Capitol Corner

Fellow Spotlight: Josie Feron

November 26, 2018

Josie is a senior at the University of Georgia double majoring in Political Science and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish. Throughout the course of her undergraduate career, Josie has been heavily involved on campus. She participated in the prestigious UGA Washington Semester Program as a member and Research Assistant. While in DC, she […]

Analyzing the 2018 Midterms

By: R. Emily Martin Although not a presidential election year, 2018 has been a big year for politics. Earlier this month, voters across America went to the polls and participated in the 2018 Midterm Elections. Citizens of Athens voted in twenty different categories, ranging from governor to state superintendent to four amendments and two statewide […]

The Epidemic of Homelessness in Athens

November 15, 2018

By: Monique Alavi As a University of Georgia student, whenever I think of “Athens,” the first word that pops into my head is “college town.” To be able to harbor this notion of Athens has made me exceedingly privileged. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that even though we may believe that Athens is […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ali Elyaman

October 29, 2018

Our next Fellow Spotlight goes to Ali Elyaman! Ali is a junior at the University of Georgia triple majoring in History, Political Science, and Religion with a minor in Public Policy and Management. Ali is heavily involved on campus by holding multiple leadership positions including Vice President of Administration for UGA Campus Kitchen, Dean of […]

Racial Disparities in Education in Athens-Clarke County

October 24, 2018

 By: Imane Bassit Often times when we speak at the University of Georgia about disparities in education, we don’t always think of Athens, Georgia. Many of us are privileged enough to attend the flagship institution and receive an education from the 13th top public national university according to U.S. News & World Report 2019. As I spent more […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Taylor Nchako

October 17, 2018

Taylor Nchako is a Presidential Scholar and pre-law student at the University of Georgia double majoring in Public Relations and International Affairs with a minor Fashion Merchandising. While on campus, she has served as Infusion Magazine’s graphic designer as well as Pandora yearbook’s graphic designer and Twitter manager. Outside of campus, she supports the Spencer […]

Plant Voglte: Worth It To The Ratepayer?

October 10, 2018

By: Caroline Gustavson The construction process for the nuclear power reactor, Plant Vogtle, has been anything but simple. One of the utility partners of the project, Oglethorpe Power, had until September 26that 5:00pm to decide whether or not they would continue to support the plant’s construction.[i]The building of Plant Vogtle has become controversial between the […]

Fellow Spotlight: Amy Pan

April 29, 2018

Amy Pan is a junior at the University of Georgia studying Political Science with minors in English and Communication Studies. She is a member of the Honors College, the Undergraduate Mock Trial Team, and the Student Government Association. She is also a part of the Georgia Political Review and is a Head Mentor for the […]

Fellow Spotlight: Mehak Gillani

April 09, 2018

Mehak Gillani is a junior at the University of Georgia studying International Affairs with a minor in Global Health. While at UGA Mehak has been involved with the Athens Land Trust and AIESEC. Through AIESEC she had the opportunity to intern abroad for 6 weeks at an NGO that provided aid to Afghan Migrants and […]

Fellow Spotlight: Danielle St. Amand

April 03, 2018

Danielle St. Amand is a sophomore at the University of Georgia majoring in French and Political Science. On campus Danielle serves on a committees for Camp Kesem and is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. After college she hopes to go to law school, and in the big picture Danielle aims to change […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome

March 21, 2018

By: Vaibhav Kumar Many interesting things have been happening during this phenomenal, productive Capitol Session! To begin, there was an electric car conference to ensure that environmental sustainability was prioritized throughout the state with many representatives including Representative Spencer Frye. This conference was about electric car sales plummeting in the state of Georgia. During the […]

Just say NO to ICE

March 12, 2018

In Athens-Clarke County there’s currently a very public controversy over whether to comply with requests for detention from ICE (the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency) and if so, to what extent? A couple of weeks ago I released a blog post noting that only notification of ICE appears to be mandated by the Georgia […]

