Capitol Corner

Fellow Spotlight: Kaitlyn Muzio

   This week’s Fellow Spotlight goes out to Kaitlyn Muzio! Kaitlyn is a third year from Cumming, Georgia, majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Sociology. In her spare time, she enjoys reading classical literature and campaigning with SGA candidates. We have loved having her in the Fellowship this year!

Addressing Immigration

Immigration has been a long-standing controversial issue throughout American history, let alone the world. A touchy subject in the House and the Senate, the U.S. has not had too many bills and laws regarding immigration. One particular bill created massive change for the future of immigrants, especially during its time, the Immigration Reform and Control […]

A Mother’s Touch: The Case for Extended Paid Maternal Leave in Georgia

The health of a newborn depends on the health of the mother. This was the finding of research conducted by the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.[1] The study investigated the associations between maternal health both during pregnancy and up to 15 months from childbirth and children’s health outcomes during infancy and adolescence.[Ibid] The results of […]

Fellow Spotlight: Ian Roberts

  This week’s Fellow Spotlight goes out to Ian Roberts! Ian is a Sophomore from Americus, GA, majoring in Political Science and History while minoring in Religion and Philosophy. Outside of academia, Ian serves as both the Co-Junior Warden and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Episcopal Campus Ministry at UGA, while also being […]

Fellow Spotlight: Aarov Malhotra

  This week’s Fellow Spotlight is dedicated to Aarov Malhotra! Aarov is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the only first-year student in the Fellowship, majoring in Economics and Political Science while minoring in Health Policy and Management. In his spare time, Aarov loves to play club ultimate frisbee and volunteers with the Athens Prison […]

Adequate Composting Infrastructure in Georgia

Imagine a world where every business in Georgia was to replace its single-use plastics with biodegradable and compostable alternatives. Imagine that all containers and to-go cutlery were made of plant-derived plastic. Although it would be easy to assume that the change would be advantageous for the environment, such a situation could lead to an increase […]

Fellow Spotlight: Francesca Mariano

This week’s fellow spotlight goes to Francesca Mariano! Francesca is a Sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, double majoring in Political Science and International Affairs while minoring in Italian. Francesca is very involved in extracurricular activities being a member of the SPIA Ambassador Program, an office assistant for the Office of International Student Life, and a member […]

Taxation Without Benefits: Lowering the Annual EV Registration Fee

Georgia has one of the highest annual taxes on electric vehicles (EVs) in the nation. Currently, the fee for non-commercial alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) is $210.87 and $316.40 for commercial AFVs.[1] These fees are determined based on a formula that changes annually, and has continuously increased over the past couple of years. These steep prices […]

Adequate Staffing and Funding for Correctional Facilities

A radio, a set of keys, and a baton. For most corrections officers in Georgia, these three items are the only resources they have during their shifts in state prison units.[1] According to the Department of Justice, the federal baseline inmate-to-corrections-officer ratio is 15:1. In the state of Georgia, some understaffed prisons are experiencing a […]

Fellow Spotlight: Ashton Sellers

  This week’s fellow spotlight goes to Ashton Sellers! Ashton is a third year from Ellijay, Georgia, majoring in English and minoring in Political Science and International Affairs. Ashton has been a member of the UGA Young Democrats, active in the community through canvassing, and involved in several volunteering opportunities at the local ACC jail […]

How Tele-health Can Prevent Maternity Care Deserts

Currently, fewer than half of the rural hospitals in the nation have maternal units. More than 2.2 million women of childbearing age across 1,119 US counties live in maternity care deserts without hospitals offering obstetric care or birth centers.[1] The rapid closure of rural hospital maternity wards in 2023 is exacerbating the issue with mothers […]

How Walkable Cities Can Save Lives and Transform Communities

As pedestrian fatalities surge to an unprecedented high, it is time to critically examine the measures required to transform Georgia cities into walkable communities. A 2023 report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated that approximately 7,500 pedestrians had been killed while commuting on U.S. highways.[1] This number represents a 40-year peak in nationwide […]

Fellow Spotlight: Jack Jarashow

This week, the Fellow receiving the Spotlight is none other than Jack Jarashow! Jack is a second-year from Marlboro, New Jersey majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in Spanish and Statistics. Filling out his burgeoning academic career, Jack is an active member of several extracurricular groups such as, the Georgia Kickstart Fund, Athens […]

