GALEO Launches “Luchar. Votar. Poder” Voter Registration & GOTV campaign

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Friday, September 18, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – GALEO announced the start of the largest voter registration and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts in the organization’s history today. Building off the tremendous participation of the Latino electorate in 2018 for Georgia’s elections and significant interest and participation in the 2020 primary elections, GALEO expects this will be a record breaking year for Latino voter participation in the state.

“The Latino electorate in Georgia is approximately 250,000 strong and could be a decisive part of the outcome in the 2020 elections for the state and for local races,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO.

The campaign is centered around the three words of: Engage, Vote, Power (Luchar, Votar, Poder). It will be centered around ensuring the Latino electorate continues to engage during this critical election cycle in both voter registration and in turnout for participation in the competitive elections this year.

GALEO has already started text and phone banking of the Latino electorate throughout the state. This will be followed by bilingual mailers being sent to the entire Latinx electorate starting today.  Yard signs and magnets will be distributed to promote voter registration and to take pledges to vote. Fliers with QR codes will be attached to packets for PPE delivery to poultry workers, with food bank distribution efforts, and with COVID19 testing sites in Hall County.  GALEO will also be working extensively with Spanish media and social media to educate and inform the Latinx electorate of the options for exercising their right to vote.  At this time, most of the outreach will be done via media, phone, text and socially distant due to the pandemic.

On Saturday night, September 19, GALEO will have a fun evening of Latin music provided by DJ Fernando encouraging viewers who join to register to vote, if eligible, and to turn out to vote.

GALEO will also educate voters about their rights to request for Spanish assistance from Gwinnett County.  Furthermore, those who do not live in Gwinnett County are able to select a person of their choice, except for boss or union representative, to assist them in translation for voting in person or by mail.

As in years past, GALEO has a voicemail system to assist Spanish dominant voters with questions or problems that they may encounter (1-888-54GALEO / 1-888-544-2536).

For any voters that need to update their current address and need to register to vote, GALEO has a QR code and url for easy access (https://bit.ly/OVRGALEO).  Deadline to update your address or register to vote is October 5th.

Voters then have three options to vote:  Vote by mail/absentee, in-person early voting (starting Oct. 12 through Oct. 30), or voting in-person on Election Day ( 7 AM- 7PM).  All voters are encouraged to make a plan and to vote.

To volunteer with our bilingual outreach efforts, people can sign up here.  For further questions on volunteering, an email should be sent to polo@galeo.org.

To pledge to vote, voters can sign up here.

To donate to these efforts, people can donate here.

GALEO also continues to hire canvassers for help with our outreach efforts.  Interested people should send an email to jchow@galeo.org.

This massive outreach effort was made possible in part by funding provided by “Vote Your Voice Initiative” from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among other funders and donors.

About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

 

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Employment Opportunity- City of Morrow

The City of Morrow is seeking qualified applicants for a Senior Accountant
employment opportunity. This position is responsible for assisting with core
financial functions and administration within the Finance Department.
Duties may include assistance with budget preparation, payroll, accounts
payables and receivables, internal auditing, and financial record keeping.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
*       Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and related experience preferred in
municipal or County government and\or equivalent combination of education
and experience.
*       Five (5) years’ experience in Government Accounting position.
*       Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
*       Valid Georgia Driver’s License
*       Acceptable Motor Vehicle Report (3 years)

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
*       CPA Certification
*       Knowledge of Governmental Accounting software

For full job description and to apply visit: www.cityofmorrow.com

The City of Morrow is an equal opportunity employer and we consider
applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, age, marital or veteran status, the presence of a
non-job-related medical condition or disability, or any other legally
protected status.

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2020 GALEO Fellow Cyntia Sosa’s Internship Experience

9 September 2020

During my time at GALEO, I have had the opportunity to grow on a professional and personal level on different elements that I have learned throughout the internship and fellowship. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and network with other community leaders, community members and different nonprofit organizations. Networking was such an important part of the internship because I was able to meet others that had the same goals as GALEO, which included outreach to communities with topics such as getting out to vote and Census information. I was also able to learn more about the importance of civic engagement and policy, whether that be on the federal, state or local level. Before interning with GALEO, I was not as informed as I am now on why it is important to reach out to communities and speak on these types of topics, but now I know that I can use my voice to educate others. In using my voice to educate others, I learned how important different marketing and outreach methods used can reach different people on different social media platforms, such as providing content in Spanish and English so that we are able to educate bigger groups of people on different issues. I know that I will take everything that I learned at GALEO with me in my future choices and paths because it had made me a more confident person.

