Athens for Everyone supports the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee’s effort to remove Mayor Nancy Denson from the County Committee.
The vote tonight is a response to the Mayor’s financial and material support for Republican Houston Gaines, who is running against Democratic candidate Deborah Gonzalez in the Special Election for Georgia State House District 117, to be held November 7. Supporting a Republican in a contested race both violates ACCDC by-laws and works against the very purpose for which the Democratic Committee exists.
We believe in transformative change
Athens for Everyone exists because we believe a better city and a better society are possible, that we should aim for nothing less than a social and economic system that works for all of us and that we should work as hard as we can to make that a reality.
If the Democratic Party is going to be an important part of this transformative movement, it has to stand unequivocally on the side of the people, not Atlanta developers, not Wall St. speculators, and certainly not the Republican Party of Georgia. The Committee’s willingness to remove those who stand against positive change is an encouraging sign toward that commitment. Nancy Denson is certainly free to support whomever she likes for the State House, but that support should have consequences when it works directly against the purpose of the ACC Democratic Committee of which she is part.
Supporting Republicans hurts Athenians
Most importantly, Denson is the Mayor of a city where literally thousands of people lack healthcare access because of the state legislature’s refusal to accept federal money to expand Medicaid. And now she’s supporting a Republican candidate who will continue that refusal, while the Democratic candidate, Deborah Gonzalez, supports Medicaid Expansion and moving to a Medicare-for-All system at the state level if the federal government fails to do so. While thousands in Athens work hard and still can’t escape economic insecurity, the Mayor supports a candidate who will join the Republican majority in opposing an increase in the minimum wage, while Deborah Gonzalez advocates a $15/hr minimum wage that would change the lives of thousands of Athenians. Houston Gaines, Denson’s candidate, will oppose driver’s licenses for undocumented Georgians, a policy that would help protect Athenian families from detention and deportation, while Gonzalez will work for that urgent change. And on and on.
The Democratic Party needs to make clear that Committee members working against the people of Athens in this way is unacceptable.
We’re fighting for a better city
Athenians yearn for a different society, for a community with racial and economic justice. They vote overwhelmingly for Democrats in every election because they know the Republicans aren’t working for them, and they hope that with Democrats in power it will be different. They deserve a committee that will respond to that hope by fighting tirelessly for Athenians, not for Houston Gaines and the Republican State House majority.
Athens for Everyone
September 28, 2017