Issues – Georgia’s Future. This campaign is certainly about some serious issues facing our state, but most importantly, it is about restoring the Georgia values and strong leadership that brought us growth, opportunity and far-reaching prosperity in the past. Together, we can rebuild a solid foundation in Georgia – one that will support a better life, stronger communities and a brighter future for our families.
To return to prosperity, we must focus on water, education and transportation, and above all else, we must focus on creating jobs. We simply cannot take full advantage of the opportunities of the future without strengthening our economy and getting back on course in these key areas. I have some ideas that I believe will get us going in the right direction again. Take a look – and let us know what you think.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Georgia desperately needs more jobs. Given our concerns about water, education and transportation, it comes as no real surprise that businesses are reluctant to locate and grow here. Frankly, we are fighting a losing battle with neighboring states for preference with companies that are establishing a presence in the South. We need to train a workforce that will attract high-tech, high-paying jobs to Georgia – jobs that will not be outsourced to the lowest bidder.
Any success I have had in life can be directly attributed to my family’s values of work and public schools. The education I received in Georgia’s public schools opened doors in life that even my hardworking family could not envision. Because public schools are the key to social mobility and are the glue that holds us together, we must preserve the integrity of Georgia’s education system by ensuring that funding goes directly to where it’s needed most – our public schools.
Gridlock is strangling our opportunity and our quality of life. Congested roads and highways in Metro Atlanta waste valuable time, gas and money. In the city with the worst commute time in the nation, traffic keeps workers from their jobs and ultimately deters companies from establishing and expanding a presence here. In rural areas, our roads and bridges are in a state of disrepair and long-promised highways are incomplete or languish on the drawing board.
Our transportation troubles have been looming for decades, but we have now reached a breaking point. Policy makers must get serious about a cohesive, long-term transportation plan for the state, or the prosperity we have enjoyed since the 1960s will quickly diminish. We will lose the ability to maintain industry and attract new business. Georgia needs real leadership on this issue: innovative solutions and the political will to make a significant investment.
The availability of abundant, clean water has become as important as the availability of other natural resources, such as gas and coal. Today, when businesses consider expanding or relocating to Georgia, “water” is at the top of checklists. Without guaranteed water sources, Georgia cannot continue to attract business, sustain agriculture or stay ahead of population growth. We are now in a major water crisis because of the escalation of the dispute with Alabama and Florida over Lake Lanier. This poses a threat to everything we have built in Georgia, as well as the dreams and expectations that we have for the future of our region. Immediate action is imperative. A government that procrastinates damages Georgia’s future.