Picture credit - Jerrold Degan, candidate for Senate District 3.

This Op-Ed column was written by the Democratic State Senate District 3 Candidate Jerrold Dagen. District 3 makes up Brantley, Camden, parts of Charlton, Glynn, and McIntosh Counties. Dagan is from Glynn County Georgia and holds a bachelors degree with a teaching certificate. More information about Degan can be learned from his campaign website at www.dagenforsenate.org. These are the views of the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.


My name is Jerrold Dagen. I want to be your next State Senator for District 3. I will focus on ideas to help create better opportunities for people. I need to address something else first. Today we face a crisis of leadership. Our current government is not serving the interests of the people they are supposed to be serving. Our leaders, including our state senator, rely on scaring the public to get votes, instead of trying to win with ideas. They are using hateful rhetoric, misleading statements, and outright lies to try to win the hearts and minds of voters. This is dividing our state and country deeper and deeper. People deserve better than to be lied to. I will try to clear up a few of those issues.

Republicans call Democrats, Socialists. False. Democrats believe in trying to help those who need help, giving people a hand up, it’s not just about hand outs. That is not socialism. Should we turn our backs on fellow Americans in times of need? If Republicans are so upset about handouts why don’t we stop corporate tax cuts and subsidies that add up to about $100 Billion a year? Why did Republicans just make the biggest tax cut in history that benefits mostly corporations and the wealthy and will cost another $100 Billion or more per year? Welfare to help the poor, hungry, children, elderly, disabled, and veterans is bad? Corporate welfare is ok? Let’s stop the name games and get to work.

Republicans say Democrats believe in open borders, sanctuary cities, and sanctuary states. False. There is no such thing as open borders, sanctuary cities. or sanctuary states. These are all made up terms used by Republicans to scare people. There was a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, that republicans blocked. This would have increased security, and  addressed solutions for immigrant workers and others who overstayed visas and children brought here when they were young. What we have now is chaos. Republicans will not have an honest debate and do not have any immigration plan. People are suffering. Taxpayers are paying $Millions and possibly $Billions to put people in detention centers indefinitely. That is not a plan. That is inhumane. We must do better.

Republicans say Democrats want to end the 2nd Amendment and disarm citizens. This is blatantly false. What Democrats believe in, the majority of Americans believe in, even the majority of NRA members believe in, are common sense solutions to the gun epidemic in America. We need universal background checks, we need to stop selling assault weapons. We need other measures like helping people with mental health issues. We need to work with law enforcement to address problems facing our communities. More guns will not make us more safe, otherwise America would be the safest place on earth, instead of the country with the most gun violence. Republicans cater to the NRA and gun lobby. Democrats and the majority of Americans want common sense gun reform.

Republicans have been using these issues to drive a wedge between Americans.  Instead of talking about their record or what they want to do in the next term, Republicans want to scare Americans. There is no excuse, especially when it is done with flat out lies. What happened to our government? Republicans have been running the state for over ten years, and Congress for almost ten years. This is not a problem created by both parties, but a problem created when one party wants to win by any means possible. People need to start demanding better of their representatives. People need to get involved. People need to vote. People need to run for office. All reasons why I decided to run for state senate.

Besides scare tactics, Republicans are attacking voting. The angry mob Republicans like to call Americans, is the majority of Americans that voted for Democrats and don’t agree with what Republicans are doing. More Americans voted for the Democratic candidate for President. More Americans voted for Democrats in Congress. Gerrymandering to extremes, with other measures enacted by Republicans, won them the election. In Georgia over a million voters have been removed from voter rolls. Over 200 polling locations have been closed. This has happened in many other Republican controlled states. Republicans say they are interested in protecting Constitutional rights? What about voting rights? We need to move on. We need change.

Many people I have talked to say we need new leadership. Leaders who will put public service back into their roles. As your next state senator I would do more to address the problems we still face in education, jobs, healthcare, the environment, and voting rights. Southeast Georgia faces many issues that have been overlooked by our current representatives. We have a poverty rate that is 20-30% and higher in some areas.  We have infrastructure issues going unaddressed. Overgrowth is part of the infrastructure problem, and could impact the Georgia coast negatively if we don’t plan more responsibly with sustainable growth. Overgrowth also has negative effects on our environment. People who visit the Georgia coast and Southeast Georgia contribute $Billions to our economy. We must do better.

We need our leaders to do better on the issues. In education we still face many challenges. We need to do more than say our education system is fully funded, it must be adequately funded. We need to make sure resources are provided where they are needed.

We need to create more jobs, and better paying jobs here. If we have a well educated job force, and provide job training, we will create a better workforce attracting more employers. We also need to invest in small businesses, and recruit new companies to the area.

Healthcare is one of the top issues on people’s minds. We need to provide access to affordable healthcare for all. Shouldn’t we make sure everyone can get healthcare? Republicans have pushed back on this issue for years, one of the big reasons our health care system is in trouble.

We need to do better at protecting our environment and resources, not auctioning them off to the highest bidder and removing protections for clean water and clean air. We also do not need offshore drilling. We do not need the oil, do not need to risk the environment or risk tourism. Renewable energy offers more job opportunities, can save people money, and helps the environment.

Voting is an issue I mentioned already, but will mention again. We need to protect our voting rights. Voting is one of our most basic rights. While Georgia and other states have been eroding that right, legislators have said and done nothing. Why? Because it helps them. Attacking voting rights is the only reason Republicans are in power, it is the only way they stay in power. The secretary of state should have resigned from his job before running for governor. Everything he has done is suspect. We need independent redistricting. We need new voting machines. We need Republicans to stop denying people the right to vote. When we can ensure fair voting, we will have our democracy back again.

Vote for change. Vote for Jerrold Dagen.

 

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