Name: Jonathan Gilreath-Harvey
Office sought: State House District 12
Occupation: Interior designer and entrepreneur
What specific issues would you like to focus on in the Georgia General Assembly next year and why do they resonate with you?
Children throughout the state are our future and it is important that we invest in their well being and education now. Then see to it that every current and future child in Georgia has every advantage and opportunity that they can. We can do so much now to make sure that it happens: whether it be funding for special programs in every county or making sure that each child has a normal lunch prepared each day.
Without using trigger words such as “defund the police” or “back the blue,” explain what the Legislature could do to improve local law enforcement.
I believe that greater training should be implemented inside the police force to better prepare officers on how to diffuse tense situations that could end in force. With that said, I believe there are a multitude of training opportunities for current officers to participate in — continuing education and reevaluations that should be implemented over the course of their tenure.
Is there anything the state should do to help students, parents and educators deal more effectively with COVID-19 restrictions?
There should have been a federal standard put in place for opening each state and lifting restrictions, one that is based in science and current and ongoing CDC guidelines. That alone would have given every American the peace of mind to get into a routine and face our new normal. However, since those standards were not put in place, it is the job of the state legislatures to find continued ways to support teachers, students and parents; such as mask mandates and temperature screenings thought the school day.
Do you wear a mask or face covering when you go out in public? Why or why not?
My family and I choose to wear face masks in public, even our 2-year-old, believing that my mask protects you and your mask protects me. There are significant studies that show it cuts the risk factors down significantly.
State revenue is holding steady but unemployment claims remain high. How will that play into your budget priorities?
We must plan in the upcoming year for the ongoing effect of those currently unemployed due to COVID-19. Therefore, budget is first in my mind and the greatest priority moving forward is to make sure that Georgia’s economy will continue to be strong as those residents get back to work.