In 2018 I ran the most successful write-in campaign in State History. The incumbent Republican received less than two-thirds of ballots cast, in a district where Stacey Abrams won by a significant margin.

I stepped up to run as an emergency write-in candidate, to ensure that the voters had a choice - after the democratic candidate ( unexpectedly) chose not file for the seat. I am running to ensure that our community has a representative that reflects its values, and will focus on the needs of the people.

I’m a 36- year-old mother of two children, and a mental health/addiction recovery specialist, who previously worked as a legislative coordinator and human rights lobbyist. I used my leadership role in a well-known progressive organization to secure a national focus on Gwinnett County’s state and local electoral races. I’m currently a leader in the Gwinnett County Democratic Party.

Georgia Republicans, including the incumbent Representative, continue to pursue a divisive and harmful path for our state and for Snellville, such as the six-week abortion ban. I will work to pass legislation that explicitly prohibits racial profiling by state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.

I will continue to advocate for people living with disabilities as well as healthcare for every Georgian and enhanced mental health and addiction recovery services. Peer-Run facilities need to have a presence in every city in Georgia. I support investing in transportation and infrastructure, including mass transit. I believe in strengthening our economy for the working and middle class, common sense gun reform, legalizing marijuana, clean energy--and voter protection and voting rights reforms that will ensure Georgians can have confidence in our elections.

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Comments: 4757 • Responses: 135  • Date: 

ewwitzclutchy704 karma

Why do you think that someone in “the most flippable seat” hasn’t faced a challenger in a decade? (Edit: this one was asked while I was typing, but I would like a second answer that is a little clearer)

Is the seat now sitting in purple territory or has it been overlooked due to the previous popularity of the incumbent?

Last one—

Will you be pushing for reform regarding the legalization of marijuana?

Edit: is there a clear plan regarding the legalization?

DokFraz303 karma

It isn't particularly flippable. She's making the claim that because the district was "heavily" in favor of Abrams, the Republican only got about 2/3's of the vote. She's got about a snowball's chance in hell, but she'd gladly guzzle some donations in the meantime.

Em4Ga10656 karma

If you don't think a Democrat on the ballot has a good chance to win a seat that voted for every Democrat on the ballot in 2018 I don't know what to tell you. The GOP feels otherwise and is investing to keep this seat

Em4Ga106103 karma

The seat was previously quite conservative and is now purple/light blue in terms of voting preference. It voted for Democrats in 2016/18 for other offices, while there was no dem on the ballot for this state house seat.

I will support a bill to legalize marijuana in the state of Georgia similar to the Colorado/Washington model. Previous bills have been proposed in our legislature but have been voted down by Republicans

frostbitfeet27 karma

Do you vote down the party line? Or do you find yourself researching each candidate and making a decision based on qualifications and resonance with your beliefs?

Em4Ga10664 karma

I research my entire ballot and make informed voting decisions before I go to vote. I've done this for years

Em4Ga10641 karma

Because it only became competitive recently due to demographic and political preferences in the post Trump era. The incumbent may not seek re-election due to the recent changes in the district, we'll see.

I support legalizing marijuana and would sponsor legislation to do so, this has been introduced in our legislature in previous years and blocked by Republicans

Lysergsaure467 karma

As an addiction and mental health specialist, I'm sure you have seen your fair share of people impacted by the opioid epidemic. I myself am recovering from a dual diagnosis (anxiety/substance abuse disorder), so thank you for the work that you do.

What is your stance on combating opioid-related deaths with measures like needle exchanges and safe injection sites? If one were proposed in your district, how would you respond? That aside, what specific measures would you propose to help address the opioid crisis in your community?

Thanks in advance if you answer!

Em4Ga106275 karma

I do support needle exchanges and I would support that along with peer-led recovery centers that use the whole health approach to Recovery. I think it is important that we provide a support network that is based on the needs of each individual, those in active addiction and at each stage of their journey to recovery.

Em4Ga10616 karma

Thank you for asking this

ADKTrader1976318 karma

How long have you been living in District 106 ?

Em4Ga10697 karma

7 years

Em4Ga10615 karma

7 years

thePopefromTV241 karma

Interesting. I’m not from Georgia but I’m curious why the most flippable seat in Georgia hasn’t been challenged in 10 years.

And in your short time since being a write-in candidate what’s the dirtiest thing you’ve learned about politics that you didn’t know before?

Lastly, good luck. Any candidate who legitimately values voter rights is one of the good ones.

Em4Ga1067 karma

It only became competitive in the past cycle or 2 because of demographic and political changes in my community. Seeing what goes on down at the capitol is certainly eye opening.

wholetyouinhere215 karma

Do you support medicare for all?

Em4Ga10674 karma


Em4Ga10615 karma

Yes, though at the state level we have a limited ability to implement this policy, I would like to see us move federally to at least a public option so that everyone has access to medicare, and it can compete with private insurance to reduce cost pressures and expand coverage.

stomachgrowler195 karma

Last cycle Georgia was ground zero in the election security debate. Most concerning were the allegations that then attorney general Secretary of State Kemp threw tens of thousands of legitimate voters off the rolls on flimsy pretenses, such as signatures not matching etc.

What would you say to the people of Georgia who are concerned that legitimacy of their elections is compromised?

Em4Ga1069 karma

Yes, many voters are concerned about how the last election was conducted and if every vote was treated with equal value. That should never happen again and I really hope in 2020 there isn't controversy, though I expect otherwise.

randomguy1411177 karma

Did you see the train wreck of the Beto AMA? How will yours be any different, have your staffers prepared to ask and answer better questions?

Em4Ga1067 karma

I never saw the Beto AMA

Bfnti176 karma

What do you think about vaccines?

Em4Ga106620 karma

I think they are necessary. It is irresponsible not to be vaccinated yourself or vaccinate dependents by choice and puts public health at risk.

TexasTortfeasor165 karma

Why is there an AMA when they won't answer any questions?

Em4Ga1065 karma

let me know if you have specific questions

phoenixgsu144 karma

Snellville native here, what is the path forward for expensing public transit not just in Gwinnett but in the metro area in general.?

Em4Ga10681 karma

Right now we have Transit Review Committee, which is a 13 member board. Right now they are reviewing the county's needs and the options they believe would best meet Gwinnett's transit needs. They will be presenting the report with their recommendations to the board of commissioners by December 31st.