Athens is a Sovereign City

March 03, 2018

By: Spencer Frye There’s been a lot of press over the last few months about the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff’s Office holding people on behalf of the US Dept. of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, or ICE. The Athens-Clarke Police Department, on the other hand, does not perform such detentions. The Sheriff’s Office says […]

Fellow Spotlight: Maisha Imam

March 01, 2018

Maisha Imam is a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in International Affairs and Political Science and minoring in Spanish with Pre-Law intent. On campus she is involved in International Student Life, WUOG 90.5 FM, Leadership UGA, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and the Muslim Student Association. Maisha plays the violin in the Athens […]

Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in School Discipline in Georgia

February 23, 2018

By: Eli Scott Racial and socioeconomic disparities in school suspension among school-age children in Georgia and in the United States generally adversely influence the outcomes of individual students and contribute to the persistence of the achievement gap. According to the Department of Education, African-American students are suspended at more than three times the rate of […]

Fellow Spotlight Alexandria Pinckney

February 20, 2018

Alexandria Pinckney is a sophomore at the University of Georgia majoring in Political Science and minoring in Spanish. On campus, she is currently involved in the Spanish Immersion Program, the Thomas N. Lay Mentorship Program, and works as a tour guide at UGA’s Visitor’s Center. Alexandria was recently accepted into the Summer 2018 Honors in […]

Voting Inaccessibility in Georgia

February 02, 2018

By: Amy Pan In today’s increasingly dynamic, modern, and progressive era, one might be surprised to learn that accessibility to the voting booth is still not a reality for some. Unfortunately, the state of Georgia is not immune to this situation. Georgia’s experience with limiting accessibility to the polls dates back to when the state […]

Campus Sexual Assault Bill

February 01, 2018

By: Maisha Imam Session has started, and there are a multitude of bills that have become the focus of attention for Georgians. One piece of legislation that has been in the public eye centers upon campus sexual assault and rape. This has continued to be a controversial topic for some time. Last year’s House Bill […]

Fellow Spotlight: Vaibhav Kumar

Vaibhav Kumar is  a second year student at the University of Georgia and is double majoring in International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in statistics. He is most passionate about education legislation and is involved on campus with the Georgia Political Review. When he is not in class or traveling to the dome […]

Fellow Spotlight: Josh Hudson

Josh Hudson is a fourth year student at the University of Georgia double majoring in Political Science and Consumer Foods with an Applied Politics Certificate. On campus, he is involved in the Division of Student Affairs Student Advisory Board, the Department of Rec Sports, and serves as a FACS Ambassador. Internationally, he took a Nutrition […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 1

January 12, 2018

By: Emily Martin This week, the Georgia State House of Representatives began its 155th session. After a year full of special elections, the structure of the House has shifted since its past meeting. In 2017, Georgia voters successfully flipped two House districts, neighboring Athens districts 117 and 119. Representative Frye represents the 118th district of […]

Food Insecurity

December 12, 2017

By Josh Hudson Every holiday season, I have dreams about all the delectable foods that I plan to gorge on with my family; from the turkey and dressing, to my grandmother’s peach cobbler, I absolutely love holiday food. With football playing on the television and the multitude of options that my family is fortunate enough […]

Campus Carry

December 09, 2017

By Alex Pinckney On July 1, 2017, House Bill 280, nicknamed the campus carry bill, was put into effect. This law will allow individuals to conceal carry a gun on the campuses of public Georgia colleges and universities. Those eligible to carry a gun are people who own a firearm license and are 21 and over. […]

Biomass Energy in Georgia

November 14, 2017

By: Zach Banov Blanketed in over 24 million acres of forest, Georgia is an ideal source for harvesting a renewable energy source called biomass1. Biomass energy is derived from wood pellets made from low-grade wood waste. The pellets are burned to generate electricity and steam. As the largest source of commercial timberland in the United […]

