It’s hard to believe, but we are beginning week nine of quarantine in the Holland household. Some things continue to be hard – we celebrated Mother’s Day only seeing my mom from a distance in our yard and not being able to visit my grandmother at all. Juggling working and helping our son with school and answering a slew of constituent concerns has me spread thin. And, like many of you, I could really use a haircut.
Still, I try to look at the silver lining. I’m getting to spend lots of time with my family taking bike rides and walks in this beautiful weather. We’re cooking nice meals together and watching classic movies in the evening. We see more of our neighbors and can stop to chat with them (from at least six feet away). I’m ready for some things to return to normal, but I hope we can hang onto some of these new ways of life.
In the first part of the 2019-20 legislative session, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a bi-partisan hate crimes bill. Unfortunately, the bill has yet to pass in the Senate. This makes Georgia one of only four states without a hate crimes bill on the books. This became a hot topic again this week when a video surfaced of an unarmed black man named Ahmaud Arbery being chased and shot by two men under the auspice of trying to perform a citizen’s arrest. The two men have finally been arrested, but the crime raised the question again of why Georgia still doesn’t have a law on the books that punishes racially motivated crimes. We have ten legislative days left in the session – will this finally be the year that meaningful hate crimes legislation makes it to the governor’s desk?
Testing for COVID-19
Governor Kemp is encouraging everyone to get tested for COVID-19, even if you are not exhibiting any symptoms. To be tested, you must first get a referral from your healthcare provider or your local public health department, listed below:
You will then be given a time slot and location to go to for testing. The sites are set up as drive-thru testing locations, so you do not need to leave your car, and there is no cost to be tested. You should receive results in two to four days.
Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers, from Monday, May 10th, at 2:48 pm. There are now cases in all Georgia counties, and Hall county is becoming a new hotspot, with the area around Gainesville increasing their numbers exponentially since April, where hundreds who work in the poultry industry have been sickened by the disease.
I encourage you to continue to shelter in place if you are able, and to wear a mask if you must go out. Although Governor Kemp has relaxed many restrictions, we are still at risk of contracting this disease. Without widespread testing and contact tracing, Georgians continue to be put in harm’s way. Reopening Georgia early increases the likelihood of a second wave.
Did you request your absentee ballot for the June 9 Primary Election? There’s still time. You can request your absentee ballot here:
Requested your ballot but haven’t received one yet? You’re not alone. We’re hearing reports from the Fulton County Board of Elections that they are overwhelmed by the number of requested ballots this year. More than one million Georgians have requested a ballot! The good news is that they are diligently working to clear the backlog. The bad news? You may have to wait a few more weeks to see that ballot in your mailbox.
The Fulton County Board of Elections has a thorough list of Frequently Asked Questions available on their website:
Sample voting ballots are now available when you log into your My Voter Page:
City of Atlanta Town Hall
Join me and other elected representatives from the City of Atlanta for a Virtual Town Hall on May 14, 2020, 6:00 – 7:00 pm.
If you haven’t already, please browse my website, betsyforgeorgia.com.
As your Representative, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-656-0116 with questions, concerns, or solutions you may have regarding legislation or other happenings in District 54.
To stay updated, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and follow the Georgia House of Representatives @GAHouseHub on Twitter. Additionally, in-depth information regarding current bills, Georgia’s annual and supplemental budgets, committee meetings, and livestreams from the General Assembly can be accessed via www.legis.ga.gov.
When this is all over, I encourage you and your family to visit our State Capitol and my office, where all constituents are welcome. I look forward to connecting with you!
My office is located at:
18 Capitol Square, SW
409-B, Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.
Representative Betsy Holland
GA House District 54