VerySecretCactus16 karma

Right but what's the path forward he said

Em4Ga10612 karma

I expect there to be another transit vote on the November 2020 ballot, presuming the plan that is being proposed is acceptable, I will support it and be campaigning for it alongside many other Democrats. The path forward is to pass a measure at the earliest in 2020 so that transit can start to expand

halfsquat851135 karma

Sorry if this has been brought up already/answered.

I see the belief in legalization of marijuana, and I commend that. I have a two part question regarding that.

1) How do you feel about expunging records of marijuana convictions? Is that a key point for you in legalization, or because they “broke the law at the time” do you feel they need to carry out sentences?

2) On overall drug use, we’ve seen the thought of decriminalization of all drugs and how that could work to overall benefit the country. In theory, dropping addiction, relapse, and drug related crimes. Is that something you could see yourself backing?

Em4Ga106190 karma

I support expunging and commuting the sentences of those convicted of non-violent marijuana related offenses. If the law changes then we shouldn't continue to have people serving time for no longer illegal actions related to marijuana.

I would be open to decriminalization but it would have to be on a case by case basis, addiction is a serious issue and we need some oversight, as we have seen with the aggressive spread of opioid prescription drugs there has to be a balance.

ewakr-117 karma

marijuana is proven to not be an addictive substance.

Opioid drugs are created to be addictive, marijuana is very natural.

Please elaborate.

Edit: Just to clear this up... I meant to question her response because I was wondering if she has different views on certain naturally grown drugs. I am not supporting or opposing marijuana legalization.

Em4Ga106130 karma

That's why I said a case by case basis, there are a number of drugs where decriminalization is almost certainly an answer (and they need to be rescheduled). Marijuana is not a hard drug and shouldn't be treated as such

choosetango121 karma

>I’m a 36- year-old mother of two children, and a mental health/addiction recovery specialist, who previously worked as a legislative coordinator and human rights lobbyist

So your two biggest reasons you would be good at this job is, 1. Because your a mother, and 2. because you used to work as a lobbyist?

While I don't side with republicans on much, these are not two good reasons to vote for you. Hell, one of them half the population on the planet can do.

HoMaster3 karma

The reality is whenever a politician runs for office they have to use that bullshit “family values” crap and “I’m a Christian” bullsht because that’s want the average American wants.

This is reddit. She misunderstood what reddit is and what demographic Reddit mainly represents (15-25 year old white males). Or her underlings did.

Em4Ga106-4 karma

I do not think I mentioned family values or Christianity.

Scoundrelic121 karma

Hello, thank you for your time.

What tips do you have for breaking addiction and sticking with it?

Em4Ga106288 karma

Do not let one day or one relapse defeat you. Do not let yourself dwell in shame, do not "reset" your "sober time", it is a journey. Just keep going, on the bad days just put off using for one more day. Do that every day, as long as you need to. It takes time and patience and forgiveness. Surround yourself with hope dealers. It is a struggle you will survive and your story of surviving and ultimately thriving will give others the hope they need to recover as well.

Youkindofare11 karma

Break your habits before you attempt to break an addiction.

Like smoking: stop smoking when you wake up, after you eat, at specific times during the day. Once you break your habits around an addiction it's easier to break the addiction itself.

Em4Ga1068 karma

That’s so true. One example for me was to quit drinking coffee. I would smoke and have coffee in the morning. I eliminated coffee and it made it much easier to quit smoking.

Skor5120 karma

If you have a hardcore Trump supporter in front of you, and you can talk to him/her for 5 minutes, what would you talk about to try and win his/her vote?

Em4Ga106177 karma

My neighbors support Trump and we talk about the importance of responsible gun ownership. We can maintain public safety and the 2nd Amendment at the same by having basic gun safety training in order to own a gun. We can also make it mandatory for gun owners to report a lost or stolen gun..

Em4Ga10661 karma

I would ask them what issues are important to them and go from there, active listening is the key to starting this effort to win his/her vote

Em4Ga10647 karma

I doubt at this stage that anyone still supporting him and I would have much in common. But I would ask them what they liked about Trump what were the top 3 challenges or issues they or their families were facing that they felt he had the answers to and I would listen, but I don't know anyone who did vote for him and feels comfortable talking about him much. I know some do not want to believe the truth of who he is or choose to over overlook it and I think for some thats hard to reconcile and accept. I don't have anything in common with those who can overlook human suffering.

koreanmarklee105 karma

How has this Trump loyalist not been even challenged for a decade despite being in the most flippable seat in Georgia?

Also, could you give me an example of racial profiling done by governmental agencies and some specific policies that you'd enact to prohibit them?

Em4Ga10682 karma

We have not always been this flippable, our district has changed a lot over the last 8-10 years. Sure, one example is the 287(g) program, this is a program that allows the local and state police officers to enforce federal immigration laws. So this means local police departments deputize officers to perform the duties of Immigration agents under the supervision of ICE. Keep in mind Gwinnett County is the 5th most diverse county in the country. So we are talking about people who are our neighbors going to work and not coming back because of a broken tail light or another minor traffic offense. Participation in this program is optional and costs taxpayers significant money. It also contributes to crimes being under-reported and erodes the trust between law enforcement and the community.

UllrRllr100 karma

600 votes (3.9%) is the most successful write in in GA history?

Em4Ga10641 karma

640- Less than 2/3 of the vote went to the Incumbent and he outspent me by thousands. Over 3,000 write-in votes thrown out and the Incumbent got fewer votes than any other unchallenged Republican in the state. I had three months and $4,000 and had the additional job of making sure every single person knew how to cast a vote for a write-in candidate. It was quite an undertaking and we are proud of the work we did to prepare our district for 2020.

james2890972 karma

thanks for giving us options. i read you are an addiction recovery specialist so i must ask... why is your stance on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?

Em4Ga106144 karma

Legalize it.


I was excited to see a new name in the district, but your website just gives general info. No meat to stance. It feels very blue vs red.

Do you plan on providing more detailed plans or thoughts versus the generalized party sentences?

Example: you say peer centers, what does that mean? I have a family member with Down syndrome and support is a challenge, but every program we deal with theft, negligence, or under staffed.

Example: you say no Georgian should have healthcare gaps, what is the plan? How does it work? How does it get paid?

