News

Record-breaking Voting in Georgia

Natalia B. Dutra

30 October 2020

Record-breaking voter turnout is making headlines across the US. People everywhere are casting their ballots for the November election. According to MSNBC, as of October 24th, the number of people who have voted has already surpassed one-third of total voters in the 2016 election, and about twenty percent of those votes were cast by people who did not participate in the presidential election four years prior.

Many of these votes are coming from typically underrepresented communities. A report from Tufts University shows that the number of young voters in states like Florida and North Carolina has more than quadrupled. Many of my friends, some who recently turned 18 and others who had simply never voted, felt an urgency to make their way to the polls. Latinx voters are also creating waves this election, with over 30 million people eligible to vote.

Whether you are voting in-person or absentee, it is important to have your voice heard. Our community has the power to influence the future of our country. Not only are we choosing the next president, we are choosing the next senator, the next sheriff, the next judge, the next school board member. More than likely, we will feel the direct impact of local officials like sheriffs, who have the power to reject harmful programs like 287(g), or school board officials, who decide the future of our children, in our daily lives. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to exercise your rights and vote. Your vote is your power!

 

Works Cited

MSNBC. “First-time Voters, Young Voters Making Their Voices Heard in 2020.” MSNBC.com, 24 Oct. 2020, www.msnbc.com/the-reidout/watch/first-time-voters-young-voters-making-their-voices-heard-in-2020-94537797543.

Tufts University. “Absentee and Early Voting by Youth in the 2020 Election.” CIRCLE, 22 Oct. 2020, circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/absentee-and-early-voting-youth-2020-election.

 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.

Questions or concerns about voting? Call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) or visit georgialatinovote.com.

¿Preguntas o inquietudes sobre la votación? Llámenos al 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) o visite GeorgiaVota.com.

To Pledge to Vote for these upcoming elections, please visit bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

Para comprometerse a votar por estas próximas elecciones, por favor visite bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

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Thank Your Phone Bankers: Getting Out the Vote During a Global Pandemic

Laura Jimenez, Fall 2020 Intern

30 October 2020

We have all received phone calls that we wish we would not have answered. We often regret picking up the phone for telemarketers, bill collectors, scammers, and now, more prevalently, phone bankers. As the 2020 General Election comes to a close, politics and civic duty has progressively become more relevant to every constituent in the United States. Information about this extremely polarized and complicated election has flooded even the most private areas of our lives. Because the topic consumes much of our attention often in a negative way, phone bankers are often met with reluctance and hostility. However, their persistent contribution to “Get Out the Vote” efforts has significant effects on elections.  Because of their commitment to democracy,  phone bankers deserve much more admiration than they receive.

I will preface this by saying that as a phone banker myself, I understand your aversion to phone calls about anything to do with voting during heated election cycles. Receiving cold calls about private information such as your vote is uncomfortable, especially when the call interrupts your lunch break, important meeting, or family time. I will be the first to say that I understand why we are often met with refusal to discuss these topics,  but I will also be the first to advocate for my fellow phone bankers and all of the important work they do.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly became apparent that campaigning tactics would have to change in order to rise to the challenge of contactless voter outreach. Since door-to-door canvassing was no longer a viable option, many campaigns began to invest greater percentages of their funds into phone banking, pamphlets in the mail, social media marketing, and other pandemic-friendly ways to inform voters about how to register, where to vote, how to vote by mail, and other important election questions. Here at GALEO, we have a team of phone bankers who work between two to four-hour shifts in order to contact as many voters as possible. Our team text banks and phone banks daily in order to answer every voter’s pressing questions about the election process.

Though we encounter many voters who are unwilling to engage in these conversations, data suggests that the effects of our phone calls are significant despite the fact that we often do not visibly see their fruits. According to a 2006 study performed by Political Scientist  David Nickerson at the University of Notre Dame, phone calls from nonpartisan organizations increased voter turnout by 3.8% (Nickerson, 2006). Now, I know that does not sound too impressive, but in a country with approximately 240 million eligible voters (Hauck, 2020), increasing voter turnout by 3.8% is an increase of 9 million voices heard. That is enough to sway the results of many elections state and nationwide.

