by Brenna Lakeson
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
We’ve all probably heard this quote so often that it’s become a cliche. We hear it in reference to charity work – volunteering, doing random acts of kindness, and sharing love with everyone we meet. Rarely, though, do we hear it applied to the political process. Many of us might think of politics as corrupt and inefficient. While that can definitely be true, being involved in the political process, both locally and nationally, is also an important way to affect change.
As hard as it can be to trust the government to get things done, changing policies is actually a huge way to improve the world around us. For example, a few years ago, people who were convicted of a felony in the state of Georgia could no longer vote – not just temporarily but for the rest of their lives. However, now the law states that anyone convicted of a felony can vote once their full sentence has been served, including completion of probation or parole. While this still isn’t ideal for some of our guests, the fact that they can now vote after a certain period of time is a huge step up.
A lot of us don’t see or hear about the legislative changes being made, especially in local government. But by being informed of and involved with the things that are happening under the gold dome, we can help Atlanta change for the better. Currently, a few of the bills on our radar include Senate Bill 322, which would create incentives for the development of affordable housing. It only takes one search for an apartment to realize that there is very little affordable housing around the city. Another bill that affects our guests is House Bill 792/793. These bills are expansive, as they outline the entire state budget, but the section we’re most concerned about is funding for healthcare. Many of our guests have limited or no access to healthcare, so expanding the funding available for them to get the help they need is crucial.
These bill numbers might seem overwhelming, but it’s actually pretty easy to track what’s going on. You can find out which bills are where in the legislative process by visiting the Georgia General Assembly website. You can figure out who your representatives are so that you can contact them about issues you support by entering your home address here. In order to make your advocacy as impactful as possible, check out Presbyterians for a Better Georgia’s gude here.
Be the change you want to see in Georgia by taking a stand on what matters to you. Be a part of changing policies that will transform lives. Your voice matters.