Towards the beginning of the internship, I was granted the opportunity to go to the State Capitol in Atlanta every week and participate in what was known as Immigrant Thursdays, where I got to sit with other organizations and learn about different bills that were being introduced and pushed for and why some of these bills were harmful or beneficial to our communities. During these meetings, I also learned how to speak to members who would be voting on these bills and learned which points to bring up when speaking about why these bills are important. I was also able to sit in press conferences and committee meetings and be able to see what goes on behind-the-scenes as legislators vote on different bills. This experience was a huge eye-opener for me because I was previously very oblivious to what goes on in my community when it comes to policy or government, but I am now more aware of the type of research to do when I am voting for people who will represent me and my community.

Not only was I able to grow professionally and become more confident in helping my community, I also had the amazing opportunity of working in an environment that allowed me to grow because of the everyone else who works there. I was able to build great friendships with people who push me to grow in different ways and allow me to have a space to voice my ideas and be heard. The environment at GALEO was unmatched, I felt like I was able to express myself and offer ideas when different projects were presented. I truly believe that this played a huge part in my development because it allowed me to be in a comfortable space and have the full support of those who are higher up than me. I will always be grateful for the seven months I spent at GALEO as they were filled with professional development, personal growth, learning, and fun.

 

For more info on internships with GALEO, please visit www.galeo.org/internship .

 

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Georgia Advocates Condemn the Trump Administration’s Latest Attempt to Disrupt the Outcome of the 2020 Census

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 6, 2020

Georgia Advocates Condemn the Trump Administration’s Latest Attempt to Disrupt the Outcome of the 2020 Census

Georgia advocates across the state are angered by the latest move by the Trump Administration to limit census participation of black, brown, and immigrant communities. After granting an extension for Census completion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration recently instructed the United States Census Bureau to complete the 2020 Census activites a month early, by September 30, 2020.

“Black, brown and immigrant communities have been ravaged by COVID-19, violent and racist policing and repeated attempts to attack our voting rights. The last thing any elected official should do in this unprecedented time is seek to disrupt an accurate and full census count of our communities — thereby sabotaging our state’s chance to receive federal resources Georgia families desperately depend on. Congress must protect the 2020 Census by including an extension of the Congressional reporting deadline in the next COVID-19 bill,” states Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta.

This past spring, the Trump Administration originally announced an extension for residents to complete their census by October 31, 2020. Currently, only 58.7% of the state’s population has completed the 2020 Census. Ending operations early puts Georgia at risk for losing millions in federal funding over the next 10 years.

A successful 2020 Census requires following up with those who do not respond on their own. A shorter census timeline will make it impossible to count every household. Door knocking disproportionately covers the historically undercounted communities in Georgia and this move severely limits door-to-door enumeration.

The census is not a partisan issue — an undercount in Georgia fails the whole state.  Make no mistake, as Georgians across the state prepare to vote in the November general election, we are watching very closely the actions of current US Senators to stand up for our communities across the state. Our Senators must act immediately to extend the statutory reporting deadlines for congressional apportionment data, and give the Census Bureau the time it has said it needs to complete the count.

We implore all Georgians to call Senators Leoffler and Purdue and demand an extension for the completion of census in this great time of need. Now more than ever, it is critically important for all Georgians to fill out the census and help other households to do so, in a safe and socially distanced manner.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

(202) 224-3643

131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

Contact: www.loeffler.senate.gov

 

Sen. David Perdue

(202) 224-3521

455 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

Contact: www.perdue.senate.gov/connect/email

 

Signed:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

Atlanta Sikh Community

Black Voters Matter GA

Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia (BRCG)

CAIR Georgia

Coalition of Latino Leaders-CLILA

Common Cause Georgia

Environment Georgia

Faith in Public Life

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)

Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GAMVP)

Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda

Georgia Conservation Voters (GCV)

Georgia Equality

Georgia WAND

Georgia Stand Up

Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta-Georgia

KOWIN Atlanta GA -Korean Women International Network

Laotian American National Alliance

Latino Community Fund – Georgia

League of Women Voters of Georgia, Inc.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

ProGeorgia

Refugee Women’s Network

Rep GA Institute, Inc.

