People living with disabilities should have a voice in legislative decisions that will affect their everyday lives. When the Georgia Legislature sought to move Vocational Rehabilitation Services from the Department of Labor to the Department of Human Service, there was an outcry from members of the community who believed that moving the services would create a stigma of dependency on social services for those who specifically wanted jobs. After receiving hundreds of emails and calls from citizens who utilize Vocational Rehabilitation services, specifically as they relate to employment opportunities, it was very clear to me that those who live with disabilities felt left out of the conversation and that their voice was not being heard. Therefore, I advocated for the services to remain with the Department of Labor, or exist as a standalone agency.
The end result was the creation of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Services Board. The board will consist of nine members who work, or have worked in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation, or who are a part of the Vocational Rehabilitation community. Five of those members MUST be persons with disabilities or family members of persons with disabilities.
During the 2010 session there was an orchestrated attempt to dilute the powers of the Fulton County Commission and create Milton County. As an outspoken committee member, I fought to stop the legislation. While we were able to stop the bill from reaching the floor for a vote, we must remain vigilant. The House GOP has made it clear that the Republican lead legislature is determined to carve up Fulton County.