Hello, Reddit! My name is Joyce Griggs, and I am running for Congress in Georgia’s 1st as a Democrat. This district includes all of Coastal Georgia, including beautiful Savannah, and half our border with Florida. Along with Pam Keith in Florida and Jackie Gordon in New York, I’m running to be one of the first ever veteran black women elected to either chamber of Congress. Proof.

Follow us:

I'll be joined by my Senior Advisor, Greg, who will be using the username u/TeamJoyceGriggs.


I was born the sixth of ten children in Bethel, North Carolina, and raised in a share-cropping family. My parents had no formal education, but worked hard to put me through school. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Master’s degree in counseling from North Carolina Central University. After graduate school, I served as a head counselor and psychology instructor at Kittrell College, as well as a volunteer tutor for underprivileged children with learning disabilities. I raised two children of my own along the way, Torri and Laurie, who've given me five beautiful grandchildren.

In 1975, I became one of the first women to complete airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon admission to the Women’s Army Corps, I completed training in basic and advanced military intelligence/tactical training, psychological operations, civil military operations, command and general staff, combined arms services, intelligence collection management, and women’s officer training, all in rapid succession, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I also served as a professor of military science in Honolulu, Hawaii. Deployed in arenas from the Middle East to the continent of Africa as an Army Intelligence Officer, I received commendations such as the parachutist badge, the Defense Meritorious Service medal, the Global War on Terrorism medal, and the Bronze Star.

After 33 years in the Army, I became an Attorney, earning my J.D. from the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. I worked tirelessly for clients from all walks of life and often without charge for those who were unable to afford legal representation, earning a Pro Bono Award and the Chief Justice Award for Professionalism. I have affiliated with numerous citizen groups and served on humanitarian missions in several impoverished nations in South America and Africa.

I ran for Congress and came up short in 2000 - but I think Georgia is changing. We’re ready for new leadership. Nowhere are Republican failures on coronavirus, healthcare, the economy, or democracy itself more acutely felt than here in Georgia, where our leaders have botched public service at every level of government. We are ready to ride the high-water mark of the biggest blue wave in American history.

And I’m ready to take your questions. AMA!

Edit: I've had to step out but I will be back. Keep the questions coming!

Edit: Thank you all, this was fun!

Comments: 184 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

Howiedoin6740 karma

Are you concerned about corporate money in politics?

JoyceGriggs202064 karma

Yes, very concerned. I believe there must be campaign finance reform. Corporate PACs have bought a lot of politicians. A lot of good, honest and sincere people can't win because they do not have the money. Once you take Corporate PAC money, they own you.

Nat_Libertarian-14 karma

Are you concerned about union money in politics, which is close ti corporate money and almost exclusively goes towards supporting your own party?

JoyceGriggs20208 karma

No. Unions built this country but are massively outspent by those who oppose their interests. I think our economy was far more fairly balanced when they had more political power in mid-late 20th century. I hope we can build a union-backed Democratic majority.

Endoxa21 karma

How do you feel about the first and second amendment?

JoyceGriggs202023 karma

I fought for all our freedoms abroad and I stand by them today, that's why I'm running.

Greenaglet20 karma

What it your opinion on expanding the number of seats for the supreme court and what do you think of Biden/Harris not answering that question?

JoyceGriggs2020-12 karma

I am much more concerned with Mitch McConnell changing the size of courts all across this country for a decade, for the lack of pushback from his fellow Republicans, and for the media asking Joe Biden that question more in a week than they ever asked Mitch McConnell.

justscottaustin18 karma

Were you also the first Army Intel LC as a black woman?

Your accomplishments sound absolutely fantastic! Keep it up!

JoyceGriggs202025 karma

No but I will be the first black female veteran in Congress. I was also among the first women to go to Airborne school and earn my wings.

Micheal67617 karma

What do you think is the appropriate balance between enabling the intel community to be effective in their mission, while insuring citizens their rights?

JoyceGriggs202011 karma

We must make sure we protect individual Privacy rights. We need and must have the intelligence community and make sure it can do their jobs. Fourth amendment and the US constitution protects us. Must balance the intel community efforts to insure citizens rights are not violated.

csactor6 karma

Can you expand on how that balance is struck? How would you want to see something like the Patriot Act written in a way that strikes that balance?