Tackling Affordable Childcare and Its Gender Related Discrepancies

Who pays the price when childcare is hard to come by? Georgia’s failure to adequately support working families in need of affordable childcare options hurts the economy and drives women out of the workforce.   In the state of Georgia, affordable childcare options are hard to come by as early childcare professionals and staffers continue […]

A Case for Tuition-Free Technical Schools in Georgia

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. economy experienced a rapid rebound that few had expected. [1] People clamored for goods and services that had been put on hold to slow the transmission of COVID-19; however, consumers would be kept waiting.  The shortage of skilled workers was already on the rise; however, the […]

Fellow Spotlight: Anthony Tringali

  Our first Fellow Spotlight of the spring semester goes to Anthony Tringali! Anthony is a fourth year from Kennesaw, GA, double majoring in Economics and Political Science and double minoring in French and International Affairs. In addition to being a dedicated academic, Anthony is also a member of several organizations such as the Alpha Kappa […]

Adopting Full Medicaid Expansion in Georgia

As one of ten states that have not adopted full Medicaid expansion, Georgia leads as one of the country’s top states for uninsured rates. While the uninsured rate in Georgia has seen a downward trend over time, the trend has been too slow to account for the critical necessity for immediate action.[1] Today, 1.2 million […]

Fellow Spotlight: Niamh Dempsey

Our final Fellow Spotlight of the semester goes to Niamh Dempsey! Niamh is a fourth year from The Turks and Caicos Islands, double majoring in International Affairs and Political Science and minoring in Law, Jurisprudence, and the State whilst also pursuing a certificate in Applied Politics. Outside of being an academic weapon, Niamh is the […]

Rural Healthcare Providers in Georgia

Healthcare in rural Georgia is in desperate need of a change because due to limited access. 89 Georgia counties have been identified as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas.[1] More specifically, as of 2020, 9 counties had no physicians; 82 counties had no OB/GYN physicians; 65 counties had no pediatric physicians; and 90 counties had […]

Fellow Spotlight: Nishat Nayla

This week’s spotlight goes to Nishat Nayla! Nishat is a second year from Chamblee, Georgia, majoring in both International Affairs and Economics. Outside of the Fellowship, she is the Government Relations Director with SGA for SGA at UGA and is a PR intern at the Georgia Museum of Art. She has been a valuable member […]

Addressing Mandatory Minimums, Non-Violent Drug Offenses

America has a prison problem. As of 2020, nearly one out of every 100 Americans were incarcerated [1]. Nearly 63% of those incarcerated are serving sentences equal to or longer than ten years [2]. The issue of mass incarceration in America is due to many complex and intertwined factors and policies, with one such policy […]

Schedule F Civil Service Appointments and Their Potential Effects

In October 2020, then-President Trump signed Executive Order 13957, creating a new federal job classification known as Schedule F appointments. In simple terms, Schedule F was designed to make it far easier for political officials to fire and discipline non-political policy-focused government workers. While the legal basis for the executive order originates from an interpretation […]

Fellow Spotlight: Saanvikha Saravanan

This week’s Fellow Spotlight goes to Saanvikha Saravanan! Saanvikha is a third year from Suwannee, Georgia, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and minoring in Spanish and Applied Biotechnology. It is her first year with the Fellowship and she has proven to be a great addition to the program! Outside of the Fellowship, Saanvikha is […]

Fellow Spotlight: Anna Rachwalski

The Fellow Spotlight this week goes to Anna Rachwalski! Anna is a second year from Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in Economics, English, and International Affairs. It is Anna’s first year with the Fellowship and we have thoroughly enjoyed having her. Outside of the Fellowship, Anna is a member of the Crisis Insights and Analytics Lab and […]

Reforming Georgia’s Cash Bail System

A terrible new trend has taken over America’s prison systems in the past fifty years. Mass incarceration, or the exponential growth in this nation’s prison population, first started to become an apparent problem in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, this trend was only further inflamed by political pressure aimed to combat the uptick in crime by adding […]

Fellow Spotlight: Caroline Oliver

The Fellow Spotlight this week goes to Caroline Oliver! Caroline is a fourth year from Sandy Springs, GA, majoring in Health Promotion and minoring in Spanish, and Health Policy and Management. She is a Senior Staff member within the Fellowship and leads the Housing and Rural Development policy groups. Outside of the Fellowship, she is […]