A lot of voters are tired of red vs blue, tell us details because red and blue have screwed us all.

Em4Ga10620 karma

I will be providing more policy details as the campaign evolves, but we do need more oversight of health care and mental health care facilities and providers (for example elder abuse and behavioral health abuse is an issue that I've seen in my community).

As for healthcare gaps, that means either access or affordability. Part of the plan is expanding medicaid to fully cover those who could already be covered if our state hadn't refused the funding to do it. It's also about looking at programs like telemedicine to extend healthcare to areas where access to a doctor is limited.

HotDogHeavy64 karma

Do you think impeachment is a good thing for Democrats? Do you think this impeachment process has been implemented properly? Main question, When you hear some of your democrat colleagues say things like, “If he wins in 2020 we’ll just impeach him again”, do you think wait a second, that might be treason..?

Em4Ga106-89 karma

I think the process is important. We have to make sure that future generations are left with a guide book to reference, should they be faced with a president with the same lack of morality, humanity, and
fails to uphold or represent our constitutional values.

Gleapglop57 karma

Very interesting that I caught this AMA. I'm from Loganville. In 2013 my mother shot a home intruder. It was found later that had she not had a firearm her and my younger siblings would have faced certain death.

Can you please explain to me what you consider common sense gun control, and how if what you propose would have protected my family had it been in place in 2013? Thank you in advance for your response.

Em4Ga10636 karma

I am not opposed to gun ownership. Here are some examples, Gun owners trained in gun safety, usage, and storage. Firearms should be reported if stolen or lost. As well as precautions to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. I know plenty of people who own guns and take the safety of their families and others seriously. Not everyone who buys a gun has experience handling one, or making sure the safety is on. Many accidents happen when people don't know what precautions to take once the gun is at home.

TheThirdGun43 karma

If you succeed, how long do you plan to remain in the seat, will you try to remain as long as possible or will you concede that like the current seat, maybe being in power for decades isn't best for you or your constituents?

Em4Ga10671 karma

While I am not committing to a term limit for example, I plan to be active in my district and work each cycle to earn every vote. I don't believe I'm entitled to be the incumbent if I win, and I want to honor the will of the voters.

red1dragon58833 karma

You linked to The Young Turks’ website. What is your stance on Armenian Genocide denial?

Em4Ga1063 karma

strongly opposed to it. The Armenian genocide was a real and horrific historical event and the repercussions are still felt today. Genocide denial must stop

pm_me_your_sole_pics28 karma

What is your plan for fundraising and voter outreach?

Em4Ga10632 karma

I do call time, personal network and have fundraisers. We knock on doors, go to community events, meet and greets and write postcards and send mailers. But primarily direct voter contact through canvassing.

adeiner28 karma

How do you plan on getting your message out in an election when so much focus is going to be on Trump?

How do you shield your family from the ugliness that a campaign can be? I can imagine it would be hard to see my mom attacked on TV!

Em4Ga10631 karma

I keep my family life pretty private, they are not running for office and I leave that part up to them. We are very active here and flipped 11 seats in 2018, so we use direct voter contact. That and I am very active in my community and other organizations and always have been, but as I said I have always been active and very vocal so people knew who I was and where I stood long before I was asked to run for office.

buddamus23 karma

How does it work in America for people unable to look after themselves due to disabilities and no family currently?

What changes changes could be done to help the most?

Em4Ga10637 karma

Community-based Care that allows persons living with a disability to receive assistance within their own community. The wait time for this is about 10 years here in Ga.

Raab_Cat23 karma

As someone who's been struggling with mental health problems as well as addiction, hand in hand, I'm happy to see your stances on helping the community around you. I'm outside of your state but thank you for talking(?) to everyone on reddit!

My question is: What do you believe to be the biggest problem in helping people that are addicts, maybe homeless, usually experiencing mental health problems? As in, from the government's side of things, what's lacking the most or needs the most upheaval?

EDIT:changed I was happy to see your work and your stance to just your stance. Added (?) To actually talking to everyone here.

Em4Ga10627 karma

Great question, We need Peer-Run facilities that use a whole health approach to recovery, and we need one in every city. In my county, we have very limited resources for those with housing insecurity, the majority of our homeless population are living with a diagnosis or dual diagnosis and have oftentimes suffered trauma. We need a budget that invests in mental health, wellness and recovery. We have a lack of emergency services for those in crisis. The biggest problem is we do not have enough people who understand the proven solution peer-based community care is, the stigma surrounding mental health,addiction and homelessness play a huge role in delaying progress.

pnt2wheremidastchedu19 karma

What do you mean exactly by common sense gun reform?

Em4Ga1064 karma

Ending the gun show loophole, keeping guns out of the hands of those guilty of domestic violence, stalking, and other dangerous behaviors, promoting gun safety training

Em4Ga10617 karma

Logging off until tomorrow for now, I apologize for any disappointment or confusion earlier regarding this AMA. I will work to answer any other outstanding questions that were relevant and I didn't get to tomorrow. Thank you for everyone's engagement and dialogue.

Ki-RBT16 karma

What are your proposals for voter protection reform? Do you think this is something that can be improved within the next decade?

Em4Ga10612 karma

We need to end precinct closures, end the exact match, Extend early voting, restore voting rights to those who have been disenfranchised due to a felony. The right to vote should be inalienable. Hand marked paper ballots are the gold standard but we must make sure that is inclusive and accessible to all. So if a machine is used for accessibility it should have a printed ballot with your selections, NOT a barcode. I think we must tackle this as a community and put our efforts into voter education that produces confident voters we will be able to elect the leadership that will make the changes we need.

tsukichu15 karma

If you can't handle reddit, you definitely can't handle office. Did you think this was going to be easy?

Em4Ga10612 karma

no, and I'm serious about both

usernamy15 karma

Me, a liberal:

We’re so fucked if this is the type of candidate we’re putting up to flip seats in 2020.

My question is, how much do you regret this?

Em4Ga1066 karma

I'm sorry you're disappointed with my responses and I hope to earn your support moving forward. It's been an interesting day to say the least

Maga4lifeshutitdown15 karma

Since you are adept with mental health issues and whatnot. What's your stance on on funding? Across the country states are using prisons for this issue and it's not working.

I think this could be solved by either A: Actually funding the prisons to adequately deal with this crisis or B: Open up treatment centers for convicted criminals who don't belong in a prison setting.