Foster Care in Georgia

November 13, 2017

By: Ansley McAlister As we follow our nation’s debate regarding our “Dreamers” and recipients of DACA, it makes me think of where our friends, family, and community members could end up in the very near future.  A bit closer to home, however, it makes me think of children who might not know where they’ll end […]

Fellow Spotlight: Zach Banov

October 11, 2017

Zach Banov is a fifth year student at the University of Georgia majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He currently runs the Emerging Leaders Program for Georgia Bio, a non-profit organization that promotes the growth of the life sciences industry in Georgia. Zach is particularly interested in the connection between scientific research and the policy created using […]

October Fellowship Retreat

October 10, 2017

By: Danielle St.Amand Saturday in Athens entails waking up early, brewing some coffee, and preparing for the big . . . volunteer event? On Saturday, October 7th, Representative Spencer Frye’s Fellowship team, comprised of University of Georgia students, embarked on a unique beginning to their weekend by partaking in the Fellowship Retreat. The purpose of […]

Issues In Focus: A Visit to Athens Transit

April 06, 2017

By: Alex Estroff Last week, the Fellowship team had the pleasure of meeting with Athens Transit director, Butch McDuffie. After learning more about Athens Transit’s unique citizen engagement and incredibly efficient service, there was no doubt from any of us that Athens Transit indeed deserved its 2016 Urban Community Transit of the Year award. In […]

Fellowship Spotlight

March 15, 2017

Meet Alex Estroff Graduation Date:  May 2017 Majors or Areas of Study:  Political Science and Journalism Hometown: Marietta, GA Community & Campus Involvement: Peabody Awards Student Honor Board, head mentor for the Thomas Lay afterschool program, writer for the Georgia Political Review, and member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity Interesting fact about yourself?: I climbed the […]

Fellowship Spotlight

February 27, 2017

Meet Julia Ricciardulli Graduation Date: December 2019 Majors or Areas of Study:  International Affairs, Economics, Political Science Hometown: Alpharetta, GA Community & Campus Involvement: I currently serve on the Student Government Association’s Policy Research Board. Additionally, I am a disk jockey at WUOG 90.5FM and the Political and Economic Correspondent for the Athens Journal. Interesting fact about […]

Issues in Focus: the ACCA and ageism

February 24, 2017

By: Thomas Gambill This week the Spencer Frye Legislative Research Fellows met with Eve Anthony and Erin Beasley, the CEO and Director of Operations respectively, of the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) to learn more about the aging adult community within the city of Athens and the public services provided to them. Engaged in […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome

February 21, 2017

By Annefloor de Groot With session being almost half-way complete, bills are making their way to the House floor to be voted on. New legislation is introduced every day, and as we will see, it can make direct impacts on the lives of Georgians. Continue reading below to learn about some of the important topics […]

Fellowship Spotlight

January 10, 2017

Ishana Ratan Graduation Date: May 2017 Majors or Areas of Study: Double Major in  International Affairs and Economics, Minor in Spanish Hometown: Chennai, India Community & Campus Involvement: I wrote for the food column for UGA’s Ampersand Magazine, am a tutor for Economics classes at UGA, and have been part of the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program for a year. […]

Fellowship Spotlight

December 15, 2016

  Evan Katz Graduation Date: Spring 2019 Majors or Areas of Study: Political Science, International Affairs Hometown: Atlanta, GA Community & Campus Involvement: Georgia Political Review, American Founding Group, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Interesting fact about yourself?: I’ve played the piano for 13 years. What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program?: The […]

Fellowship Spotlight

November 15, 2016

Fellow: Annefloor de Groot Graduation Date: May 2019 Majors or Areas of Study: Political Science and Communication Studies Hometown: Peachtree City, GA Community & Campus Involvement: UGA Miracle, Phi Mu Sorority, and UGA Young Democrats Interesting fact about yourself?: I was born and raised in The Netherlands until the age of eight. This experience has taught be […]