Somali American Community Center

Southeast Immigrant Rights Network

Wake Up, Atlanta

Women Watch Afrika, Inc. (WWA)

 

 

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NALEO Educational Fund Responds to Census Bureau Director’s Announcement that Operations Will End a Month Early

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 4, 2020

CONTACT:
Kevin Perez-Allen, kperezallen@naleo.org
(714) 499-4481

Marcus Silva, msilva@naleo.org
(510) 456-5444

NALEO Educational Fund Responds to Census Bureau Director’s
Announcement that Operations Will End a Month Early

Despite asking for a four-month extension in May,
Census Bureau succumbs to White House political pressure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released a statement from CEO Arturo Vargas in response to the Census Bureau Director’s announcement that Census 2020 data collection will end on September 30:

“For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has enjoyed the well-earned global reputation as a respected statistical agency, independent of political agendas; sadly for our nation, that tradition ended.  Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham has announced that despite asking for a four-month extension in May to complete the 2020 Census given the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau will stop collecting household data on September 30 instead of October 31 as previously announced.  The Bureau will now rush to complete the census by the current deadline, a task that professional staff at the Census Bureau have repeatedly indicated was unachievable and would lead to an unacceptable census count.

“In May, the Bureau’s Associate Director of Field Operations, Timothy P. Olson, stated that ‘We have passed the point where we could even meet the current legislative requirement of December 31.  We can’t do that anymore.’  The Bureau’s Associate Director for Decennial Census Programs, Albert E. Fontenot Jr., echoed this sentiment in a press briefing on July 8 when he said, ‘We are past the window of being able to get those counts’ by the end of 2020.

“The Secretary of Commerce acknowledged this reality and formally requested that Congress extend the deadline for delivering the apportionment counts by four months.  The Secretary has now abandoned that position in order to comply with President Trump’s July 21 policy memorandum requesting that the apportionment counts be delivered to him by December 31, upon which he seeks to produce different apportionment numbers that exclude undocumented immigrants, despite their inclusion being required by the U.S. Constitution.

“Congress can stop the political hijacking of the census by asserting its constitutional authority over the decennial count.  The Senate COVID-19 stimulus bill should follow the House’s HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), which extends the December 31, 2020 deadline to deliver the apportionment counts, to April 30, 2021.

“Despite months of millions of American households sheltering at home due to the pandemic, the national response rate as of August 2 was only 62.9 percent, barely higher than the Bureau’s April 30 self-response goal of 60.1 percent.  The Census Bureau has an unexpectedly more difficult challenge in achieving a 100 percent count, which includes numerous operations and data processing procedures in addition to the data collection.  Forcing the Bureau to meet the current deadlines will sacrifice the accuracy of the census, and waste $16 billion in taxpayer dollars for an incomplete count.  The groups most likely to be excluded from the census now are historically undercounted populations, including Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, rural populations, low-income households, and children.

“Despite this political sabotaging of the census, NALEO Educational Fund remains committed to promoting a complete count that is both fair and accurate.  NALEO Educational Fund will continue its ¡Hagase Contar! campaign with vigor.  Our respect for the U.S. Constitution requires nothing less.”

Residents can self-respond to the census online at https://my2020census.gov/ or over the phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.

Individuals with questions about the census can call NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free national census bilingual hotline at 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676) – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.– 8:30 p.m. ET to get additional information.

Partners can stay up to date on tools to continue to get out the count in Latino communities by visiting www.hagasecontar.org/resources, texting CENSUS to 97779, or by subscribing to our e-mail list here.

###

About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

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The City of Morrow is seeking qualified applicants for a Senior Accountant employment opportunity

The City of Morrow is seeking qualified applicants for a Senior Accountant
employment opportunity. This position is responsible for assisting with core
financial functions and administration within the Finance Department.
Duties may include assistance with budget preparation, payroll, accounts
payables and receivables, internal auditing, and financial record keeping.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
*       Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and related experience preferred in
municipal or County government and\or equivalent combination of education
and experience.
*       Three five (5) years’ experience in General Accounting position,
preferably with a government.
*       Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
*       Knowledge of Governmental Accounting software
*       Valid Georgia Driver’s License
*       Acceptable Motor Vehicle Report (3 years)

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
*       CPA Certification

For full job description and to apply visit: www.cityofmorrow.com

The City of Morrow is an equal opportunity employer and we consider
applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, age, marital or veteran status, the presence of a
non-job-related medical condition or disability, or any other legally
protected status.

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Press Statement: GALEO Denounces the Unconstitutional Attack on Census. Everyone Counts.