What are your thoughts on this?

Em4Ga10634 karma

I want to see more funding and a focus on prevention and early intervention so that we can help those with mental illness (or the signs of it) before they end up in a hospital or courtroom. Georgia has been underfunding social services for too long and people are suffering, both in and outside of the prison system.

fenix45910 karma

This AMA is trash, and if you aren’t going to put in the effort to answering questions here what makes us think you’re going to be involved in the community if you get the seat? Im not a fan of the whole “IM NOT A REPUBLICAN SO YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR ME” Spiel because it’s fucking old.

Em4Ga10611 karma

Do you have any specific questions? I'm going through and working to answer as many as I can

matthewdubya9 karma

Hi. A Virginian here, and given the recent pre-filing of SB16 in my state, and it's backlash, what do you consider to be "common sense gun reform"?

Best of luck to you in the race!

Em4Ga1065 karma

Have answered this a few times, but background check expansion, and also restrictions on domestic abusers, stalkers etc. having access to guns

Tchaik7487 karma

What would you be doing to increase support for mental health? As someone who experienced serious depression earlier this year, this is very important to me (and I'm delighted that you mentioned it)!

Em4Ga1067 karma

I would like to see more funding so that the number of care providers increases and more people can get the care they need. We also need to look at investing in more mental healthcare in our jails/prisons, and supporting school counselors who are on the frontline in our schools helping young people who face increasing mental health challenges.

KOLCannonbolt7 karma

You may have been asked this already but I haven’t seen it, if elected what would you do or try to do about Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion bill (which effectively outlaws all abortions), and how would you react to similar bills if presented?

Em4Ga1069 karma

I 100% oppose the heartbeat abortion ban and other similar bills in GA and other states that result in restrictions on women's rights. I would vote against these anti-choice bills and speak out strongly in favor of choice. Abortion is an issue that is between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith. The state should not be heavily involved.

[deleted]1 karma


Em4Ga1064 karma

When considering their options many women seek the counsel of their family (i.e. their partner/spouse, parents, a trusted sibling etc.) each woman has to make their own decision in terms of who they include in that conversation

gazelem677 karma

What do you think the biggest change is that you can/want to effect in the state house?

Em4Ga1066 karma

More funding and support for mental health, disability, and addiction recovery is a policy space I feel I can lead on

downtimeredditor7 karma

Usually for ama there is usually proof that it is the actual person.

There is no proof anywhere that she was live on Reddit.

I checked her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and no mention of RedditAmA. Anywhere.

I kinda wonder if this was mismanagement among her staff.

I'm a liberal who lives in GA and her specific area is a bit purple due to the diversity in that area.

Reddit users in general technically lean left. This should have been an easy win for her. This is an absolute disaster.

Em4Ga1062 karma

I'm sorry you're disappointed, I hope I can earn your support going forward

DuckDuckGoos34 karma

Hi Emily,

Reddit is very volatile. And also very impatient. I think a lot of folks are upset because the first hour or two of an AMA going live really makes or breaks it. People want answers quickly and when it goes crickets, they get upset and it seems like a PR stunt. People also want genuine responses with elaboration, rather than yes/no. I see you're live now and answering many people. Good luck with your running and platform! Would love to see GA become more blue.

Em4Ga1067 karma

Thank you for the support and as I've posted before I apologize for any confusion and people being upset. This is not a medium I'm extremely familiar with by any means

jp_books7 karma

If it's the most flippable seat, why hasn't anyone else tried to flip it the last decade?

Em4Ga1064 karma

rapid political change in the Atlanta area has made the seat competitive just in the last couple of years.

ShebanotDoge6 karma

What does flippable mean and why is this seat the most flippable in Georgia?

Em4Ga1068 karma

Of the currently Republican held seats this one is the most Democratic leaning based on Presidential, and Gubernatorial Races in the past 2 cycles

savamizz6 karma

  • What are your specific plans to address infrastructure in D106 as it continues growing?
  • What projects will you prioritize?
  • What plan for mass transit do you endorse?
  • What ideas do you have to improve the economy?
  • What values of that district do you believe you reflect that other candidates don't?

Em4Ga1066 karma

I want to see investments in mass transit (bus service, microtransit, and light rail), I'm also worried about overdevelopment though that is more of a local/county issue.

My values are rooted in serving the community rather than special interests downtown, and I believe my background working with those who need it most helps me to stand apart.

I believe we can improve the economy by investing in our people, more funding for education, expanding Medicaid to cover more Georgians, childcare subsidy/tax credit to address the burden of child care, and making college more affordable.

Solid_Snakes_Ashtray6 karma

I'm a Georgian with seriously opposed views. Liberals and conservatives are known to hate me.

I watched as Nathan Deal tried to improve the justice system of Georgia and I also watched as lobbyists representing privatized probation companies worked hard to repeal the new statutes he'd implemented.

As a member of the state house, what is your stance on privatized probation services, and what, if anything, can you do to make sure that for-profit, privatized law enforcement services are abolished in the state of Georgia?

What can you do to stop corporate lobbyism from affecting the policing of my home state?

Because lemme tell ya sister, it's terrible. The criminal justice system in Georgia has lost its damned mind. People going to jail for simply being broke and whatnot.


And it's not a partisan issue. If anyone, Republicans are the biggest supporters of police, but it was Governor Deal, a Republican, who tried very hard to correct the broken system we have here, but as a result of lobbyists, greed prevailed. I am not the first person to ever defend a Republican by any means, but I must say that Nathan Deal really tried.

This system can't continue if there aren't tons of small crimes that just require high fines to fuel the millions and millions these companies make off Georgia's justice system, which I find deplorable.

Em4Ga1069 karma

I support bail reform and criminal justice reform generally (including a focus on diversion, rehabilitation, and alternatives to courts and jail for non-violent offenders). The predatory actions of privatized probation companies are a major concern and their influence in state and local government is shocking. Thank you for bringing up this issue, and I'm in agreement with you we need major reforms to the probation system. We have a two tiered system of justice where the poorest citizens often face harsher penalties purely because of their economic situation.

Hyperionc1376 karma

Do you get a lot of shi* from people and colleagues for being an attractive blonde woman in politics or have you noticed no differences in how the public and surrounding folks treat you?