Since COVID-19 has caused a greater reliance on phone banking, this percentage might be even higher as more constituents receive vital voter information from these two to three minute calls. GALEO and many other nonpartisan organizations strive to give every voter a voice within the United States. We acknowledge how crucial it is for all of our voices to be counted, and we call your phone with this intent in mind. Thanks to phone bankers, we have been able to contact thousands of people across Georgia, providing them with vital information for this general election. We understand the discomfort surrounding these phone calls, but we ask that you take some time to commend a phone banker the next time you get a call from one. You will never know if you will learn something without answering! Finally, to my fellow phone bankers, keep it up. Do not be discouraged because we are making a difference in our country during every conversation we have!

 

Works Cited

Hauck, Grace. More than 56 Million People Have Already Voted. Here’s How That Compares with Past

Elections. 24 Oct. 2020, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/22/voter-turnout-2020-ranking-us-presidential-elections/6006793002/.

“Volunteers Phone Banking in a School.” A Level Playing Field: CPS Back To School Phone Banking, City

Year Chicago, 28 Aug. 2012, cityyearchicago.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/a-level-playing-field-cps-back-to-school-phone-banking/.

Nickerson, David W. “Volunteer phone calls can increase turnout: Evidence from eight field experiments.”

American Politics Research 34.3 (2006): 271-292.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org.

Questions or concerns about voting? Call us at 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) or visit georgialatinovote.com.

¿Preguntas o inquietudes sobre la votación? Llámenos al 1-888-54GALEO (1-888-544-2536) o visite GeorgiaVota.com.

To Pledge to Vote for these upcoming elections, please visit bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

Para comprometerse a votar por estas próximas elecciones, por favor visite bit.ly/P2VGALEO2020.

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Voting Rights Advocates in Georgia Win Expanded Language Access for Critical Limited English Proficient (LEP) Swing Voters In Time for Election Day

DeKalb County Becomes First in State to Voluntarily Create Officially Translated Sample Ballots in Korean and Spanish

Atlanta, GA — Today the #DearGeorgia, It’s Time campaign led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta (Advancing Justice-Atlanta) and supported by more than 30 voting rights organizations announced new in-language voting resources including officially translated ballots in Korean and Spanish that are available immediately. DeKalb County becomes the first county in Georgia to offer an officially translated ballot in an Asian language, and in doing so, also becomes the first county to voluntarily take steps beyond those required by the federal Voting Rights Act to expand meaningful language access.

Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Advancing Justice-Atlanta, shared, “Today’s announcement marks a turning point for our fight to strengthen voting rights, ensuring that more Georgians will be welcomed and included in our democracy. We are moving from defense to offense. As we continue to protect voting rights, we will also focus our efforts to increase language access for Georgia’s more than 165,000 Limited English Proficient (LEP) voters.

Georgia is a critical state in the election with rapidly growing Asian American, Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Latinx communities. By providing in-language voting resources, DeKalb County’s election officials are demonstrating statewide leadership on how to make it possible for all Georgia voters to have a voice in shaping our state and country’s future.”

Earlier this month Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s Policy Director, LaVita Tuff made a series of language access recommendations to DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson and the Board of Commissioners’ County Operations Committee. Tuff’s recommendations coincided with the DeKalb Board of Registrations and Elections (BRE) being awarded a $4.8 million grant to improve election processes and restore voter confidence.

“The infusion of resources and the collaboration with Advancing Justice-Atlanta will be meaningful as we work together to advance language access ahead of Election Day. We must have every voice and vote heard and counted to continue to make this democracy better.  DeKalb County is committed to that!” said Commissioner Larry Johnson, who chairs the DeKalb County Operations Committee, which works in partnership with the BRE to ensure DeKalb County offers exceptional voter experience.