GALEO Denounces Unconstitutional Attack on Census

Everyone counts, regardless of immigration status

Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 (Norcross, GA) -Following President Trump’s unconstitutional memorandum banning undocumented immigrants from counting toward congressional apportionment, Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, released the following statement:

“The move by the Trump Administration is another unconstitutional attempt to suppress the growing power and influence of the Latinx and immigrant communities.  The memorandum will likely be fought through litigation and we will win once again.

The Administration is trying to redefine who should be counted; but,  our U.S. Constitution makes it clear that every person living in our nation, regardless of immigration status, should be counted.

By the strongest federal confidentiality protections, the U.S. Census Bureau does not share any personal information with any other entity, including ICE.  All immigrants should feel safe and secure in participating in the 2020 Census to ensure our communities get their fair share of resources for our schools and healthcare needs.

We will not be invisible nor erased from the 2020 Census.  We must stand up to ensure we have a complete count that includes all immigrants, children and those hard to count communities.

These last minute scare tactics by the Administration will not deter us to encourage continued participation of those who have not yet been counted in the 2020 Census.”

###

About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

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Las Vidas Negras Importan (Black Lives Matter)

By Natalia B. Dutra

14 July 2020

Black Lives Matter. This isn’t a revolutionary statement, it’s not a new idea, and it’s certainly not something to debate. Since the conception of this country black people have been forced to fight for their right to live freely. The protests we see today are a culmination of years of oppression and injustice. From slavery all the way to the modern prison industrial complex, racist institutions have altered over time and persistently targeted the black community.

What’s Going On?

When faced with the facts there is no denying the existence of an issue. Facts such as black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men or that the wealth gap between white and black families is still as wide as it was in 1968. The fact that a child named Tamir Rice can be murdered for holding a water shooter. The fact that a woman named Breonna Taylor can be gunned down while sleeping in her own home. The fact that the white supremacists that nearly lynched Vauhxx Booker can walk away freely. We say Black Lives Matter because historically black lives have not been valued in the same way as other lives. 

Recently, protests resurged due to the increase in video footage of murders committed by police officers. These protests are only the newest events in an advancing fight for equity liberation. The growth in accessibility to the internet has helped expose the horrors that black people face on a daily basis. These videos that range from white women calling the police over a barbeque to unarmed and defenseless black people being brutally murdered by police officers have finally led to the public outrage of other communities.

Racism and Colorism within Latin America

These ongoing struggles are not contained within the United States. Racism and specifically colorism run rampant among the Latinx community. Colonization brought with it a prejudicial system of hierarchy based on skin tone, which was deeply rooted into society. This system is known today as colorism. Colorism is the discrimination of others based on their skin complexion; people with lighter skin tones are viewed in a much better way than those with darker skin tones. Growing up I remember seeing racist caricatures of black people in art. I remember seeing people parading around in black face during Carnival. I remember hearing stories of my great grandmother advising my mother to marry a white man so she could “clean up” or whiten the family.

Instances of police murdering black people are also not contained within the United States. Joao Pedro, a black child, was shot to death by police officers in his home, just this year; the 14 year old lived in Brasil, a country where it is reported that at least 17 people are killed daily by police officers. Similarly to the United States, we can still feel the impact of the racist foundations our institutions were built upon. 

How you can Help

As you reflect, the question that may pop up is how to help. Here are some steps you can take moving forward:

  1. Educate Yourself Learning about history and the effects it still has on the world is extremely important. Thanks to the internet there are countless sources right at your fingertips, many of which are completely free. 

(While it is easy to simply ask questions to people you know, remember that no one is required to educate you. These topics can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Do some research on your own.)

  1. Listen to Others – Your experiences are not universal. Read literature, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts from black authors. Also, listen to black people around you without being defensive.
  2. Donate – Whether it be time or money, donate to causes that support Black Lives Matter. There are many bail funds, memorial funds, and smaller organizations in need of support during these times. If you are unable to help financially you can sign petitions, spread information, and there are even YouTube videos you can watch that will donate their ad revenue to a variety of organizations.
  3. Talk to Your Family – Many of those in the older generations may not even be aware of what is going on. Educate and spread awareness. Take the steps to have those difficult and uncomfortable conversations, so that you can create a path to growth. 