Issues in Focus: Opportunity School District

November 02, 2016

This election season in Georgia there are four amendments for the voters to decide upon.  Amendment One, also known as Opportunity School District (OSD) garnered much controversy and debate throughout the state.  OSD was created by Senate Bill 133 and would allow the government to take over “chronically failing” schools and inject various policy changes […]

Issues in Focus: Public Transportation

October 20, 2016

By: Tyler Parks Georgia, known for its great weather, good food, and recent economic boom, is also known for its terrible traffic problems. The most recent survey by INRIX, a traffic information leader, ranks Atlanta as the 9th worst U.S city for traffic, with 59 hours per commuter wasted annually. This is due, in part, […]

Fellowship Spotlight

October 04, 2016

Fellow spotlight: Alanna Pierce Graduation Date:  May 2017 Major:  Theatre Hometown: Athens Other Community & Campus Involvement: Demosthenian Literary Society, UGA Theatre Department, Athens Anti-OSD What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program? What interested me was how much the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program gives to the community.  I really like how the fellows are given […]

Fellowship Spotlight

April 01, 2016

Fellow Spotlight: Luke Boggs Graduation Date: December 2015 Majors or Areas of Study: Political Science and History Hometown: Saint Marys, Georgia Community & Campus Involvement: Demosthenian Literary Society, Young Democrats of Georgia What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program? I first became interested in the program because of how varied and deep […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Sine Die

March 28, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Sine Die Time during the final day of the 2016 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly expired on Sine Die. While lawmaking is technically supposed to end at the stroke of midnight on the 40th day, legislators found themselves voting into the early morning of March 25, what […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Ten

March 21, 2016

With only two legislative days remaining, Rep. Frye is still working hard in the General Assembly to have a strong finish.  Keep reading to see what happened this week under the Gold Dome. Religious Liberty Bill Passes On Wednesday night, the religious freedom bill passed the Georgia state legislature. In order for the bill to […]

Fellowship Spotlight

March 18, 2016

This week we caught up with Eleanor. Read more here to learn a little more about her experiences as a fellow. Fellow Spotlight: Eleanor Traynham Graduation Date: May 2017 Majors or Areas of Study: Public Relations and Political Science Hometown: Macon, GA Community & Campus Involvement: I’m a member of Phi Mu where I previously […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 9

March 14, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Nine The Georgia General Assembly had another busy week as the 2016 session quickly approaches an end.  With only a few legislative days left in the session, the House and the Senate both passed several bills, and a number of other bills are working their way through the […]

Fellowship Spotlight

March 11, 2016

This week we talked with Anna Beth Smith about her experience as a FACS intern and fellow for Rep. Frye. Graduation Date: August 2017 Majors or Areas of Study: Human Development and Family Sciences and Political Science Hometown: Macon, GA Graduation Date: August 2017 Majors or Areas of Study: Human Development and Family Sciences, Political Science Community […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 8

March 07, 2016

With Crossover Day in the rearview mirror, work in the Georgia General Assembly is now overflowing across the halls. Bills passed in the House of Representatives will now need to be approved in the Senate, and the same goes for bills that received the Senate’s approval that await a decision in the House. There are […]

State Route 316

March 03, 2016

Learn more about how Rep. Frye is supporting Georgia State Route 316 improvements here:

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 7

February 29, 2016

Today marks day 30 under the Gold Dome! On day 30, also known as Crossover Day, any bill that has not passed its original chamber will not continue in the legislative process. However, there are creative ways to amend bills that have survived by inserting the legislation that did not pass, thus keeping the idea […]

Fellowship Spotlight

February 26, 2016

Fellowship Spotlight: Kristyn Hicks Graduation Date: May 2017 Majors or Areas of Study: Public relations, Political Science and New Media Hometown: Dallas, Georgia Community & Campus Involvement: Public Relations Student Society of America, Rep. Spencer Frye Fellowship What interested you most about the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program? I was interested in the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program […]

House Bill 1032

February 25, 2016

House Bill 1032 could be a step towards positive change regarding public transportation. Rep. Frye is proud to co-sponsor a bill that would provide more public transportation and help relieve some of the frustrating Atlanta traffic. Learn more about HB 1032 and some of the potential beneficial outcomes here.

