I am a proud Georgian and I want to make sure we embrace a positive vision for our states future. Many of our state lawmakers have pursued policies that are not inclusive, lack empathy, and leave people behind. The task ahead of us is great, but we must fight for every Georgia family. My priorities include:
Nikki understand the barriers and inequities experienced in health services. One point five million Georgians lack health insurance putting Georgia behind most states. Inadequate access to healthcare puts all of our pubic health at risk. We must expand Medicaid and provide access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Georgians. We live in a state where rural hospitals are closing, and half of Georgia’s counties lack basic healthcare. A problem exacerbated by our refusal to approve Medicaid expansion. Now that American Rescue Plan Act gives states an additional financial incentive to expand Medicaid, Republicans' are running out of excuses to deny healthcare coverage to every Georgia family.
Healthcare includes reproductive care and reproductive choice. Nikki will lead the fight to protect women's right to choose, and ensure adequate funding is available for healthy women and babies.
Georgia is experiencing a maternal health care crisis; we rank last in the nation for maternal mortality at more than 2.5x the national average. The situation is even more critical for African American women, who are dying at twice the rate of white women in the state and six times the rate for white women nationally.
Nikki believes healthcare laws should prioritize every Georgia family, that's why she remains committed to pursue policies that secure healthcare rights.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the cracks in leadership and our economy. Many of our families feel the impact and stress of the crisis in different ways. We need to focus on how we survive and thrive. Too many families are being left behind. Unemployment is high, wages are stagnant, and small businesses are struggling to remain viable. The state must continue to expand options for assistance, eligibility, and support programs designed to help small business and their employees.
Georgia ranks 40th in the nation for the number of households living below the poverty line, 44th for the disparity between the highest and lowest income individuals, and 32nd for food insecurity. The impact on our children is stark. Approximately one in five children in Georgia live in poverty, one in four have parents who lack secure employment, and nearly one in three live in households where the cost of housing exceeds 30% of monthly income.
Nikki believes working families should enjoy fair tax policies. The wealthiest among us are paying less. At the same time, the most vulnerable are shouldering the burden of cuts to services like child welfare, senior services, and mental health care. Nikki will fight to preserve the essential services that are lifelines for working and low-income families who struggle daily to make ends meet. She supports ensuring investments in public infrastructure, transportation expansion, and renewable energy for better quality of life.
Georgia's track record of voter suppression and poor election security is a disgrace. The passage of Republican anti-voting bill SB 202 poses an even greater threat fair elections an our democracy.
Having family members who have historically faced disenfranchisement from voting; Nikki understands attacks on voting rights places a significate burden on the right to cast a ballot, particularly on black voters, our elderly, students, and those with disabilities . Voters deserve to be confident that they will not experience roadblocks at the polls and that their votes will be counted accurately and fairly.
That’s why Nikki stands fiercely committed to strengthening our voter protections, rejecting suppressive policies and working to make voting easier for everyone choosing to exercise this most sacred constitutional right. During the 2021 legislative session Nikki did her part by passing bill SB 253; sign guidelines for poll change locations, as just one step toward making voter participation easier.
The risk to our voting rights will be compounded by the redistricting that will follow the 2020 census. The state legislature will be tasked with redrawing political districts based on updated population counts. Often the majority party manipulates this process by creating new maps meant to preserve their power, enabling elected officials to choose their voters and reducing their accountability due to the uncompetitive nature of stacked districts. Furthermore, gerrymandering often has the effect of diffusing the voting power of communities of color. Nikki supports transparency, and an independent nonpartisan redistricting commission that would end partisan gerrymandering and put the power of this critical component of democracy back into the hands of our citizens.
Public education is the foundation of a thriving economy and an engaged citizenry. As the parent of two children educated in Georgia’s public schools, Nikki understand the impact of under-resourced schools on quality education. She was happy to vote on a budget that restored cuts made by Republican lawmakers last year. But, we can do more. Unfortunately the state still left our schools underfunded from past years. We need to make sure that students across the state are prepared for success in the career they choose. That’s why I am committed to fully funding our K-12 schools.
Education doesn’t stop after high school graduation, and children from working families are increasingly being priced out of higher education in our state. The cost of student debt is crippling all of our futures. As Senator and Mom of two college students, Nikki supports solutions that make post-secondary education affordable for all of Georgia’s students.
Nikki believes in inclusive education; including multicultural awareness, diversity, sensitivity to different backgrounds and dismantling structural barriers that reduces quality education. Her goal is to ensure legislative policies that prepare students to thrive in an exponentially diverse world.
As a proud union member of CWA 3204 for 23 years, Nikki knows firsthand how essential strong Unions are to Georgia's workforce; providing workers the ability to have stable careers and raise their families comfortably.
Workers have a right to earn a living wage, and take advantage of ongoing training and education opportunities to compete in competitive job markets.
Georgia’s move from unions has hurt our economy, and we’ve watched far too many jobs leave our state, meaning many families do not have access to stable incomes, living wages, and job security. Nikki leads the fight for workers rights in the legislature, advocating for policies to protect our critical workforce, knowing when workers succeed businesses thrive.