 

Resources 

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Las Vidas Negras Importan (Black Lives Matter)

Black Lives Matter. Esta frase significa que las vidas de las personas negras importan. Esto no es una declaración revolucionaria, no es una idea nueva, y ciertamente no es algo para debatir. Desde la concepción de este país, las personas negras se han visto obligados a luchar por su derecho a vivir libremente. Las protestas que vemos hoy son la culminación de años de opresión e injusticia. Desde la esclavitud hasta el complejo industrial de la prisión moderna, las instituciones racistas se han alterado con el tiempo y han atacado persistentemente a la comunidad negra.

¿Qué está pasando actualmente?

Ante los hechos, no se puede negar la existencia de un problema. Hechos como los hombres negros son 2,5 veces más propensos a ser asesinados por la policía que los hombres blancos o que la disparidad de riqueza entre las familias blancas y negras sigue siendo tan amplia como lo era en 1968. El hecho de que un niño llamado Tamir Rice puede ser asesinado por sostener un tirador de agua. El hecho de que una mujer llamada Breonna Taylor puede ser asesinada mientras duerme en su propia casa. El hecho de que los supremacistas blancos que casi lincharon a Vauhxx Booker pueden seguir libres como si nada paso. Decimos que Las Vidas Negras Importan porque históricamente las vidas negras no han sido valoradas de la misma manera que otras vidas.

Recientemente, las protestas resurgieron debido al aumento de videos de asesinatos cometidos por policías. Estas protestas son sólo los eventos más recientes en una lucha por la liberación de la equidad. El aumento de la accesibilidad a Internet ha ayudado a exponer los horrores que las personas negras enfrentan a diario. Estos videos incluyen mujeres blancas llamando a la policía por un asado y también incluyen videos que muestran  personas negras desarmadas e indefensas que son brutalmente asesinadas por agentes de policía. Estos videos finalmente han causado indignación pública en otras comunidades.

Racismo y Colorismo en América Latina

Estas luchas no están contenidas dentro de los Estados Unidos. El racismo y específicamente el colorismo proliferan entre la comunidad latina. La colonización trajo un sistema de jerarquía perjudicial basado en el tono de piel, que está profundamente arraigado en la sociedad. Este sistema se conoce hoy como colorismo. El colorismo es la discriminación de otros basado en el tono de piel; las personas con tonos de piel más claros se ven de una manera mejor que aquellos con tonos de piel más oscuros. Al crecer, recuerdo ver caricaturas racistas de gente negra en el arte. Recuerdo ver gente desfilando en “blackface” durante el Carnaval. Recuerdo escuchar historias de mi bisabuela aconsejando a mi madre que se casara con un hombre blanco para que pudiera “limpiar” o “blanquear” a la familia.

Los casos de policías que asesinan a las personas negras tampoco están contenidos en los Estados Unidos. Joao Pedro, un niño negro, fue asesinado a tiros por agentes de policía en su casa, justo este año; el joven de 14 años vivía en Brasil, un país donde se informa que en promedio 17 personas son asesinadas diariamente por agentes de policía. Al igual que en los Estados Unidos, todavía podemos sentir el impacto de los fundamentos racistas sobre los que se construyeron nuestras instituciones.

Cómo Puede Ayudar

Mientras reflexionas, la pregunta que puede surgir es ¿cómo puedes ayudar? Estos son algunos pasos que puedes tomar para avanzar y crecer:

  1. Educarse – Es extremadamente importante aprender sobre la historia y los efectos que la historia todavía tiene en el mundo. Gracias al Internet, hay innumerables fuentes a su alcance, muchas de las cuales son completamente gratuitas.

(Aunque es fácil simplemente hacer preguntas a personas que conoces, recuerda que nadie está obligado a educarte. Estos temas pueden ser difíciles, mentalmente y emocionalmente. Haz algunas investigaciones por tu cuenta.)

  1. Escucha a otros – Tus experiencias no son universales. Lee literatura, mira documentales y escucha podcasts de autores negros. Además, escucha a la gente negra que te rodea sin estar a la defensiva.
  2. Donar – Ya sea tiempo o dinero, dona a causas que apoyen Black Lives Matter. Hay muchos fondos de fianza, fondos conmemorativos y organizaciones más pequeñas que necesitan apoyo durante estos tiempos. Si no puedes ayudar financieramente, puedes firmar peticiones, difundir información, e incluso hay videos de YouTube que puedes ver que donarán sus ingresos publicitarios a una variedad de organizaciones.
  3. Hable con su Familia – Muchoas de las generaciones mayores están conscientes de lo que está pasando. Puedes educar y difundir la conciencia. Tome las medidas para tener esas conversaciones difíciles e incómodas.