Jerry Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials added, “This is part of a years’ long fight to deepen democracy across Georgia. In Gwinnett County though we fought for the election board to voluntarily adopt Spanish language accommodations, they only acted once the Census Bureau determined that Gwinnett County was required to under the Voting Rights Act. It was a significant win to have both the moral and legal backing to expand the franchise and we kept on fighting.

None of us have forgotten that the 2018 gubernatorial race was decided by just 55,000 votes, making the estimated 377,000 eligible Latinx voters and the nearly 240,000 eligible AAPI voters in Georgia a decisive constituency. In Georgia, over a third of Latinx and nearly half of AAPIs speak limited English. In DeKalb county alone, there are nearly 34,000 AAPI and Latinx voters.”

Today’s in-language resources roll-out include: translated sample ballots; frequently asked questions and answers; absentee voter guide; poll location changes; and dropbox locations in Korean and Spanish. The resources will include Advancing Justice-Atlanta’s multilingual voter hotline and will be posted on DeKalbVotes.com and available at polling stations. The county also announced a rapid response plan to give poll workers information on language access rights and resources at the polls.

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GALEO Teams up with State Farm Arena for Early Voting Translations

Voting at State Farm Arena

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – GALEO and Atlanta’s State Farm Arena have teamed up for early voting efforts. The State Farm Arena website includes instructions on how citizens who are registered to vote in Fulton County residents can vote early at this location. GALEO has helped State Farm Arena translate these instructions here:

For SPANISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting-esp

For ENGLISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting

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UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

1st Latino distinguished with honor and Aguilar was also former GALEO Board Member

 

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Athens, GA) – As the month celebrating Latinx heritage draws to a close, the University of Georgia School of Law recently held a virtual portrait unveiling for Luis Aguilar, a 1979 graduate of the law school whose service on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission helped lead the country out of the economic upheaval of the 2008 recession.

“It is fitting that as we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, that we celebrate this distinguished Cuban American who has contributed so much not only to the University of Georgia but to our country as well,” said President Jere W. Morehead.

Aguilar – who immigrated to the United States as a child refugee from Cuba and who describes himself as “the product of the generosity of the American people and the opportunities offered by the United States” – was originally appointed as a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission by President George W. Bush in 2008 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2011. He ultimately served from 2008 to 2015 – making Aguilar the eighth longest-serving commissioner in SEC history as well as only the third individual to have been nominated by two U.S. presidents from different political parties.

Shortly after his tenure with the SEC began in 2008, Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy and the stock market crashed. In the aftermath of the recession, the SEC entered one of its most active periods in history, helping to restore confidence and accountability in the agency and capital markets.

“Luis embodies our school’s ethic of service, and his instrumental role in salvaging the economy during the Great Recession will long be remembered as a great point of pride,” law school Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said.

Prior to his work at the SEC, Aguilar was active in both business and law. He has served as the general counsel, head of compliance, executive vice president and corporate secretary of Invesco. He also has been a partner at several prominent law firms, including McKenna Long & Aldridge, Alston & Bird, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy.

“It is a great honor to have my portrait displayed at the University of Georgia School of Law,” Aguilar said. “Much of what I have been able to achieve in my life resulted from the tremendous education, training and support I received at the School of Law. I will always remember this recognition with great pride and humility.”

In addition to Morehead and Rutledge, several friends and colleagues of Aguilar’s spoke about his life and career. They included J. Antonio “Tony” DelCampo of DelCampo & Grayson; Richard Best, the director of the New York Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Walter Jospin, of counsel with Finch McCranie and the former director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“It truly is a fitting honor for someone who has always worked diligently within the Latino community and has accomplished much for our nation, our state and the Latinx community,” added Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO recognizing the Honorable Luis Aguilar as a former board member of GALEO in its early years.

### Writer/Contact: Lona Panter, 706-542-5172, lonap@uga.edu

An image is online at https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Aguilar-portrait-unveiling-copy.jpg Cutline: President Jere W. Morehead and School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge stand beside the portrait of Aguilar.