Issues in Focus

February 24, 2016

Save Yourself Some Green…We Mean Money and the Environment By: Kristyn Hicks What is House Bill 877? House Bill 877 clarifies what it means for a vehicle to use alternative fuel, clean fuel or electricity by plugging-in. This bill also proposes income tax credits for the next three years for vehicles that uses alternative energy. “I […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 6

February 22, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Six This week was a busy one for the Georgia General Assembly.  With just a few legislative days remaining, every single day brings us closer to reaching decisions that impact the community. Continue reading below to see what Rep. Frye accomplished during week six. Cutting the Cost HB […]

Fellowship Spotlight

February 19, 2016

This week we caught up with Karsyn Kendrick, a senior at UGA with a passion for helping others and a special interest in the German language and culture. Graduation Date: May 2016 Majors or Areas of Study: International Affairs and German Hometown: Augusta, Ga Community & Campus Involvement: Spencer Frye Fellowship, Pi Sigma Alpha member […]

House Bill 877

February 18, 2016

  Legislation from the 2015 session removed some of the benefits of purchasing environmentally friendly vehicles. Rep. Frye is working with other representatives this session to win those incentives back. HB 877 will bring back the income tax credits for low-emission and plug-in vehicles that were lost. Learn more about the legislation here.   

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 5

February 15, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Five Another week has passed, and the Georgia General Assembly has officially reached the halfway point in the session.  With 20 days left to create new legislation this session, continue reading here to see what Rep. Frye has accomplished so far under the Gold Dome. At the Crosswalk […]

Fellowship Spotlight

February 12, 2016

Fellowship Spotlight:  Kalin Wilson Today we talked to Kalin Wilson for our Fellowship Spotlight. Kalin shared some of her future goals and plans as well what she is learning during her time as a legislative fellow with the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program. Graduation Date: May 2016 Majors or Areas of Study: Economics/Pre-law Hometown: New York […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 4

February 08, 2016

As the Georgia General Assembly presses onward towards March 24 and Sine Die, here’s a look at the issues Rep. Frye discussed this week under the Gold Dome. Early Voting Starts Monday Advance voting for the 2016 presidential preference primary started Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, at the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections located at 155 […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week Three

February 01, 2016

By: Ryan Switzer Another week under the Gold Dome has passed, and the Georgia General Assembly is beginning the 13th day of the legislative session this morning. During week three in Atlanta, Rep. Frye fought for many issues that will have direct and significant effects back home in the 118th district. Carry On Campus Debate […]

Issues in Focus: “Marijuana: The Overlooked Outcomes”

January 29, 2016

By Kier Joy According to the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group for criminal justice reform, the United States currently holds the largest incarceration rate of any country in the world with 2.2 million people in prison. Of those 2.2 million people, 55 percent of those federal prisoners are placed in prison for non-violent […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Elizabeth Hall

January 27, 2016

  Fellow Spotlight: Elizabeth Hall Today we talked to Elizabeth Hall for our Fellowship Spotlight. Elizabeth shared some of her favorite places in Athens as well as what she is looking forward to during her time in the public relations department with the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program. Graduation Date: Spring 2017 Majors or Areas of […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 2

January 25, 2016

This Week Under the Gold Dome By: Ryan Switzer During the second week of the legislative session, Rep. Frye continued to build positive proposals to address issues affecting the district and the state. While he worked, several controversial issues were discussed. Let’s Talk About Taxes Senate Bill 280 is a proposal to lower the state […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome

January 18, 2016

By Elizabeth Holland The 2016 presidential election is the most explosive campaign in recent memory. Everyone seems to have an opinion about whom should win the primaries or ultimately be president. But while this talk consumes the media, lawmaking with direct results is actually taking place. The 2016 Georgia General Assembly convened for its first […]

