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Today, I’m launching my campaign for Georgia State House District 117. My launch will focus on the need for GA to pass a hate crimes law. I wanted to share my thoughts on this issue (THREAD) #UniteAgainstHate #gapol #HateFreeGA…
In the past two years, Georgians have been victims of violent attacks because of their identities. Anthony Gooden Jr. and Marquez Tolbert were burnt with scalding water because they are gay. Maura Binkley was shot and killed in her yoga class for being a woman. #UniteAgainstHate
We’ve faced anti-Semitic vandalism at UGA. In Gainesville, GA, a girl was charged for planning to kill black worshippers in church. This week, 3 members of a white supremacist group were arrested w/ plans to attack minorities, including black & Jewish people. #UniteAgainstHate
Hate-motivated violence has escalated across the country and in our own community. Between 2016 and 2017, hate crimes rose nationally by 17%. While violent crimes have decreased in Georgia, hate crimes have risen at an alarming rate.

#UniteAgainstHate #HateFreeGA
I feel scared. I’m scared that one day I’ll wake up and hear about a loved one or a neighbor who was attacked — attacked for the color of their skin, their immigration status, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or their religious beliefs.

As was the case with the hot yoga studio shooting, many instances of hate-motivated violence are preceded by years of discriminatory behavior. Hate crime reporting can be a valuable tool for pinpointing acts of hatred and preventing future attacks.

Georgia is 1 of just 4 states without a hate crimes law. This allows prejudice & violence to go unnoticed & unpunished.

Our law should recognize the unique role that hate crimes play, sending a message to an entire group that they are unwelcome & unsafe.
#UniteAgainstHate #gapol
In 2019, a bipartisan, LGBTQ-inclusive hate crime bill passed the Georgia State House. While many Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass this legislation, I was alarmed to see that Representative Houston Gaines voted against the bill.
Three years ago, my husband, Knowa, and I founded the Athens #MLKDay Parade and Music Fest. As we celebrate his life and legacy this weekend, we must continue to fight for justice and show that hate has no place in our communities.

I am launching my campaign to represent House District 117 in the Georgia State Legislature with a rally calling on our leaders to #UniteAgainstHate and pass comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive hate crime legislation now. Join us.
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