JoyceGriggs202012 karma

We need to keep the 4th Amendment close at hand. The Patriot Act went around certain 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Fear of a terrorist attack does not make it reasonable to search folks who have no clear connection to any evidence thereof. But we've stretched that reasoning way too far.

ArlemofTourhut15 karma

Would you be open to redirecting the focus from cramming together too many topics into a single bill?

I honestly feel like congress would be more effective and productive if you all focused on writing a bill correctly so that it benefited everyone and stopped trying to trade other issues and their fixable viability across the floor in said consolidated bills. I understand needing to make each other amicable, but by "gambling" with the relevance and necessity of other issues, the entirety of congress is doing us the people, the real Americans and real capitalists (not suits aligned and sworn to parties ignoring their ideologies and purpose to expand upon their own capitalist desires/ wealth) a massive disservice.

Like seriously. A federation is still doomed to fail, if the individual "nations" refuse to work together. You all honestly get paid so much, to do less year after year, and I'm hoping that having another veteran on the floor will help to streamline/ expedite procedures.

Otherwise, what are you bringing to the table, that one of America's biggest (AAR-reference) communication break downs does not already have?

EDIT: Also, congratulations on hitting a milestone for yourself and our society.

JoyceGriggs202021 karma

Yes, I am. Oftentimes they add too many topics to bills which should probably be a totally different bill. The bills become diluted with a lot of items irrelevant to the main bill. I'm for streamlining the bills.

geocentrist9 karma

Do you support the COVID lockdowns? Why or why not?

JoyceGriggs202012 karma

We need to listen to the science. If we had done that, and shut down properly, we'd be open and mostly virus-free right now like most of the rest of the world, like even some US states. Most of the friends I made serving abroad tell me their friends feel sorry for America.

ENFJPLinguaphile6 karma

Hi! Thank you for your service, ma'am! Now that you have retired as a veteran, I am curious: What were the most memorable moments of your career and the most valuable lessons you learned during that time? How do you plan to apply them to your future, especially as you start a career in politics? God Bless and thanks again!

JoyceGriggs20208 karma

My most memorable experiences were making friends in unexpected places. The world is a beautiful place, and there is love in every corner of it. I have friends to this day across Asia, Africa, even in Iraq. I think the lesson I learned is all people, across the planet, mostly want the same thing. We can use that faith in negotiating with each other and building a better future.

JoyceGriggs20201 karma

And may God bless you too!

lotsmorecoffee6 karma

Are you concerned about public employee union money in politics? How would you fix police and teacher unions that protect bad officers and bad teachers?

JoyceGriggs20207 karma

Not so much their money because they are so vastly outspent by interests that are opposed to them (corporate PACs). But politically, I do think police unions have amassed too much power. Republicans love them because they love police. Democrats love them because they love unions.

I think we need to take on police unions on some issues. I have a bold criminal justice plan, which includes ending qualified immunity.

Brohozombie6 karma

Hello there! I research homelessness in a major city in the midwest. I am also a 11-year combat veteran of the US army. What will you do in your constituency to help the homeless? What is your position (if any) on Housing First? Do you know what the VA's policy on veteran homelessness is?

JoyceGriggs20208 karma

The VA says it's committed to ending homelessness but it's a toothless commitment. Every homeless brother and sister out there is a tragedy. We should not have one homeless veteran. I'd like to see a national housing plan that focuses on children and veterans first.

gentleman_bronco5 karma

Thank you for doing this. Congratulations on winning the runoff in August. And thank you for your service.

I recently moved to Savannah from Oklahoma and will be a first time voter for the state of Georgia. So far, I have seen Buddy Carter do nothing as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee even though Savannah is the east coasts third largest and busiest port. What would be your priorities on a committee such as this? To be clear, you aren't needing to win my vote, you already have it. But I am wondering how would you want to balance the demand from the port with green initiatives that economically impact Savannah.

JoyceGriggs20207 karma

I believe that we should balance our environmental issues with the demands from the port. Yes, the port brings a lot to our economy but we must also protect our environment and the people.

This Committee has the broadest jurisdiction of any authorizing committee in Congress. It legislates on a wide variety of issues, to include climate change, environmental protection, clean water and others. I would balance the demand from the port by studying the green initiatives that would have the most and immediate benefit to our community. I would balance the pros and cons of green initiatives and also get input from my constituents.