Em4Ga1065 karma

Judging from some of the replies to this thread alone, as you can see being a woman that is vocal in politics is a unique experience. Some of it is positive, and some not, but I won't be deterred by the negativity and crassness.

olpse6 karma

What steps would you take to strengthen the economy?

Em4Ga1068 karma

Raise the minimum wage, increase access to capital for those who want to start/expand their businesses, look at regulation/red tape and adjustments to the tax code we can make, and invest in the economy of the future like green jobs (supporting GA solar industry).

power-cube6 karma

Greene County resident here.

What is something GA residents not in your district can do to help?

Em4Ga1064 karma

Volunteer for a campaign remotely or locally, donate to candidates that you want in the State House. Sign up to be a poll watcher, help with GOTV efforts.

RektByPatch5 karma

Q: How is lobbying ever positive?

Em4Ga1065 karma

there are a wide variety of lobbyists, while many advance a negative agenda, there are others who lobby on behalf of everyday people like nurses, teachers, the immigrant community, our seniors, and children and families. I feel someone lobbying for the meals on wheels program or expanding access to healthcare for example is pretty positive

PandaBroPound5 karma

What will you do to fight against the norm of "at will" employment? These laws exist for the sole purpose of eroding worker's rights.

Em4Ga1062 karma

I support the right to organize and more pro worker policies at the state level. When Republicans (and some Democrats) chose to cripple unions the middle class suffered, and the south always had the biggest issue with low unionization rates.

MrJamak5 karma

I would love to support your movement, but what would make me believe you're strong enough to fight the corrupt DNC?

I watched my favorite politician fall victim to DNC, so what makes you different? What values and cores have you stood up for in your life, when you're the minority?

Em4Ga1064 karma

I'm a community member running so that my community can have strong representation in the legislature. I'm not interested in towing the line of any type of political establishment. Also I'm not afraid to fight whether it was for our immigrant community, those in need of healthcare services, the homeless, and other vulnerable populations. These positions weren't always popular in Georgia, but I stand by them, and I come from a long line of union organizers who didn't take no for an answer.

noozman4 karma

"The most flippable seat in Georgia." According to WHO? What makes that the most flippable seat? Is that just a ridiculous campaign slogan that you made up?

Em4Ga1062 karma

Of the current seats held by Republicans in the state house, this district was the most pro Democratic in terms of both Presidential and the 2018 vote.

Kelvatz4 karma

I see in the platform on your website that you are in favor of "expanding Medicaid" and will fight for "healthcare for all" however neither of these point to specific legislation. If Bernie Sanders's or Pramila Jayapal's single-payer Medicare For All plans reached a vote, would you cast yours in favor?

Em4Ga1063 karma

Yes to both (though I'm running at the state not federal level), both pieces of legislation are solid

IamMESSEDupINtheHEAD4 karma

Does your area have housing support services for people living with a major mental health diagnosis?

I work/live in the Albany, NY area and housing support services have shown to help people living with a major mental health diagnosis stay out of crisis and out of jail.

if you don't already have this available to your consumers, are you interested in this aspect of mental health support?

Em4Ga1064 karma

I'm very interested in this aspect of support. Access to quality and stable housing is a big challenge for those with disabilities and health challenges. Our area in general has challenges with affordable housing as well, low income people struggle to find good housing within my district and my county. While I know we have some programs for this, I would like to see more and would sponsor a bill to do this (along with helping veterans, the homeless and other at risk populations with affordable housing)

GreenScREEndEAth4 karma

What is your stance on raising the minimum wage?

Em4Ga1061 karma

The GA minimum wage is shockingly low, it needs to be at least $10 an hour throughout the state, with cost of living and inflation adjustments on a community by community basis.

hh90194 karma

What is you opinion on the relationship between the USA and Saudi Arabia, after the khashoggi incidence? And what will be your position if you won the elections ?

Em4Ga1064 karma

While this is more of a federal/national issue, we do need to re-examine our relationship with Saudi Arabia and hold them accountable for specific actions they have taken like the war in Yemen and the Khashoggi killing (along with other innocent people that have been executed or jailed by that nation)

Its_Just_Nessy4 karma

Ok, so I’m just gonna go for what I care about most. The common sense gun reform. What is your interpretation of common sense gun reform, what categories of firearms fall under your view of being unnecessary, and why do you support it?

Em4Ga1062 karma

I'm concerned about the increase in both low level daily gun violence and mass shootings in this country. Some of the policies I support would be enhancing background checks, ending the gun show loophole, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and others with credible histories of violent/threatening behavior. I think we can balance the rights of the 2nd amendment with policies that reduce gun violence.

optionalpropaganda4 karma

What’s your stance on recreational marijuana?

Em4Ga1064 karma

I support legalization similar to Colorado and Oregon

oBlackNapkinSo4 karma

Here's a good one: If you win this seat are you going to actually represent the interests of your district (and only this) or are you going to take the AOC route and use it as a platform to simply draw attention to yourself?

Em4Ga1066 karma

I'm focused on representing the residents of my district and would work to fulfill their wishes not just my own personal agenda

Bizarro423 karma

How are you going to convince those that oppose you that you are the right candidate AND (two parter) convince these same people your not doing what a lot of politicians do: say what people want to hear?

Em4Ga1065 karma

By building relationships, I don't pretend I can get everyone on my side in our current political environment but I'll listen and engage with everyone in the community to help earn their trust and confidence. Even if they don't agree, they will be able to engage with me.

Macaroon-3 karma

Do you support any specific investment in mass transport, mainly in expanding the amount of rail in Georgia? And do you support making public transportation free at the point of service like Kansas City is in the process of doing?

Em4Ga1066 karma

I support expanding light rail and bus services in my county (and the metro region). I like the idea of commuter rail that has been proposed to go from Atlanta to different regional hubs like Chattanooga and South Carolina as well. I'm not certain that entirely fare free service is the answer, but I would support it for certain populations like seniors and those under 18 to start. We need to incentivize public transit and increase mobility.

heatdolphinsredsox3 karma

Curious how you will lowers costs/taxes?

Em4Ga1068 karma

I would be interested in tax reform that benefits working and middle class families, such as expanding the EITC. With that said, state taxes are only one part of the picture compared to federal and also local taxes

22Donkeypunch3 karma

Greetings Emily Leslie, I have no party affiliation. I want to see civil servants act more like Americans. What will you do during a government shutdown? Continue to take pay and benefits while all other government branches suffer? Will you vote for term limits for all of congress? Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions thrown at you, and good luck!