This release is online at https://news.uga.edu/law-school-honors-alumnus-aguilar-portrait/

UGA School of Law: Recognized as the best value in legal education in back-to-back years, the School of Law is also consistently regarded as one of the top law schools in the nation. Since 1859, the school has been preparing the next generation of legal leaders. It currently offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school’s accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its approximately 11,000 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school’s mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.

NOTE: This press release was sent out in coordination with the UGA School of Law.

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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Luchar. Votar. Poder. GOTV campaign continues & expands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Friday,  October 9, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – GALEO continues with the largest 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.

Due to high demand from community members, additional yard signs have been printed.  In addition, car magnets, t-shirts and caps will also be made available to GALEO members.  Membership is FREE right now during Hispanic Heritage Month.

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.

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).

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.

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PRESS RELEASE: Requesting Immediate Investigation of Inhumane Treatment of Individuals Detained in Immigration Detention Facilities in Georgia

September 22, 2020

 

Re: Requesting Immediate Investigation of Inhumane Treatment of Individuals Detained in Immigration Detention Facilities in Georgia

 

Dear Members of the Georgia Delegation to the 116th U.S. Congress:

 

We are writing as a coalition of leaders from Georgia’s law, medicine, faith, immigrant and human rights communities to express our outrage over the continuing inhumane treatment of immigrants held in ICE custody in our state,[i] resulting in the death of a third man from COVID-19 at Stewart Detention Center and growing evidence that women at Irwin County Detention Center have been subjected to medical abuse, neglect, and mismanagement, including unnecessary gynecologic procedures performed without their informed consent.

 

Thousands of men and women, many seeking protection from torture and persecution, are detained in Georgia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while they await the resolution of their immigration case. For years, there have been reports of inhumane conditions in ICE detention facilities here, including unsafe and unsanitary living quarters, substandard medical care and medical neglect, and excessive use of isolation and force.

 

In 2019, a Congressional oversight committee demanded that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigate mistreatment of immigrants in ICE custody in Georgia.[ii] In 2018, Atlanta journalists obtained nearly one hundred pages of records from the DHS Inspector General that described life-threatening conditions at Stewart, including “chronic shortages” of almost all medical positions.”[iii] In 2017, the Inspector General concluded that Stewart Detention Center was plagued by “problems that undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment” and demanded remedies that have yet to occur. [iv]

 

Advocates, including those who have signed this letter, have repeatedly written to DHS and members of this Georgia Delegation, filed lawsuits, and lodged complaints to address these ongoing concerns.  These include submissions to the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2018 and 2019, following the deaths of four individuals at Stewart in just two years.  Among the lives lost were Jeancarlo Jiménez-Joseph, 27, and Efrain Romero de la Rosa, 40, two men with diagnosed mental illness who hung themselves by their bedsheets after suffering for weeks in solitary      confinement.[v]

 

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the thousands of people detained in ICE facilities in Georgia have faced an additional deadly threat:  the rapid spread of COVID-19, unchecked by adequate health and safety precautions.[vi]  Today, nearly 500 men and women have contracted the virus in Georgia immigration detention facilities and many more Georgians employed there have been infected, making these facilities life-threatening not only for those inside, but for all those living in neighboring rural communities where health resources are already in short supply.[vii]

Yesterday brought the tragic news that yet another person has died in ICE custody in our state.  On September 21, the Stewart County Coroner announced that a third man had lost his life after contracting the disease in detention,[viii] giving Stewart Detention Center the unwanted distinction of having the most COVID deaths of any ICE facility in the U.S.  The death toll now includes Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34; Jose Guillen-Vega, 70; and Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez, 61.[ix] Guillen-Vega and Chavez-Alvarez were both medically-vulnerable detainees at high risk of dying from COVID-19, due to their older age and their histories of hypertension and other disease.[x] Medical professionals have specifically urged the release of individuals with comorbidities at Stewart but have been ignored by ICE on numerous occasions.