 

Resources 

 

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Georgia Legislation Passes New Hate Crimes Bill

By Cyntia Sosa

13 July 2020

In the middle of a pandemic, America was hit with a surge of protests across the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. These protests took place in nearly every state across the country, in multiple cities. The uproar began when the public decided it was time to demand action be taken in cases of police brutality and cases where violence against African Americans is prominent in the country because of the killing of George Floyd, a 46 year-old-man African American man who was killed by Minneapolis police in May 2020 over the accusation of using a counterfeit bill.

Much like cities across the country, there were many protests that were organized in Atlanta in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. One case that this movement shined its light on again was the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, who was a 25-year-old African American man who was jogging in a neighborhood in South Georgia by three white men. The man who shot Arbery, Gregory McMichael, profiled Arbery by stating that he believed he resembled a man who was involved with several break-ins (Fausset, 2020). The shooting of Arbery occurred in February 2020, but no arrests were made in the case until a video went viral in June 2020 of his killing. The case was brought up again by advocates because it had been months since Arbery had been killed before justice was served, and his killers were arrested for this obvious hate crime.

In June 2020, the Georgia Legislature passed and signed a new hate crime bill into effect, House Bill 426. Before this passage, Georgia was one of four states that did not have a hate crime bill enacted. The other three states included Arkansas, South Carolina, and Wyoming. The bill was drafted in the 2019 legislative session but was brought out to light with a stronger push from lawmakers and advocates during the events that took place after Arbery’s death in 2020.  House Bill 426 received a vote of 47-6 in the state Senate and was further voted on in the house with a count of 127-38 (Donaghue, 2020). The passage of this bill also means that judges will be able to impose a stronger sentence on individuals who are suspected of attacking others on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and disabilities, amongst other characteristics. This new version also requires that law enforcement mandates data on hate crimes in the state (Hauck, 2020).

During the debate of House Bill 426, there were efforts being made by Senate Republicans to amend the bill so that it may include first responders and law enforcement as a protected class along with actual marginalized groups. While the bill was not amended to fit this narrative, another bill was simultaneously passed which was House Bill 838, also known as the Police Hate Crimes Bill. The passing of this bill in close proximation to HB 426 strips the value of protecting minority groups in the state because law enforcement is already deeply protected under state law. This bill is also dangerous because it would enforce the divide in the state by fueling the violence against Black people and their criminalization. (NAACP, 2020)

A previous bill had been proposed in 2000 but was shut down because it was deemed too vague by the Georgia Supreme Court. House Bill 426 was written to use more specific language and was passed when the session resumed after being put on hold to due concerns of the coronavirus (Donaghue, 2020).  A bill such as House Bill 426 has been long overdue in Georgia. It has been prominent that racism has not died and those who perform crimes on the basis of race should be properly convicted in the legal system. It is also important that the families and victims of hate crimes in Georgia receive proper justice and closure knowing that all is being done to avenge their loved one’s lives.

Resources

Fausset, R. (2020, April 28). What We Know About the Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery. Retrieved July 07, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/article/ahmaud-arbery-shooting-georgia.html

Donaghue, E. (2020, June 23). “A historic moment”: Georgia Legislature passes hate crimes bill. Retrieved July 07, 2020, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/georgia-legislature-approves-hate-crimes-bill/

Hauck, G. (2020, June 26). Georgia governor signs hate crime law in wake of Ahmaud Arbery shooting. Retrieved July 07, 2020, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/26/georgia-governor-signs-hate-crime-law-following-ahmaud-arbery-shooting/3266901001/

NAACP, G. (2020, June 26). Governor Kemp announces Hate Crimes Bill Ceremony for 2pm at State Capitol. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.naacpga.org/post/governor-kemp-announces-hate-crimes-bill-ceremony-for-2pm-at-state-capitol

 

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The Buzz Post – Gwinnett County Job Opportunity – Elections Coordinator

Gwinnett County is now accepting applications for the position of Elections Coordinator. The Elections Coordinator is a management level position that reports directly to the Assistant Elections Supervisor. This position oversees the Elections Area which responsibilites include but are not limited to: polling location review and selection; poll official staffing and training; election system testing and maintenance; equipment and supply inventory, delivery, and pick-up; street research and districting.

Salary: $51,358.00 – $68,049.00 Annually

For more details and to apply, visit www.gwinnettcountyjobs.com

Application closing date: June 25, 2020 11:59PM

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