Em4Ga1069 karma

I'm not running for federal office and in my state we are constitutionally required to pass a budget, but I would not continue to draw a salary during a hypothetical shut down.

Ferocious_croc3 karma

I don’t understand American politics completely but will love an explanation - how is it the most flippable seat but hasn’t had a challenger in a decade?

Em4Ga1067 karma

It only recently became competitive due to demographic and voter preference changes

HispanicPanic043 karma

Hi Emily, young Latino man here. What would be the best resource for dealing with mental health? It’s getting better now, but I have really been struggling recently due to my last year of high school, being unemployed and just feeling purposeless overall. On top of that, I get random episodes where I hallucinate awful thoughts while still being conscious. I feel that I should speak to a therapist but I don’t know if it would be expensive or if it would actually help me out.

TL;DR - Should a bean spill the beans about himself to a person who could help him, or should he wait and get more information?

Em4Ga1067 karma

Every person's mental health journey and needs is different, I would recommend looking up both group and individual therapists in your area and at least seeking a consultation. It's worth giving different options a try to see what makes you feel most comfortable, I'm sure you'll find something that works for you. I wish you the best on your journey and I promise it gets better

HispanicPanic043 karma

Thanks Emily! Good luck with your campaign.

Em4Ga1065 karma

You're welcome

Thenamesweiss3 karma

Will you advocate for the legalization of medical/ recreational marijuana? And maybe over turn records with people with marijuana possession? I’ve seen so many young peoples life’s ruined over marijuana.. which is legal in HALF the United States.

Em4Ga1065 karma

Yes to all of the above, I would like to see the legalization of marijuana in line with Colorado or Washington and the expungement of those with non-violent marijuana conviction records.

Ryknight23 karma

Do you suppport Medicare for All and the Green New Deal?

Em4Ga1066 karma

Yes (though with modifications on the GND), those are more federal than state policies though

sharon8383 karma

What is the name of the well-known progressive organization of which you had a leadership role?

What do you mean specifically when you say that you “secured a national focus on Gwinnett County’s electoral races”? What kind of focus exactly? What do you mean by “national focus”? Does that refer to media or watchdog organizations?

Since you say that you want to ensure that the values of the community are represented, what do you consider those values to be? Do you have accurate measurements on whether the community leans left or leans right?

You said that you support mass transit, yet Gwinnett County voters voted down the idea of bringing in MARTA, and did so by a wide margin. Aren’t you then disregarding what the community wants in this area at least?

How long have you resided in Gwinnett County?

What do you mean by peer run addiction centers? Are you talking about NA (which is not affiliated with any outside organization)?

Do you consider Gwinnett County to be more conservative than liberal, or vice versa?

Thank you in advance, from a longtime resident of Gwinnett County.

Em4Ga1065 karma

Gwinnett County has become nationally relevant after it flipped in 2016 to the Democratic column, and then Democrats won a number of seats and had other close races in the county in 2018. I was a local party organizer who was involved in a number of those close races including the GA-07 contest that we lost by just a few hundred votes (and the Democratic nominee carried the Gwinnett part of the district).

The media but also national progressive groups took notice of what was happening in Gwinnett because of the ground game we built here, and I'm proud to be part of it.

My community is center-left presently, they do not want to see the regressive right on the rise with policies like RFRA and the heartbeat bill, and are looking for legislators that focus on kitchen table issues like healthcare, the cost of higher education, and transportation.

The 2019 MARTA vote was important, but it wasn't the final say on the transit issue given that our county commission now plants to put a vote back on the ballot this November 2020. I recognize and respect those who voted no (though I did support it and vote yes) in March, but given it's going to be on the ballot again we can't ignore the issue, plus traffic remains a top concern for many residents.

I've lived in Gwinnett for 7 years, I view it also as a center left county. Peer support groups are about people helping people, we need to expand access to rehabilitation and recovery programs and I see peer run addiction centers when properly certified as part of the solution.

I would say Gwinnett continues to trend blue based on the data I've seen

interstellar_rocket3 karma

You fail to mention that the incumbent you’re running against is the current Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

You mention strengthening the economy and improving the working class - how, exactly?

Em4Ga1063 karma

I would like to see Georgia do more to protect and promote the needs of the working and middle class including a tax credit or subsidy for childcare, a higher minimum wage that keeps up with inflation, less restrictions on union organizing, and promoting access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Our state is often called "best for business" but many of our residents lack healthcare, are stuck in traffic, and don't have economic mobility to move into the middle class.

Jokerang3 karma

Hi Emily, thanks for doing this AMA.

Last year's governor race in Georgia was bitterly contested and narrowly lost for the Abrams. Going forward, what do you think needs to be done to get your party in Georgia's governor mansion?

Em4Ga1067 karma

We need to build our infrastructure throughout the state so that we can at least hold down the fort in red areas and turn out more/new votes in blue areas. We also need to have a strong platform that speaks to what voters care about (generic but it does matter) and we need a strong slate of candidates in all corners of the state to carry our message. Stacey did a fantastic job in 2018 and gave us a platform to build on for future wins.

Funklestein2 karma

I'm sure I'm far too late to get an answer here but:

How can you describe the seat as "most flippable" when the guy won by almost two thirds (her words) in a democratic majority district?

Good luck to you but that's some odd description of the situation.

Em4Ga1064 karma

There was no Democratic candidate listed on the ballot itself in 2018, Democrats won every race in my district from Governor to commissioner of Agriculture. The seat is heavily favored to flip in 2020

SirDankOfDankenshire2 karma

How can us Atlanta residents get involved personally, and what areas of your campaign do you need the most help in?

Em4Ga1066 karma

More than anything we're going to need canvassers next year to knock on doors, and phone bankers to make phone calls. You can sign up on my website and we'll get you involved, thanks for your interest

nooomaam2 karma

HD98 voter here. Cuts to the state budget are inevitable this year and next. Do you think the legislature will pass those cuts down to Gwinnett and Snellville as unfunded mandates that would then need to be funded out of local budgets? If so, what are the biggest risks in state funding cuts for your district?