Stewart is not the only Georgia facility with dangerously inadequate COVID-19 protections.  In April, nine women detained at Irwin made a video recording expressing their fear of contracting the disease and begging for better protections.[xi] As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

“We’re very afraid of being incarcerated here and dying here,” one detainee said. Another woman said she had been the first Irwin detainee to contract the virus. But at the facility’s medical clinic, “they simply dismissed me,” she said. “They said, ‘You’re fine, go back to your cell.’” A third detainee, fighting tears, held a hand-lettered sign asking for protection. “We’re scared,” she said. “My God, we’re scared.”[xii]

If not bad enough, there is now mounting evidence that women at Irwin have been exposed to unnecessary and unwanted gynecological procedures without their informed consent, including the removal of reproductive organs, which have compromised their health and left them forever unable to bear children.  These reports are included in a complaint filed by Georgia advocacy groups on September 14, highlighting “jarring accounts from detained immigrants and Ms. [Dawn] Wooten [a whistleblower nurse from Irwin] regarding the deliberate lack of medical care, unsafe work practices, and absence of adequate protection against COVID-19 for detained immigrants and employees alike.”[xiii]

On September 23, 2020 the women met with lawyers and reiterated their plea:

“We seek immediate freedom for those affected in order to heal somewhere that healing is possible and continue their immigration cases outside of detention.”

 

Whether ICE officials authorized these medical abuses or allowed them to continue through a pattern of medical neglect and poor oversight, these allegations implicate the United States’ obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, according to The Center for Victims of Torture.[xiv] The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has made clear that:

[M]edical treatments of an intrusive and irreversible nature, when lacking a therapeutic purpose, may constitute torture or ill-treatment when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned…. This is particularly the case when intrusive and irreversible, nonconsensual treatments are performed on patients from marginalized groups, such as persons with disabilities, notwithstanding claims of good intentions or medical necessity.[xv]

As professionals who live and work in Georgia, we know that our state’s strong faith tradition and humanitarian spirit mandate that we treat all those within our borders, including those most vulnerable, with decency and compassion. We are outraged that ICE and its private detention corporations continue to operate in our state with complete disregard for these basic principles that Georgians hold dear.

We, therefore, respectfully urge you to come together as a delegation and, on behalf of the people of Georgia, request a prompt and thorough investigation into the continuing reports of medical neglect and abuse at ICE facilities here.  More than that, we ask that you hold ICE accountable for its longstanding failure to remedy these problems and provide necessary oversight to ensure the humane treatment of every person in its custody, and that you demand it suspend operation of its facilities in our state unless and until it can provide medical care that meets professional standards.

Sincerely,

 

Coalition of Georgia Leaders in Law, Medicine, Faith, Immigrant and Human Rights:

Harris Allen, PhD

Harris Allen Group, LLC

 

Samantha Alonso, MD

Assistant Professor, Emory University Medical School

 

Rori Alston

ARAA Home Care, LLC

 

Vicki Alston

ARAA Home Care, LLC

 

Alpa Amin, Esq.

Director of Legal Services, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Gilberte (“Gigi”) Bastien, Ph.D.

Associate Director – Office of Global Health Equity
Assistant Professor – Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Rabbi Peter S. Berg

The Temple, Atlanta GA

 

John Blevins, ThD, MDiv

Interfaith Health Program, Emory University

 

Brian Bollinger

Executive Director, Friends of Refugees

 

Lila Newberry Bradley, Esq.

Claiborne, Fox, Bradley, Goldman Law Firm

Jennie E. Burnet, Ph.D.

 

Taifa S. Butler

President & CEO, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

 

Rev. Letitia M. Campbell, PhD

Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Valeria Cantos, MD

Assistant Professor

Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Stephanie Cho

Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

 

Jonathan Colasanti MD MSPH

Emory University School of Medicine & Rollins School of Public Health

 

Laura Colbert

Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future.

 

Mikiel Davids, Esq.

Kramer Partners, LLP

 

Paula Davis-Olwell, Ph.D., M.A.

Global Health Institute and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

University of Georgia

 

Karla Diaz, Esq.