TheScarletPotato4 karma

What makes you think Georgia is going to turn blue? And thanks for doing this!

JoyceGriggs20207 karma

Georgia is diverse with people from all over the US residing here. We also have 4 military bases in my district and a lot of them are retiring in Georgia. These individuals have lived around the world and are bringing fresh and new ideas to our area. They have interacted with people of different backgrounds and are open to change. Georgia has been stuck in an oppressive environment for years and people are ready for change. I believe people are tired of politics as usual and desire politics that work for them, not billionaires.

kj_SmrtAlc4 karma

What is your stance on the intention to repeal marriage equality?

JoyceGriggs20207 karma

Marriage equality is the law of the land and I oppose any effort to overturn it.

TigersLyonsCheetahs3 karma

What is your stance on Economic Reparations for the Black descendants of American Slavery?

JoyceGriggs2020-2 karma

I believe in reparations. Black people worked three centuries on this continent without a paycheck.

gentleman_bronco3 karma

Concerning automation in the different industries. What are your thoughts on UBI as everyday jobs are being lost to robotic technologies? Call centers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, fast food, etc. They are all disappearing. How would you imagine these people surviving?

JoyceGriggs20205 karma

Very scary indeed to see technology moving in on blue collar work that built this country. At the moment, there is enough work to be done for folks to be employed when we get our economy moving. I believe in a living wage for all people. But I am open to exploring ways to make sure all people can live in dignity in the future, and that includes UBI.

barioda1 karma

Are you still motivated?

I am Marine type, but really need to know people who will be in office WITH THE PEOPLE and not nearing the end of their life to fill a bucket list.

Strategically want people who have more TIME to experience the results of their decisions instead of like these two people we have that are mainstreaming President.

JoyceGriggs20204 karma

Watch me speak to see how fired up I am!


kearlysue1 karma

How much damage has been done to our intelligence commoner the last 4 years and more importantly can we recover?

JoyceGriggs20204 karma

I believe we need to remove partisan interests from the Intelligence community. Donald Trump has attempted to use the intelligence community to advance his own political interests. That should not happen.

Some of the damage is existential. Some countries may be hesitant to trust us again for a while. But their worries will no longer have merit. I worked with these men and women for many years. Some are Republican, some are Democrats. They always put their country first. They are resilient.

omagolly1 karma

As a veteran and member of the intelligence community, can you discuss how climate change is a national security threat multiplier and which nation- state(s) pose(s) the biggest threat over the next century?

Edit: What should the state's role be in preparing/protecting vulnerable communities from climate impacts? What responsibility should the fossil fuel industry have in addressing this threat?

JoyceGriggs20205 karma

We need to take care of our most vulnerable when it comes to climate change, and that will matter right here in Georgia, where many areas where poor people live will see increasing floods. We must transition quickly to renewable energy, but even if we do, the consequences of the last century will be severe.

National security threat multiplier - Ethiopia is seeking to build a massive dam that will power half their country, but risks cutting off some water supply to Sudan and Egypt. This is not the first potential conflict to emerge from climate change limiting resources and it will most certainly not be the last. Acknowledging our role in mitigating these conflicts will be part of how we solve climate change.

The fossil fuel companies know they are going to be held responsible for what they've done, and that's why they keep trying to fund political campaigns. I don't want their money. I want them to clean up the messes they've made and start telling us the truth.

O1_O10 karma

What is your stand on taco bell, are they tacos or tostadas?

JoyceGriggs20201 karma

they are garbage

ITeechYoKidsArt-3 karma

How are you today? Good luck and congratulations!

JoyceGriggs20202 karma

Doing wonderfully with the power of prayer! How are you?

comrade_oof-5 karma

Would you support the abolition of the electoral college? Also thanks for doing this! You are an american hero!

JoyceGriggs20202 karma

Yes, and of course, and thank you.

fatalbert491-10 karma

What did you think of Donald Trump calling dead service members losers and suckers?

JoyceGriggs20200 karma

Terrible, but sadly predictable. He only thinks about what's in it for himself. Same thing with coronavirus - how can I use this to be reelected?

There are four military bases in this district. They all heard that loud and clear. On November 3rd, we make Donald Trump the biggest loser in American history.