Cybersecurity Challenges in Georgia’s Elections

Georgia’s elections have become heavily scrutinized. After Joe Biden won the presidency due to a narrow lead in Georgia, and the senatorial election of Raphael Warnock determined control of the Senate, the state’s role in national politics cannot be ignored [1]. Recently, former President Donald Trump, and 19 other defendants, were charged by a grand […]

Fellow Spotlight: Bianca Medeiros Pinto

The Fellow Spotlight this week goes to Bianca Medeiros Pinto! Bianca is a fourth year from Dacula, Georgia, double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with a minor in Law, Ethics, and Philosophy. It is her first year with the Fellowship, and we have enjoyed having her! Outside of the Fellowship, Bianca is the president of […]

Adequate Funding for Public School Transportation

For many public school students, the school day starts by riding on the bus. Indeed, adequate school transportation is essential for the 932,693 students in Georgia who ride the bus daily.[1] Unfortunately, to the detriment of these students and school transportation employees, the Georgia General Assembly has consistently underfunded transportation costs for decades and the […]

Addressing Police Brutality

It has happened again. On Friday, January 27th, a disturbing video was released of the violent arrest of Memphis resident Tyre Nichols. According to a statement from the Memphis Police Department, twenty days prior to the video’s release Nichols was returning back to his home in Memphis when he was pulled over for reckless driving […]

Long-Term Care in Georgia

As the population of the United States ages, the need for long-term care services will continue to grow, placing more strain on the current system. The Association for Community Living estimates that 70% of individuals over the age of 65 will need to access some form of long-term care services.[1] Long-term care facilities include nursing […]

Automatic Sealing of Eviction Records

Within the context of the current housing crisis, evictions have become an even more salient issue among Georgians and hold far more lasting consequences than anticipated. Over the past year, nearly 3.5% of the residents that constitute the five counties in the metro Atlanta region have had evictions filed against them.[1] Though this percentage may […]

Fellow Spotlight: Caroline Oliver

This week’s fellow spotlight goes out to Caroline Oliver! Caroline is a third-year Health Promotion student, and it is her first year with the fellowship. Caroline is originally from Sandy Springs, GA. Beyond the fellowship, she has held leadership positions in Pi Beta Phi and worked with UGA Miracle and Oasis Tutoring. Caroline had an […]

Re-Evaluating QBE Funding

Proper funding for our schools is of utmost importance. Students must have access to all the resources they need to succeed in life. Georgia’s current system for funding public education is based on the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE). Initially passed in 1985, this formula remains responsible for “distributing nearly $11 billion to…1.6 million public […]

Fellow Spotlight: Isabel Archer

Isabel Archer is a third-year from Atlanta, Georgia. This is her second year with the fellowship. We are happy to have her back, especially because she is super involved! Isabel is a Political Science major with minors in Women’s Studies and Law. Additionally, she recently completed the Applied Politics Professional Certificate. On top of her […]

Fellow Spotlight: Wally Stover III

Wally is a second-year Political Science & International Affairs double major. It is Wally’s first year with the fellowship, and he is also involved with Young Dems at UGA. Wally is originally from Ellijay, Georgia where he volunteers with the Ellijay Lions Club. Wally’s talents include playing both the piano and guitar, as well as […]

Mental Health Resources in School

In the past few years, the number of middle and high school students dealing with mental health issues has increased. Teachers cannot successfully teach if mental health is not being addressed. Kids’ basic needs being met needs to be prioritized.    The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many mental health struggles for all age groups. Children suffering […]

Fellow Spotlight: Riley Batz

Next up on our fellow spotlight series is Riley Batz! Riley is a second-year at UGA majoring in Economics and double-minoring in Political Science and Law, Jurisprudence, & the State. In addition to the Fellowship, Riley is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law fraternity! She is also involved […]

Fellow Spotlight: Juliana Hartley

This week, we are highlighting Juliana Hartley! Juliana is a second-year at UGA studying Political Science and Economics and is also pursuing a certificate in Data Analytics and Public Policy. In addition to these rigorous studies, Juliana is an active member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She is also a staff member for Strike Magazine […]

Food or Rent? Tackling Georgia’s Housing Crisis

When one thinks of Georgia, they typically envision the “Empire State of The South” where almost everyone has a roof over their head, incomes remain high, and there is a sense of overall economic well-being. For middle and higher-income individuals in the state, this is indeed true, but for lower-income individuals, the ability to buy […]