Efforts to End Domestic Violence and Help Victims of Sexual Assault

December 03, 2015

By: Sam Cleare The Spencer Frye Fellowship team recently had the opportunity to visit The Cottage, an Athens-based non-profit devoted to child advocacy and combating sexual assault.  While there, we had the opportunity to hear about the organization’s work, recent changes in the services it provides, and possible challenges it may face in the future. Through […]

November Policy Snapshot

November 18, 2015

By Gary Ashcroft As Thanksgiving draws near, and as one lucky bird eagerly awaits a presidential pardon, the Spencer Frye team is here to highlight three political stories that are sure to “gobble up” any awkward pauses in your Turkey Day family arguments discussions. Forget Bay of Pigs – what about “Bay of Chickens”? While […]

The Earned Income Tax Credit: A Bipartisan Tool to Fight Poverty

November 11, 2015

By: Daniel McCracken Over the last several years, Americans have been paying more attention to the growing problems of poverty and income inequality. However, there is broad disagreement across the political spectrum about how to address them. Among Democrats, popular positions include expanding social programs (funded by raising taxes on wealth or capital gains) and raising […]

Community Connections: Ensuring No Need Goes Unmet

November 04, 2015

By: Karsyn Kendrick   Founded in 1978, Community Connection serves 13 counties in Northeast Georgia, and its mission is to “strengthen the individuals and organizations of our region to ensure that no need goes unmet”. This last week, the Spencer Frye Legislative Fellows had the opportunity to meet with Julie Farmer, the Referral Manager for […]

On the Docket: Fundamental Tax Reform in Georgia?

October 28, 2015

By: Jordy Berne Months in advance of the next legislative session, attention is already turning to tax reform. Legislators typically pass a few tax bills every year, but substantial overhaul hasn’t happened since 2012. This year might be different though; a new tax overhaul bill was introduced last session that appears to have the support […]

Habitat for Humanity: Building a Better Future for Athens-Clarke County

October 21, 2015

By: Stuart Swinea On Friday, October 16th, the Spencer Frye Fellowship Team visited the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity. Our visit involved a conversation with Representative Frye on the organization’s operations and their positive impact on the community. This discussion helped us examine the challenges that face Athens and the ways in which those challenges […]

What We Talk about When We Talk about Women’s Reproductive Health: A Look into the Planned Parenthood Controversy and its Implications for Georgia

October 14, 2015

By: Leah Young   This July, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a secretly recorded video in which Planned Parenthood executives discussed providing fetal tissue to medical researchers. This video has prompted a raging debate over women’s reproductive rights and government funding of Planned Parenthood. Despite the great degree of noise about these issues, […]

October Policy Snapshot

October 07, 2015

By: Gary Ashcroft October Policy Snapshot As lawmakers continue to gear up for the spring session, and as policy wonks wait for the political fireworks to start at the Golden Dome, the Spencer Frye team is here to bring you up to speed on 5 important policy developments from the past month.    1. Craft […]

Fellow Visit: Casa de Amistad

September 30, 2015

By: Gregory Joy At the intersection of multiculturalism, community outreach, religion, and Athens lies a small nonprofit with a big heart. This organization, Casa de Amistad, seeks to address the needs of Athens’s Latino community and assists over 300 Latino families each year. On Wednesday September 23rd, the members of the Spencer Frye Fellowship team […]

The Sharing Economy

September 22, 2015

By: Gary Ashcroft The sharing economy has become an idol of the modern business world, with the success of companies in this field suggesting that the sky is the limit. Room-sharing service Airbnb is projected to rake in over $900 million this year, while ride-sharing facilitator Uber is expected to net around $2 billion. Beyond […]

What the Supreme Court’s Decision Means for Me

July 01, 2015

By: Luke Boggs After last week’s Supreme Court decision in King vs. Burwell, the Affordable Care Act remains intact, preventing hundreds of thousands of Georgians from losing access to the financial assistance they need to maintain good health. The plaintiffs’ argument, based on a narrow interpretation of the law, sought to have subsides removed for […]

