Georgia’s military families “have served our nation, they have served our state, and we need to keep our promise to them.” House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) describes “A Promise Kept” to WABE reporter Denis O’Hayer.
WABE Reporter Denis O’Hayer: Of the things we talked about so far, is there anything that is a priority for the Democrats that we haven’t talked about?
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta): We have a project that we call ‘A Promise Kept,’ and as I referenced with Medicaid expansion, we have military families that… We have promised a certain quality of life in Georgia, they have served our nation, they have served our state, and we need to keep our promise to them. Georgia will be part of the Base Realignment and Closure conversation, the BRAC conversation, and folks will remember…
WABE: Well, it has to be, it still has a lot of military installation.
Abrams: We have 10. We have more than 70,000 employees directly employed by our military installations, and we have thousands more who were supported by the military installations in the State, and if we recall, when this happened in 2000, we lost Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem. The Department of Defense has identified 10 metrics that it believes are critical for states to be in good standing with their bases. South Carolina has met all 10, Georgia has only met five, and we are pushing legislation this year that will make sure that we come into compliance with all 10, that includes making certain that we don’t allow predatory lending to take place near our bases, that we provide for employment opportunities for spouses of the military, that we do the work, the regulatory work to help support welfare services for the children of our military families, that we do the educational supports that they ask, and so, we’ll be offering a package of legislation in the next couple of weeks that we believe will be bipartisan, they will serve the entire state, and they will help protect us against the possibility of losing our bases.
WABE: Has anybody in the Republican leadership signed on to it yet?
Abrams: We have not presented the legislation yet, so no, but we have had a series of town hall meetings across the state and we’ve had great bipartisan support. We’ve had support from the local chambers, from communities who recognize, that again, our military is not… It’s not a partisan organization, it’s about how do we continue to serve and keep our promise to these families.