Fellow Spotlight: Paige Graham

Paige Graham is our fellow spotlight of the week! Paige is a fourth-year International Affairs and Spanish major. She is also pursuing a Master’s of International Policy through the Double Dawgs program. It is Paige’s first year with the fellowship, and she has already made her mark by becoming a Capitol Fellow. Paige is originally […]

Addressing Food Insecurity in Athens

One in every five people in Athens-Clarke County is experiencing food insecurity.[1] In the past decade, many local Athens organizations and nonprofits have made individual efforts to reduce this problem. However, despite a common goal, no system has been able to unite these actors’ work. One solution to this problem is establishing a “Food Policy […]

ICE Facilities in Georgia

During his campaign, President Biden vowed to end all privately-run detention facilities, including immigration detention facilities.[1] The United States immigration system uses detention facilities to keep individuals suspected of visa violations, illegal entry, or any kind of immigration violation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has two detainment offices: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), […]

Fellow Spotlight: Carlos Lopez Ramirez

Carlos Lopez Ramirez is a fourth-year at UGA majoring in Computer Science, Psychology, and Cognitive Science. It is Carlos’ first year with the fellowship. Carlos is from Cumming, GA. Outside of the fellowship, Carlos is involved in Corsair Society UGA, which is a group for business students to connect them to alumni. Additionally, Carlos works […]

The Potential for Clean Energy in Georgia

As carbon dioxide levels on our planet continue to increase, many states have enacted legislation to reduce gas production. Although a state with a massive opportunity to produce clean power instead of carbon dioxide, Georgia has fallen behind in the race to decrease carbon dioxide levels. Data recorded in 2019 by the U.S. Energy Information […]

Progressive Prosecution as a Solution to Georgia’s Incarceration Rate

Georgia has the fourth-highest prison incarceration rate in the country. In 2021, Georgia’s prison incarceration rate was 968 inmates per 100,000 people — well above the national average of 664 per 100,000.[1] Furthermore, in both jail and prison incarceration, ethnic disparities can be observed, with Blacks and Latinos being overrepresented while Whites are underrepresented.[2] On […]

The Recent Threat to Affirmative Action

The use of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in college admissions has been the subject of criticism, mainly for using race as a positive factor in the admissions process. Despite the clear necessity for diversity throughout this country’s education system, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (SFFA), filed suit against the University of […]

School-to-Prison Pipeline

A national trend is pushing students who misbehave out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The school-to-prison pipeline (STPP) is a result of the objective application of harsh disciplinary measures and the overuse of referrals to law enforcement that set up vulnerable students for failure. These policies include zero-tolerance school […]

Importance of Telehealth and Telemedicine Services in Georgia

A 2019 study by the Commonwealth Fund ranked Georgia 42nd for state healthcare system performance with the biggest problems being affordability and accessibility of healthcare statewide.[1] A large portion of Georgians, especially those residing in rural communities, lack access to quality, affordable healthcare.[2] Telehealth and telemedicine have the potential to provide immediate access to a healthcare […]

The Possibilities for Rail Expansion in Georgia

The United States is on the brink of a major expansion in freight and passenger rail lines.  Thanks in part to a $66 billion rail investment in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Georgia lawmakers have the opportunity to pursue new statewide rail projects.[1] In the past 10 years, Georgia’s population grew by over […]

Continuums of Care

Homelessness has chronically plagued Georgia’s urban areas, but with the efforts of non-profit organizations and increased funding allocations, homelessness numbers in Atlanta have dropped 38% since 2020.[1] Unfortunately, surrounding rural areas cannot say the same. As of 2018, one-third of those experiencing homeless on a given night live in rural Georgia.[2]   The Department of […]

Closing the Homework Gap with Chromebooks

The “homework gap” is a term FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel used to describe students’ difficulty getting online at home to complete school assignments.[1] With 93% of students participating in some form of virtual education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue was thrust into mainstream conversation.[2]   The homework gap stems from a lack of internet […]

“Constitutional Carry”: An Alarming Step Towards Increasing Gun Violence

This past March marked one year since the shooting of three Atlanta-based spas, which led to the deaths of eight individuals, of whom six were women of Asian descent. [1] That same year, 2021, the state of Georgia was ranked 9th in the nation for its high rate of gun violence.[2] Despite the continued increase […]

The U.S.’s Response to Ukraine

In just a month, the entire state of the world has changed. Russia has invaded and started a gruesome war with Ukraine. Many countries worldwide have been responding with caution to avoid another world war with the fear of mutually assured destruction. Being one of the Western countries on which Ukraine relies, the US’s response […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Khushi Mehta