June Policy Snapshot

June 26, 2015

By: Kyle Hayes Although the legislature is not in session, policymakers across the state are hard at work dealing with the important problems and preparing for next session. Over the summer we’ll deliver monthly policy updates to keep you informed on the latest in Georgia’s policy debates. Here’s June’s top 5: *Update*: Friday morning saw […]

Fellow Spotlight: Victoria Ward

April 20, 2015

This week we talked with Victoria Ward for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Victoria’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2015 Majors or Areas of Study: Public Relations and Marketing Hometown: Augusta, […]

Fellow Spotlight: Breyuana Smith

April 10, 2015

This week we talked with Breyuana Smith for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Breyuana’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2016 Major or Area of Study: Public Relations Hometown: Lawrenceville, […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Sine Die Edition

April 07, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland The legislative session for 2015 came to an end late in the evening on Thursday. Here is a recap on what made it through the legislative gauntlet this year including Spencer’s crosswalk bill, new transportation funding, and a plan to take over schools perceived to be failing. Spencer’s Legislation: Although Rep. Frye […]

Fellow Spotlight: Kaylee Maxwell

April 04, 2015

This week we talked with Kaylee Maxwell for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Kaylee’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2016 Major or Area of Study: Law Hometown: Bainbridge, GA […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Sine Die Draws Near

March 30, 2015

By: Kyle Hayes The pace at the Gold Dome picked up last week as the end of the 2015 Session nears. Dozens of bills worked their way towards the end of the legislative process including legislation impacting our schools, the civil rights of Georgians, our environment, and our beer. House Approves Opportunity School District, Decision […]

Fellow Spotlight: Samantha Keitt

March 27, 2015

This week we talked with Samantha Keitt for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Samantha’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2017 Major or Area of Study: Public Relations | Minor: Political […]

Opportunity School District Falls Short of Meeting Needs of Georgia’s Most Disadvantaged Students

March 24, 2015

By: Kyle Hayes During his State of the State Address, the Governor signaled his intentions to file a plan with the legislature to provide greater state oversight for schools deemed “failing” based on standardized assessments. By February, this plan was introduced in the form of Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287. His proposed constitutional […]

Fellow Spotlight: Blake Feldman

March 21, 2015

This week we talked with Blake Feldman for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to him about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what his best experience has been so far, and what some of Blake’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date:  May 2015 Major or Area of Study: Law School Hometown: Newton, MS […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Crossover Day Edition

March 17, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland Athens was a little quieter this week as students were away for spring break, but debate under the Gold Dome was loud as members of the General Assembly made their final push to get bills to the opposite chamber before Crossover day. Crossover day, the 30th day of session, is the final […]

Fellow Spotlight: Emma Cramer

March 13, 2015

This week we talked with Emma Cramer for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Emma’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2016 Major or Area of Study: Public Relations, International Affairs Hometown: […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Roads, Rails, and Crosswalks

March 09, 2015

By: Kyle Hayes The House made it closer to the home stretch of session last week by voting on one of Georgia’s most important challenges. Check out the all transportation edition of This Week Under the Gold Dome. Transportation Funding Clears House On Thursday, the House passed legislation injecting almost $1 billion into Georgia’s roads […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 7

March 03, 2015

Despite the weather, last week was a busy week as the House made progress on some of the more visible legislative proposals during this session. The House passed the budget for fiscal year 2016, discussed minority participation in transportation projects, and approved medical marijuana legislation after a two-year effort. House of Representatives Votes to Approve […]

Issues in Focus: Raising the Minimum Wage

February 25, 2015

By: David Douds and Kaylee Maxwell Raising the minimum wage, or the existence of a minimum wage at all, is one of those topics that nearly everyone you meet will have some opinion on. Some will argue that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs because employers won’t be able to employ the same number […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 5

