FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2021
ATLANTA (December 31, 2021) - The Georgia House Democratic Caucus consistently advocated for all Georgians in 2021. The Caucus stood up for progress on three major issues, in particular: fixing a Civil War-era law, addressing voter suppression, and encouraging a fair and transparent redistricting process. In 2022, the Caucus will continue to fight for policies that will help people across the state.
Repealing Citizen’s Arrest
The wrongful death of Ahmaud Arbery preceded the passage of HB 479. This bill, brought to the forefront by Democrats and introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators, overhauled Georgia's citizen’s arrest law and limited who can detain criminal suspects beyond on-duty police officers.
“Our commitment to repeal the citizen’s arrest law came full circle with the Arbery case. Unauthorized citizens can no longer act with impunity under the law of Georgia,” said House Minority Leader James Beverly (District 143-Macon). “Although justice was served with a conviction and reform to the law, we still have a long way to go towards reform.”
Defending the Right to Vote
As the year continued, so did the fight against restrictive voting measures enacted by the GOP. Democratic state legislators boldly expressed their opposition to the passage of SB 202 and continue to rally for changes to the bill.
“The omnibus bill of voter suppression was rushed and forced through both chambers to catch Georgia voters off guard. SB 202 claims to ‘make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.’ This simply isn’t true. This bill is designed to make it harder to vote,” said Chairman Billy Mitchell (District 88 - Stone Mountain).
Proposing Fair Maps
In November, redistricting brought about change. GHDC proposed a fairly constructed map in a historic effort and validated a commitment to a fair and transparent process. The Caucus crafted a map with input from a diverse array of stakeholders and voters across the state. “Our maps provided fair representation to voters of color, reflected the partisan makeup of Georgia’s electorate, and accounted for the population growth and shifts within Georgia,” said Representative Carolyn Hugley (District 136 - Columbus).
Standing up for All Georgians
While Democrats were fighting for what Georgians deserve, Republicans lacked leadership to diminish the pandemic, compromising the health of Georgians. They also promoted HB 276, a bill banning transgender girls from competing in single-gender sporting events (based upon their gender identified at birth), and passed SB 202, which suppressed voting rights. In addition, Republicans continue to promote election fraud and other damaging conspiracy theories about the voting process.
“The rhetoric and legislation displayed by Republicans is not what voters want – instead they want adequate healthcare, fair voting rights, and measures to decrease the pandemic,” said Leader Beverly. “In 2022, our Caucus will advocate for legislation that holds state representatives accountable to the citizens of Georgia - not the other way around.”
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