Em4Ga1066 karma

State funding cuts are likely to impact our court system, the DMV, the criminal justice system, family welfare, and public health. This ripple effect will at least be felt with the county budget, the city budget is much smaller and more limited. My hope is that public pressure reduces the level of Kemp austerity but we need to be watchful

theroadlesstraveledd2 karma

What concrete thing will you go after to improve animal rights

As a representative of the people do you put their opinions first or are you prepared to make the hard calls that is best interest of the environment and animals?

Em4Ga1067 karma

I want to ensure all shelters are "no-kill" shelters and also look at putting more oversight and resources in place to go after those who abuse animals such as puppy mills, and slaughterhouses that use unnecessarily cruel practices or engage in outright abuse.

I respect both animals and our environment and I have to think about the future I'm leaving for our planet and for my children when I cast votes.

abbie_yoyo2 karma

How much downtime do you get in a life like yours? How do you like to spend it?

Em4Ga1064 karma

between family, work, and my campaign not a lot. I enjoy reading and having a good meal when I get the chance though.

Senator_Muffin2 karma

Have you focused on trying to get any of the latinx votes? I know they are a group that struggles to get involved in politics.

Em4Ga1064 karma

My district doesn't have a huge population of latinx voters but the ones that we have we canvass, call, text bank etc. and we have bilingual materials and canvassers. I'm committed to increasing voter turnout with this group

ImmaCharwhal2 karma

You mentioned wanting to pass legislation to make sure government officials and law enforcement agents can't discriminate, what current ideas on actual legislation do you have? And how would something like that be enforced?

Em4Ga1064 karma

I would support a non-discrimination and civil rights law for the state of Georgia that would protect Georgians from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, and other common categories. That's one example, I also think any complaints or allegations of discrimination by government officials or law enforcement should be taken seriously and fully investigated (Though this is often a local matter).

Meh-gadeth2 karma

As a person who lives in gwinnett and has two senior parents with no healthcare. I am happy to see a representative actually concerned with healthcare for all. I am concerned though as the county seems to have a much higher population of conservatives than reported. It wouldn't be an easy seat to win. I haven't seen any advertisements for your campaign either. Honestly this is the first time I've heard your name. Do you think your campaign has enough presence in Gwinnett?

Em4Ga1061 karma

Actually every district in Gwinnett moved between 1-3% left, I find it completely unacceptable that anyone should be without healthcare. I believe so.

froggie-style-meme2 karma

Sorry em, Yang ganger here. But, since this is an ama, I'll ask. What policy do you hold that makes you different from the other candidates?

Em4Ga10611 karma

I would say my focus on helping those with disabilities and disability policy is a standout position. A lot of our lawmakers don't have the same level of experience or focus in this area that I bring to the table.

chasmish942 karma

Hey Emily,

I live in Lawrenceville, GA.

I'm a DACA citizen. Would you do anything for DACA students in the state of GA (for example, in state tuition)? I've lived in Gwinnett County for 19 years and it really is awful that I had to pay 3 times as much for a community college to earn a college degree.

Em4Ga106-1 karma

I'm a strong supporter of DACA and Dreamers. I want to see Georgia end the prohibition on in-state tuition for the DACA population in our state and stop treating our Dreamers as second class Georgians. We'll need to flip the legislature in 2020 to get legislation on this passed, but I would be one of the first in line to support it.

Z3R0potential2 karma

How do you plan on making sure the Georgia elections are run fairly this time?

Also, I’m gonna need you to talk some sense into my girl Marsha Blackburn when you get to Washington. We can’t seem to vote her out in Tennessee so maybe a fellow female can get through that thick layer of hair spray for us. I know that sweet little girl is in there somewhere

Em4Ga1060 karma

I'm not running for a seat in Washington (state not federal), but yes I plan to be an advocate for ending voter suppression in Georgia and ensuring voters have confidence in our elections.

Lying_Cake2 karma

Hey, hope you're having a nice day! What exactly is your stance on gun control?

Em4Ga1066 karma

I want to see reform of current gun laws with a focus on ending domestic abusers having access to guns in particular

BostonBarStar1 karma

Do you feel money in politics has too much influence in politics? What would your vote be if a bill came up for vote to amend the constitution to get money out of politics? Do you support ?

Em4Ga1065 karma

Yes I would, we have to make it so that more than just the wealthy and well connected can successfully run for office

NovusZoran1 karma

Sandy Springs resident here,

-What message(s) do you think resonates for the majority of those across party lines in District 106?

-Have you seen feedback showing successful conversions from what are essentially digital town halls such as this AMA?

Good luck!! Also kudos for reaching out over Reddit! The good folks over at Hot Ones have mentioned they may be willing to use their platform for political candidates too...

Em4Ga106-3 karma

Thank you! The people of 106 are determined, unified, proud of our district's diversity and genuinely care beyond our own zipcodes.

TheCrypticSloth1 karma

As a voter from a highly less flippable district, it’s saddening to see people with a chance having it taken away from them. What is your take on the situation with Brian Kemp overseeing his own election and the possibility of vote manipulation?

Em4Ga1068 karma

Brian Kemp should have stepped down as SOS when he qualified to run for Governor in early 2018. I can't speak to whether the voting issues in Georgia impacted the final outcome but voter confidence was shaken by Kemp's actions and the situation should never happen again.

DerTaco2 karma

Noticed you came back to answer questions so late. Did something happen? Obviously it looks like this thread got hit with T_D trolls but was the influx just too overwhelming?

Em4Ga1067 karma

The number of responses coming in, many of which were not just irrelevant but inappropriate and vulgar was overwhelming I have to be honest. I'm serious about answering the questions on this thread though and I'm doing my best to keep up, this is a new medium to me

K_Byrd21 karma

What are you’re thoughts on UBI?

Em4Ga1066 karma

Would love to see it trialed in Georgia

kiki_wanderlust1 karma

Happy to support someone running that is not dining on red herring by gaslight.

Do you have insights into why the old guard GOP in the Southern states has such a stronghold in spite of abandoning the most basic party principles?

When observing the vote polling today, the "Right Side" of the aisle reminded me of the balcony patrons on The Muppet Show. Is the swamp un-drainable simply because the constitution has lost favor and is this the work of the Internet's "filter bubble"?

Em4Ga1067 karma

Changing long held voting habits and beliefs is a challenge, but I do believe we are making progress across the South. Kentucky and Louisiana just voted for Democratic governors against Trump's endorsements of their opponents just a few weeks ago

Wackamiright1 karma

What is your stance on medical marijuana?