February 23, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland Transportation Update This week the Transportation Committee passed House Bill 170 by committee substitute. As it was passed by committee substitute, the bill has seen many changes since its original version. One of the new amendments allows local governments to create a 1.25 percent sales tax instead of the 1 percent allowed […]

Fellow Spotlight: Andrew Stoehr

February 20, 2015

This week we talked with Andrew Stoehr for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to him about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what his best experience has been so far, and what some of Andrew’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: I will graduate in May 2017. Major or Area of Study:I am […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 4

February 16, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland House Votes to Facilitate Residential Use of Solar Power Athens is a city on the front lines of conservation and concern for the environment. From the recycling bins across UGA’s campus to the recycling pick-up that occurs in many of your front yards, Athens is a town that knows our current resources […]

Fellow Spotlight: Sezi Erdin

February 13, 2015

This week we talked with Sezi Erdin for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Sezi’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: Spring 2016 Major or Area of Study: Political Science and International Affairs […]

Square One: Medical Marijuana

February 11, 2015

By: Shannon Mcdermott On this edition of Square One, we take a look at the increasingly important issue of medical marijuana, including how it can help children suffering from debilitating diseases and why everyone in Georgia seems to be talking about it. Legalizing medical marijuana is an issue that frequents all forms of media and […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Transportation, Education, and Medical Marijuana

February 09, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland The legislators were back to work last week with discussions on some of the biggest challenges the state faces like transportation and education. While we wait for the bills to start hitting the floor, check out the latest from the Dome this week. Tracking Transportation The Transportation Funding Act of 2015 has […]

Fellow Spotlight: Elizabeth Holland

February 06, 2015

This week we talked with Elizabeth Holland for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to her about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what her best experience has been so far, and what some of Elizabeth’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: Spring 2016 Major or Area of Study: Political Science and Public Relations […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Week 2

February 03, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland While the days may be cold, business under the dome is heating up. Through the budget discussions, the transportation debate and new legislation, Spencer has been advocating for you on these major issues. Revised Budget When lawmakers allocate money for next year’s budget, the total amount of the budget is based on […]

Fellow Spotlight: Gary Ashcroft

January 30, 2015

This week we talked with Gary Ashcroft for our profile series Fellow Spotlights.  We discussed what was appealing to him about joining the Spencer Frye Fellowship Program, what his best experience has been so far, and what some of Gary’s favorite things about Athens are. Graduation Date: May 2016 Degree/Standing: 2L at UGA Law Hometown: Cochran, GA Community/Campus Involvement: […]

Issues in Focus: Georgia Breweries

January 29, 2015

By: Nathan Lavender and Andrew Stoehr Fairness. It’s a quality we cultivate in this country and this state. This quality extends to small businesses trying to compete in today’s competitive world. However, in Georgia, one group of businesses is not treated with the same fairness the rest of our state’s industry enjoys: Georgia’s Brewers. Craft […]

This Week Under the Gold Dome: Budget Week

January 26, 2015

By: Elizabeth Holland Welcome back to This Week Under the Gold Dome, our weekly rundown of events at the Capitol and here in the Athens community. Spencer Hosts Affordable Care Act Enrollment Event: Spencer’s vision of a stronger Georgia begins with you and the community he serves. Representative Frye never loses sight of this vision while […]

A Letter to My Constituents: True Solutions

January 11, 2015

By: Spencer Frye Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2015-2016 legislative session, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back to the Gold Dome. During the last two years, we have made significant progress for our state. In 2013, we eliminated red tape to allow for a grocery store in downtown areas like […]

Fellow Spotlight: Laura Pontari

October 18, 2014

Check out the latest of our Fellow Spotlights on Laura Pontari. Find out what she loves about the Spencer Frye Fellowship program, what her favorite part of the experience has been, and the things Laura loves about Athens….

What We’re Reading: Monday, October 13th

October 13, 2014

Check out what we’re reading this week, including two op-eds covering the state of standardized testing in our schools, education at the center of the AJC editorial page, and early voting dates and times!…