Victims of Violence Attorney, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Sr. Angela Marie Ebberwein, RSM

Mercy Care

 

Dabney P. Evans, PhD, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Director, Institute of Human Rights

 

Ruth Evans

Executive Director, Unite

 

Maura Finn

SIFI Lead Attorney| Immigrant Justice Project

Southern Poverty Law Center

 

Staci Fox

President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast

 

Anne Gaglioti, MD, MS, FAAFP

Associate Professor of Family Medicine

Associate Director of Research, National Center for Primary Care

Director, Southeast Regional Clinicians Network

Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Elton Garcia-Castillo

GA Familias Unidas

 

Betsy Gard, Ph.D.

Licensed Georgia Psychologist

 

Jerry Gonzalez

Executive Director, GALEO & GALEO Latino Community Development Fund

Board Member of the GALEO Impact Fund, Inc.

 

Jordan Greenbaum, MD

Physicians for Human Rights, Georgia

 

Judah Gruen, MD

Assistant Professor

​Associate Medical Director, Grady PrEP Program

Grady Memorial Hospital | Emory University School of Medicine

 

America Gruner

President, Coalicion de Lideres Latinos, Inc

 

Jodie L. Guest, PhD, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Director, Emory Farmworker Project

 

Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee

Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics

Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University

Past President, American Academy of Religion & Society of Christian Ethics

 

Janora Hawkins, Esq.

Chair, Georgia/Alabama Chapter, American Immigration Lawyers Association

 

Erica Heiman, MD, MS

Assistant Professor
Division of General Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

 

Lynn Heinisch

Global Health Communications Specialist, Atlanta

 

Stacy Higgins, MD, FACP

Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

 

William Hoffmann, Esq.

Senior Counsel, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Adaobi Iheduru, Psy.D.

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

 

Tim Isaacson

Executive Director, Immigrant Hope-Atlanta

 

Kwajelyn J. Jackson

Executive Director, Feminist Women’s Health Center

 

Sarah Juul, MD

Private Practice in Psychiatry, Decatur, Georgia

 

Ameeta Kalokhe, MD MSc
Associate Professor
Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Global Health

 

Sheena Kandiah, MD MPH

Medical Director, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Grady Health System

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Renuka Kapoor, PhD, MPH

Hubert Department of Global Health, CNR- 6000.R

Rollins School of Public Health

Emory University

 

Serene Kashlan, Esq.

Asylum Attorney, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP

Emory School of Medicine

Russell Kempker, MD, MSc

Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Monica Khant, Esq.

Executive Director, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Michael Khoury, MD

Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

Co-director, Georgia Human Rights Clinic

 

Tracie L. Klinke, Esq.

Klinke Immigration, LLC

 

Sr. Kathy Komarek

Mercy Care

 

Charles H. Kuck, Esq.
Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC

Vanessa Kung, MD, PhD

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus

The Temple, Atlanta GA

 

Marissa Lapedis, MD

Assistant Professor, Family Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Edivette Lopez-Benn, Esq.

Law Office of Edivette Lopez-Benn, P.C.

 

Darlene C. Lynch, Esq.

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

Amber Mack, MSW

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia

 

J.D. McCrary

Executive Director, The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta

 

Elizabeth Matherne, Esq.

Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC

South Georgia Office – Adel

 

Howard M. Maziar, MD

 

Kerry E. McGrath, Esq.

Law Office of Kerry E. McGrath, LLC

Rabbi Lydia Medwin

The Temple, Atlanta, GA

 

Grace Moore

Refuge Coffee Company

 

Marjan Nadir

Refugee Women’s Network

 

Iyabo Onipede
Co-Director, Compassionate Atlanta

Edith Oriciaga

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Lily Pabian

Executive Director, We Love BuHi

 

Maria del Rosario Palacios

Executive Director, GA Familias Unidas

 

Kathleen A. Parker, MA, MPH, CHES ret.

Public Health Education Specialist, 1983-2004

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Aixa Pascual, M.A.L.D, M.S.

Managing Director, Latin American Association

 

Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Executive Director and Founder, Latino Community Fund

 

Paulina Rebolledo, MD MSc

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Health

Emory University School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health

 

Sita Ranchod-Nillson, Ph.D.

