Fight For $15

One of my Republican colleagues, Rep Clay Cox, has announced that he will introduce legislation next year to give employers a tax credit for providing health coverage to employees who are eligible for Medicaid.

I want to tell you that I will oppose this bill when it comes up for a vote.  I feel it is better if we increase the minimum wage to $15 so these workers can afford their company plans, instead of subsidizing businesses who don’t want to pay a living wage.  HB 315, which I introduced last year, does just that.

With Mr. Cox’s plan, we will still be subsidizing businesses who refuse to pay a decent wage in addition to their paying fewer taxes.  The state receives less revenue and everybody else has a choice to receive fewer services or accept a tax hike in some form or another.

This is lose-lose all the way around.  I encourage everybody to contact other legislators and ask them to support HB 315 which raises the minimum wage in Georgia.  Now, THAT is a win-win!

GA Power Update

I wanted to provide you with another quick update on Georgia Power’s response to Hurricane Irma.

After weathering one of the largest storms to hit our state, Georgia Power continued with restoration efforts today.  Power outages associated with Hurricane Irma impacted nearly 1 million of our customers all across Georgia. As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, we have restored service to approximately half of those customers.  Currently there are about 470,000 customers without power in Georgia.  The Metro Atlanta area has seen similar gains in restoration today, reducing the number of outages to around 200,000.  We plan to move additional workers into the area tonight, and will continue to assess and make repairs based on our assessments. tomorrow.

We understand that many of your constituents are frustrated that their power has not yet been restored.  The damage and outages to our system are widespread across the state , and in many cases the damage is severe.  This is an unprecedented event for our state, and resources are stretched thin as utilities respond to two major storms that not only impacted our state, but also devastated parts of Texas and all of the state of Florida.  While our crews are working around the clock to restore service, customers should plan ahead for extended outages that may last for days, and in some cases weeks due to the vast damage from the storm.

As a reminder, below are some tools available to you and your constituents to communicate with Georgia Power:

•        Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
•        Outage & Storm Center – Available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
•        Outage Map – Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power’s interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
•        Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
•        @GeorgiaPower on Twitter – Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.

Please continue to stay safe during this historic storm event.  As always please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

William E. Edwards
External Affairs Manager

 

Points to hopefully agree on this Labor Day

From the AJC  Monday, September 3, 2017

The first Monday of September is set aside to honor working people and celebrate the efforts of organized labor. It is a time to thank workers for building the middle class and bringing prosperity to our country.

It also a time for labor leaders like myself to write opinion columns reflecting on the struggles still facing workers — an opportunity to educate the public on the adverse effects of increased corporate consolidation, an ever-growing amount of money in politics and, subsequently, the harmful, anti-worker legislation that millions of Americans are currently up against throughout the country.

Although workers continue to struggle in the wake of countless problems — especially here in Atlanta, where income inequality and economic mobility are the highest among the nation’s 50 largest cities — I do not seek to chastise or dwell on the negative on a day that I have always believed to be a joyous occasion.

Instead, I seek to find common ground in the hope of broadening support for the Atlanta metro labor movement in the hopes of building solidarity for workers’ rights and building new support for the union effort. Rather than preach to the choir, I want to reach across the aisle.

Ever since I first joined the labor movement in 1976, becoming a member of the National Football League Players Association, I have been able to make the case for labor unions by posing five simple questions to anyone who doubts the need for representation in the workplace. Most recently, I have posed these questions at several speaking engagements with members of the Atlanta business community, where even among an audience of CEOs, these questions transcended party lines, becoming almost rhetorical.

I begin with a no-brainer, “Do you believe all workers deserve safety on the job?” Everyone nods in agreement, without objection.

We can all agree that safety in the workplace is not just a matter of workers’ rights; it’s a moral right. Throughout labor history, worker safety has been the hardest-fought union issue. And yet, most Americans are unaware that it is an issue we face today. In 2016, nearly 5,000 workers lost their lives and 2.9 million workers were injured while on the job. These deaths and injuries are preventable. By providing a voice in the workplace, the unions give workers the power to bring safety to the workplace.

I then ask, “Do you believe workers deserve a fair paycheck — the right to earn a decent wage to provide for them and their family?” Once again, there are no objections, only nods.

Although we may not all agree on what constitutes fair pay, I think we can all agree that underpaid workers in Atlanta are struggling at the expense of the entire community. That’s why the unions are fighting to win workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Better wages will not only help workers succeed, it will also help companies succeed — allowing employers to recruit and retain talent, increase productivity and, in turn, enhance quality and service.

This same logic can be applied to my following three questions: Do you believe workers deserve quality health care? Time off? Retirement security? Nods, nods and more nods.

The struggle for health care, time off and retirement security is a cornerstone of all union contracts. A fair wage means little when you cannot afford health care coverage; likewise, there is no such thing as a good job that leaves workers without time off or the ability to retire with dignity. Collective bargaining is rooted in the well-being of working people. Although some may argue about the details of these protections, I think we can all agree on the need to consider workers’ health and well-being.

Politics can be divisive, but whether Republican or Democrat, we can all agree that we need good middle-class jobs with workplace safety, fair wages, quality health care, sufficient time off and strong retirement security. We have more in common than we think, particularly when it comes to how we treat workers. These five labor issues reflect our core values as Americans.

This Labor Day, let’s all agree on protecting our workers and providing them with the resources and protections needed to provide for their family and live a decent life. The labor unions will continue the fight to make sure the economy works for everybody.

I hope you will join us.

State Rep. Dewey McClain, D-Lawrenceville, is president of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and a former Atlanta Falcons player.

Unveiling of Martin Luther King Statue

Gov. Nathan Deal will be joined by members of the King family, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Rep.  Calvin Smyre, Capitol Arts Standards Commission members and other dignitaries to unveil the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. statue at the Georgia State Capitol on Monday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

WHO:

• Gov. Nathan Deal
• First Lady Sandra Deal
• King family members
• Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
• Rep. Calvin Smyre,
• Chairman of the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Statue Tribute Committee Capitol Arts NG:

WHEN:

Monday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m.

WHERE:

State Capitol Grounds
Intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Capitol Avenue

MEDIA CREDENTIALS:

For security purposes, only credentialed media will be permitted into the staging area at 9:30 a.m. All others are welcome to be seated with the general public.

LIVE STREAM:

Prior to the event, a livestream link will be made available for educators and the general public. A recording of the ceremony will be made available at the conclusion of the event.

PARKING:

See the map and information below regarding transportation and parking.

STREET CLOSURES:

There will be street closures on Capitol Avenue from Memorial Drive to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and on Mitchell Street from Washington Street to Capitol Avenue from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Westbound traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be detoured onto Jesse Hill Jr. Drive from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

MARTA:

Because parking will be limited, the general public is encouraged to ride MARTA to the Georgia State MARTA station. The station is a short walk on Piedmont Avenue to the unveiling location.

BUS PARKING:

The Georgia Building Authority lot located at 445 Capitol Ave. is available for bus parking.