Issues & Priorities

HEALTHCARE

As a registered nurse, healthcare is front of mind for me because I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s also hugely important in this race in particular because my opponent has chaired the Health and Human Services Committee for the last 15 years. So, if you want to see change, our district is a great place to start. 

And we need change. Georgia fell from 42nd to 46th nationally in the past year. We can do so much better. 

Access & Costs

There are roughly 400,000 Georgians who would be covered under Medicaid tomorrow if we took federal funding. It’s funding that 37 other states signed on to accept, with Georgia a needless, stubborn holdout. And in case you think this isn’t an East Cobb issue, 2,600 of those individuals live in district. These are neighbors who we have a moral imperative to help. It’s also bad economics not to. When people are uninsured, they wait to seek care. Conditions worsen, and ultimately, bills go up. And when that bill comes, it’s on you as the taxpayer to pay for it.   

 

Even for those who are covered, I think we would all agree that insurance companies are too difficult to deal with and prescription drugs too expensive. That comes down to leadership. Special interests have cozied up to our elected officials and receive too little pushback. I’d take the message to the Capitol that the status quo isn’t working for East Cobb any longer.  

 

Women’s Rights & Maternal Care

Georgia ranks second from last in maternal mortality rates. The odds of a mother dying in childbirth or from complications relating to it are double the national average here. You will see a number of ads from those in office touting the "maternal mortality bill" passed this last legislative session. I'm happy that our current legislators finally took some action on this issue. But all they accomplished was to expand the Medicaid waiver for these issues from two to six months. If we accepted the full Medicaid expansion, new mothers would get up to one year of coverage. 

And we cannot talk about reproductive care without immediately pushing for the repeal of HB481, the "heartbeat bill," passed in 2018. The legislation bans abortions after five weeks. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by then. In effect, they’ve completely taken away a woman’s right to consult her doctor and choose. The legislation also handles special circumstances like sexual assault in a heartless way. I’ll stand by women against these types of draconian laws. I’ll stand with patients and their doctors, who don’t need the government getting between them. 

EDUCATION

Public Schools

Education is part of the promise of East Cobb. So many of us moved to this area because of the school system. They are some of the finest in the state and have come to be a defining feature of our community. I want you to know that as a parent of two graduates of Cobb schools, that I will do everything in my power to keep quality up. That means pushing to overturn the $1 billion in budget cuts passed earlier this year. It means coming through on the promise the Governor made to teachers to give them a $5,000 raise. 

 

Paying for College

The cost of four-year universities has created a national crisis. Tuition has shot up. That means that as parents, if we want to help pay for our kids’ education, it’s going to be far more expensive than most of us bargained for. Or, if it’s on students, they start their careers knowing that they’ve got a mountain of debt to pay off. 

I can’t fix this systemic issue all by myself, particularly at the state level. But I can do my utmost to reinvigorate the HOPE scholarship program and make things a little bit easier here at home. So many of us here in East Cobb are graduates of state universities and products of HOPE. Our children following suit should be something we strive to put within their grasp. We have to reinvest in this cornerstone program for our state. 
 

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE

There are 195 sovereign nations in the world. Roughly 194 ½ of them agree that climate change is real, with Republican officials in America the notable exception. Deep down, they know they’re wrong. They see the same things we do – rising temperatures, more frequent natural disasters. But they’re not changing their tune for partisan reasons, and that’s really disappointing.

 

For Cobb, it means unlined coal ash ponds next to the Chattahoochee River. It means carcinogenic ethylene oxide emissions next to an elementary school. Our representatives are letting these things go on with little sign of acting. We deserve better. Elect me, and I would try to first address the challenges immediately facing us. Then, I’d begin building a coalition to discuss concrete steps towards legislation that, while being mindful of our economy, has a serious, far reaching impact in tackling climate issues.  

 

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE

There are 195 sovereign nations in the world. Roughly 194 ½ of them agree that climate change is real, with Republican officials in America the notable exception. Deep down, they know they’re wrong. They see the same things we do – rising temperatures, more frequent natural disasters. But they’re not changing their tune for partisan reasons, and that’s really disappointing.

 

For Cobb, it means unlined coal ash ponds next to the Chattahoochee River. It means carcinogenic ethylene oxide emissions next to an elementary school. Our representatives are letting these things go on with little sign of acting. We deserve better. Elect me, and I would try to first address the challenges immediately facing us. Then, I’d begin building a coalition to discuss concrete steps towards legislation that, while being mindful of our economy, has a serious, far reaching impact in tackling climate issues.  

 

VOTING RIGHTS

We all have a right to have our voices heard and take part in the Democratic process. If your right to vote is in question in any way, then your government is failing you. Unfortunately, that’s a reality for many Georgians at the moment. 

 

Statewide, people are dismayed with purges of voter rolls -- with minority communities singled out in particular. We are concerned about the recently passed bill that automates the whole process and opens our system up to election tampering. More immediately, it is disheartening to see how poorly our elections are being run during this pandemic. We saw during the Primaries that poll workers are not getting enough resources, putting them and voters at risk at crowded precincts. And the state has not done near enough to streamline the absentee process, which we should encourage for everyone -- as it is the safest option. 

I would push for same day voter registration, online registration, and an end to "exact match" purge policies. This way, I don’t have to hear from another resident that they showed up to vote and were told they couldn’t. I would push for a study into our system to safeguard its integrity. And I would interface with the County government and the Secretary of State's to figure out how we can work together to open more early voting locations, make mail-in voting easier, and better protect the health of those voting in-person. 
 

EQUALITY & SAFETY

Our state legislature passed a school safety law that doesn’t have the word “gun” in it, at a time when people don’t feel safe going to the movies or dropping their kids off at school. We pass abortion bills that turn women into second class citizens. Multiple leaders have endorsed so-called “religious freedom” bills, which make our LGBTQ community feel unwelcome in their neighborhoods and communities. Put simply, the General Assembly has been writing and passing law after law that no one sent them there to enact. It shows that they are either out of step with their constituents or they’re just willfully ignoring them because special interests or a partisan agenda makes that expedient. I’m not ok with that. You shouldn’t be either. It’s past time that we elected candidates willing to stand up for women, for children, for LGBTQ Georgians, for everyone who is being persecuted. 

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Luisa Wakeman

- DEMOCRAT FOR GEORGIA STATE HOUSE -

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The Committee to Elect Luisa Wakeman
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