Former Director, Emory Institute for Developing Nations

 

Laura Rivera

Director, Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative

Southern Poverty Law Center

 

Dr. Francois Rollin, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine

Jessica Rollin, MD

Rollin Psychiatry

 

Leanne Rubenstein
Co-Director, Compassionate Atlanta

Diego Sanchez, Esq.

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Jasdeep Sandhu MD, MPH

Psychiatrist, Atlanta

 

Nan Schivone

Justice in Motion

 

Stacie Schmidt, MD

Medical Director, Primary Care

Associate Professor, Division of General Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine

 

  1. R. Sexson, MD MAB HEC-C FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics/Neonatology

Neonatologist, Bioethicist

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Kevin Shanker Sinha

Founder, CivicGeorgia

 

Parmi S. Suchdev, MD, MPH, FAAP

Associate Director, Emory Global Health Institute

Director, Global Health Office of Pediatrics

Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Hubert Department of Global Health

Emory University

 

Sr. Patricia Sullivan, OP

 

Shana Tabak

Executive Director, Tahirih Justice Center Georgia

 

Maria Thacker-Goethe

Executive Director, Georgia Global Health Alliance

 

Reverend Robert Thompson
Founder, Compassionate Atlanta

Amilcar Valencia

Executive Director, El Refugio

Sarah Y. Vinson, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics,

Morehouse School of Medicine

Founder and Principal Consultant,

Lorio Forensics

 

Cecil Walker, MFT

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

 

Lorilei Williams, Esq.

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Amy Zeidan, MD

Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

Co-director, Georgia Human Rights Clinic

[i] ICE detention facilities in Georgia are run by private, for-profit corporations and include Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin (CoreCivic Corporation) and Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla (LaSalle Corrections), as well as Folkston Detention Center in Folkston and Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy (GEO Group).

[ii]https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-11-18.CBM%20to%20Cuffari%20-%20DHS%20IG%20re%20StaffDels.pdf

[iii] Elly Yu, WABE, Exclusive: An ICE Detention Center’s Struggle With ‘Chronic’ Staff Shortages, May 13, 2018, https://www.wabe.org/exclusive-an-ice-detention-centers-struggle-with-chronic-staff-shortag,citing Records of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Inspections & Evaluations, provided in response to Freedom of Information Request, dated January 11, 2018.

[iv] Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, “Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities,” December 11, 2017, https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2017-12/OIG18-32-Dec17.pdf.

[v] Project South/Detention Watch Submission to the US Commission on Civil Rights, May 13, 2019, https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Comment-to-U.S.-Commision-on-Civil-Rights-Georgia-Detention-Centers.pdf; Project South/Detention Watch Submission to InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights, July 17, 2018, https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IACHR-Request-For-Hearing-Immigrant-Detention-in-Georgia_169-Period-of-Sessions.

[vi] ICE reports of COVID-19 cases are found at https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus. Letters detailing inadequate COVID-19 protections include Coalition Letter to Georgia Congressional Delegation, March 31, 2020; Open Letter to Executive Office for Immigration Review and Department of Homeland Security, March 17, 2020.  See also, Center for Victims of Torture, “Torture Survivors Confront COVID-19 in ICE Detention, July 22, 2020 at https://medium.com/@cvt.communications/torture-survivors-confront-covid-19-in-ice-detention-3ae97c6efa9e

[vii] https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus

[viii]https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[ix]https://www.ajc.com/news/second-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/IQLKPYX7AVESZLCQ2EKLWBP2KU/; https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[x] https://www.ice.gov/doclib/coronavirus/eroCOVID19responseReqsCleanFacilities.pdf.

[xi] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQt6QbkWsLI&feature=youtu.be

[xii]https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[xiii] https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/OIG-ICDC-Complaint-1.pdf

[xiv]ww.cvt.org/news-events/press-releases/cvt-calls-immediate-investigation-new-reports-gross-human-rights-abuses

[xv]https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A.HRC.22.53_English.pdf.

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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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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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