Em4Ga1065 karma

I support it and would like to see the program expanded significantly in Georgia so that all patients can get access to the best treatment available

imthatguy82231 karma

“Common Sense Gun Reform”

Why do you want to send men armed with guns to come and take mine that have only ever harmed paper?

Em4Ga1062 karma

no I do not support confiscation period

losoba1 karma

Just commenting to say good luck. I volunteered in the 2018 midterm elections and we were able to unseat a couple Republicans in Kansas - which is no small feat. I hope you're able to make the same progress in Georgia. :-)

Also, people commented on your website being vague. Would it be helpful to address those comments and let people know this campaign is in the beginning stages? I'm assuming more information will be added to your website as your campaign gains traction.

Em4Ga1061 karma

Thank you for your support and for being involved in another red state that is turning blue. We'll keep working at it here in Georgia. My website does have some issue statements but it may not format perfectly on every browser (you have to scroll down). I plan to roll out more policy positions in the coming year as well.

Bizarro421 karma

Good answer but how will you demonstrate that during your campaign? Would you be willing to speak to a group that does not readily view you as their candidate? Specifically: address a group that votes the opposite ticket for the soul purpose of loyalties to their party?

Em4Ga1064 karma

Yes, I've spoken with a wide variety of groups and with different types of residents in my district already.

w0wwz1 karma

May be an odd question, apologies if it is.

But have you ever put thought into genetic engineering and if it should or should not be allowed?

Em4Ga1066 karma

Great question, I think we have to let the science lead us but there are certain ethical questions that need to be addressed around this issue.

hauska_juoppo1 karma

How are you going to help fund the Community Mental Health Act? It has been a no show since it was signed into law.

Em4Ga1068 karma

I would push our state budget to include more money for all forms of mental health and disability related care. The system is collapsing because it's been starved of resources and the demands are great

wardamnbolts1 karma

Are you pro-life or pro-choice, what would you tell your pro-life constituents?

Em4Ga1065 karma

pro-choice, but I believe it's a personal issue for everyone and they should be able to make their own decision free of government interference. I would also point out I'm very invested in improving maternal care in Georgia

DonnyRainboe1 karma

Would you support a free Scotland or Wales in principle if both Countries were both to exist within the current system of government for another six years without Brexiting?

Em4Ga1066 karma

People should have the right of self determination, that said I'm running in America and don't want to claim I have strong expertise on the politics in Scotland and Wales

00_sieben1 karma

Hi Emily, how do you think the wave of authoritarianism sweeping governments across the globe is going to affect your chances at winning in Georgia? If you did win, how would you fight this wave?

Em4Ga1063 karma

International and national politics are certainly tumultuous right now but in my own district there is no a strong desire for authoritarianism and I'm confident that we have the votes we need to win. I've always been willing to speak up for human rights and against the abuse of power, as a legislator that won't change.

SoullessHillShills-9 karma

Do you support Medicare For All? If not, how much in bribes have you taken from Health Insurance Lobbyists?

Em4Ga1068 karma

Yes, I support medicare for all.

CrashNT-10 karma

Total extra credit question....

What's it like to have two first names? What do your friends and coworkers call you? Emily or Leslie?

No offense meant, we don't control our names unless you're a Hollywood star and get it changed. I just always wanted to ask that question.

Em4Ga106-8 karma

EVERYONE asks me this. lol I am called Leslie by everyone at least once. It is a running joke at this point. Also, Parks and Rec references are popular.

kyle4dictator-11 karma

Kinda off topic, but I was in Savannah Georgia about 7 years ago. Has it survived a the storms since then?

Em4Ga10611 karma

yes. They just elected a new Mayor as well, Van Johnson. I met him a few weeks ago, seems like a great guy for the job.

FedoraFireELITE-15 karma

As a fellow Georgian, best of luck to you and your campaign!

How did you go about your previous campaign as an emergency write in? Did you have any help you out with planning or did you just go forward with a more word of mouth and social media approach?

Em4Ga106-43 karma

No, I was trained in Electoral Leadership and worked for several campaigns and a well known progressive organization and was a fellow in the first OFA chapter in Atlanta. I ran a top tier campaign and coordinated with the Abrams Coordinated Campaign, so we used my house as the South Gwinnett HQ and I had over 200 volunteers and alot of help. My campaign video was coordinated and filmed free of charge- by a former producer from "The Bachelor " which I did not know at the time, it is on my youtube channel which I will link if it isn't already. I hired the people I knew and had worked with before as my staff, all of them were highly qualified and did amazing work. I just organized and mobilized and ran a campaign like I would any other.

Metalhart00-17 karma


Em4Ga10618 karma

Your vote is NOT insignificant, we had State House races that came down to a few hundred votes and a congressional race was lost by a mere 400 votes. Some Municipals were won and lost by less than 20 votes. So every vote matters. But, I guess you can be involved by being a poll worker, but if you aren't voting how you can inspire or empower anyone else feel like their vote or voice matters?

fashionthriller-41 karma

The South often takes a lot of heat from other areas of the county for its intolerance of changes to social norms. With the influx of many Latinxs to Southern states like Georgia, how do you plan to work with Latinx members of the population against discrimination from the generally older, white, vocal population and policy making body?

Em4Ga1065 karma

I have great relationships with both leaders and regular community members in the Latinx community. I want to end 287(g) which makes our county spend taxpayer money to enforce ICE/Federal immigration policy and undermines trust between the Latinx community and law enforcement for one thing, I also want to see a hate crimes law be passed in Georgia, and end efforts to pass english only laws that discriminate against those who are most comfortable speaking or writing in spanish.

Em4Ga106-29 karma

It was just yesterday I got a call to help translate for the local branch of the Latina human rights org that I am extremely involved with- I am already active in pro-immigration organizations. When I worked with Amnesty International I specialized in Immigration and Refugee Rights. I work with them, canvassing to build community resilience and their focus is on educating their community on their constitutional rights and what to look for on a warrant and instructing them on what to do in the event of an ICE raid. The best way to work with members of any community is to support the work that is already being done by that specific community on the ground. I learn from their leadership how I can best advocate and amplify their voices. You can check out any of my social media to get a real sense of what our Latinx community is facing due to the 287(g) program.