Streetalk January 22 2004

Are Georgia legislators worse than other state legislators?

Dave: No. We have a system of checks and balances with the people who live in Georgia that really follow what’s going on in the state Legislature and people who are corrupt are voted out, for the most part. It’s better than what I’ve seen in Florida. Florida has people who are transient, while people come here to make a home so they get involved in their communities and in what’s going on in state government. In Florida, the corruption is staggering and I don’t see that here.

Shanelle: Yes, they do a lot of things backward. With as many various and diverse groups of people that we have, we could stand to do away with some of the Old South crap. We want to be like the bigger states, like California and New York, but we don’t think the same way. We’re still caught in the old world. I just think the bigger state legislatures are smarter. We have diversity within the city, but not in our state Legislature. It’s just the white Southern male view.

Kevin: The quality is definitely lacking because, unfortunately, they always tend to bring in the supposed underlying race card into issues where race is never even an issue. They bring it up here more than in South Carolina or Alabama. Because Atlanta is the capital of the South, leading the South in jobs and in growth, people tend to feel like they get left behind and left out of all that. When not everybody is sharing in that wealth creation, people look for explanations and, unfortunately, they turn to the race issue way too soon.