As we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, I am reflecting on the powerful freedoms that so many have died to protect for us. Central to our freedoms as Americans is our access to a representative democracy. I hope you’ll remember to submit your absentee ballot, vote at an early voting location, or make a plan to vote in the primary election on June 9. If you need more information about making a voting plan, see below.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our lives daily. The national death toll from the virus is nearing 100,000. In Fulton county, we’ve lost 197 of our neighbors to the virus, with 4,000 confirmed cases to date. This week, many citizens were concerned about the Department of Public Health reporting data in ways that were unclear or downright misleading. In an era when reliable data is essential in informing our choices about how we live our lives, we must expect more from our state agencies. As an alternative, I commend the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s COVID-19 dashboard which does an excellent job of breaking down the data we have and explaining where we have gaps.
I also want to thank the many constituents who have reached out regarding the upcoming resumption of the legislative session. Our number one priority when we reconvene in June is to pass a balanced budget that will take effect on July 1st. Right now, we anticipate needing to cut a whopping 14% of spending across the board given the economic decline in the era of COVID-19. I pledge to do all I can to support funding for education and health care while encouraging my colleagues to find new sources of revenue. I also appreciated hearing from many of you about the Hate Crimes bill, which has already passed the House and only requires passage in the Senate. If we can pass a good budget and the Hate Crimes bill, it will have been a worthwhile return to the Gold Dome.
Absentee Ballot Information
Have you requested an absentee ballot and not received one? You’re not alone! I haven’t received mine, either. A number of factors (sheer number of applications, a COVID-19 death in the office) has caused a backlog in processing, but they seem confident that they can get back on track. If you are concerned, you have a couple of options:
1) Early vote in person! The Fulton county early voting location in our district is at the Garden Hills Elementary Gymnasium (285 Sheridan Drive 30305). You will need to inform your poll worker that you have not received your absentee ballot, sign an affidavit stating that you have not voted already, and then you will be allowed to vote. If you encounter any problems, please call the Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-730-5816.
2) If you receive your absentee ballot, but are worried it won’t arrive at the Fulton County Board of Elections by June 9th, you can drop it off in a secure ballot box. Locations are listed below.
Ballot drop boxes
Fulton County has installed twenty secure ballot drop boxes around the county. You must be a resident of Fulton County in order to drop off your absentee ballot in a Fulton County drop box. What are the benefits of drop boxes? You don’t need postage, you don’t need to interact with anyone, and you can use them 24 hours a day. The closest drop box to District 54 is the North Training Center at 5025 Roswell Road 30342. The full list is below. Remember to drop off your ballot before 7 pm on June 9th!
Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the state of Georgia. As of Sunday afternoon, there are now 42,838 cases reported for Georgia since the pandemic arrived, with 1,824 deaths. 706 cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
The Fulton County Board of Health tracks the number of COVID-19 cases by zipcode. Their latest update is from May 20, 2020. These are the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the zip codes located within District 54:
30305 – 86
30318 – 224
30319 – 27
30324 – 82
30326 – 26
30327 – 87
30342 – 160
As the daughter of an educator, and a proud graduate of Georgia public schools, I am thrilled to be endorsed by the Georgia Association of Educators! I promise to continue to push for expanded and equitable funding of our public schools when I return to the legislature next month.
The Georgia COVID-19 Hotline is 1-844-442-2681.
The Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is 1-866-399-8938.
- Find a food bank in your area here.
- Find food assistance programs near you here.
- Student meal pick up locations by school-district here.
Resources for Service Workers
- Food service workers can find assistance from The Giving Kitchen here.
- Domestic workers can access emergency assistance funds here.
- Access at-home learning resources from Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Department of Education here.
Small Business Resources
- Small businesses can apply for SBA emergency loans here.
- SNAP Benefits for all current recipients have been extended through June 2020.
- Apply for SNAP benefits here.
- The Georgia Department of Labor is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers and other reemployment services.
- File unemployment and other claims here.
- File unemployment for those not normally eligible for unemployment here, through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
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