Khushi Mehta is a second-year Fellow majoring in economics, international business and political science. She is also pursuing a minor in Spanish and a certificate in Legal Studies. She was motivated to get involved in politics through her involvement with her city’s youth council in high school as this experience showed her how much politics […]

Obstacles to Obtaining Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

A privilege that many Americans often take for granted is the ability to obtain a driver’s license. In fact, most of the U.S.’s infrastructure is so dependent on a car-based transportation economy, that obtaining a driver’s license has become a near-mandatory rite of passage for teenagers. However, the right to a driver’s license is not […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Julia Hawkins

Julia Hawkins is a fourth-year Fellow pursuing a major in Public Relations, a minor in political science and a public affairs communications certificate. As she became increasingly aware of the integral role that politics plays in everyday life, she was motivated to be more involved. Through the public affairs communications certificate, Julia has been able […]

Equalization Across Georgia Districts

Georgia’s schools are unfairly funded throughout the state. Public education is funded predominantly by local tax revenue, which includes money derived from property taxes within districts. Oftentimes, districts with greater property wealth raise significantly more than districts with less, leading to districts with a great population of lower-income residents having fewer resources for their schools. […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ciera Thomas

Ciera Thomas is a fourth-year Fellow majoring in microbiology with minors in Spanish, international affairs and global health. Through politics, she aims to improve the lives of individuals who identify as members of marginalized communities. She has been able to work towards this goal through the Fellowship by gaining insights into the policy creation process […]

Giving Credit Where It Is Due: How Carbon Cap-And-Trade Could Help Georgians

Janisse Ray, in her autobiography “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood,” discusses her childhood growing up in south Georgia, surrounded by the towering longleaf pines of the South. Through stories of her family and of Georgia’s natural history, she describes the significance of the Georgia landscape to her. Though many of Ray’s cherished longleaf pine forests […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is a fourth-year Fellow majoring in international affairs with certificates in global studies and public affairs professional in applied politics. She is also a Double Dawg pursuing a Masters’ of Public Administration at UGA. This is Kate’s third year with the Fellowship. Throughout her time as a Fellow, she has learned about the […]

Georgia Aims to Criminalize Teaching American History

On March 8th, 2021, Senator Carden Summers of the 13th District introduced Senate Bill 613, also known as the “Common Humanity in Private Education Act.”[1] The bill claims that an increasing number of private and nonpublic schools in Georgia have “embraced curricula and programs based in critical race theory,” which has caused these schools to […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Jaiden Dosani

Jaiden Dosani is a fourth-year economics major minoring in sociology and philosophy. As a fellow, he aims to be more involved in the community and learn from the Fellowship community. His biggest takeaway has been how important it is to go outside the campus bubble and engage with the Athens community. Jaiden was motivated to […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ansley Hatcher

Ansley Hatcher is a third-year Senior Staffer majoring in political science and minoring in criminal justice studies. She has been with the Fellowship since 2020 and was motivated to join to gain experience analyzing legislation, strengthening her policy research skills and building relationships with other Fellows. Throughout her time with the Fellowship, she has learned […]

New Report Discusses the Rise of Electric Vehicles in 2022

A new report from Bankrate discusses the rise of electric vehicles in the past several years, while addressing common concerns about electric vehicles. As the article explains, electric vehicles sales have increased by 40% annually in the past several years. Currently, there are 59 electric vehicle models available for Americans to purchase. This falls behind […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Susannah Long

Susannah Long is a third-year Fellow majoring in International Affairs and Economics with a minor in French. She was motivated to get involved in politics because of the significant impact it can have on people’s lives. Through the Fellowship, she hopes to gain experience in politics, form friendships with other Fellows and see how impactful […]

Getting Georgia Online: The Importance of Broadband Expansion

Broadband has become an essential infrastructure for Americans, which means accessibility and affordability is a critical issue facing politicians. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) defines broadband internet as a minimum of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed, the time it takes to receive data such as loading a web page, and 3 Mbps upload […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Caroline Solomon

Caroline Solomon is a third-year Senior Staffer majoring in Environmental Economics and Management and Russian with a minor in Studio Art. She was motivated to join the Fellowship to be involved at the place where change is happening. This is her second year with the Fellowship, and throughout this time she has learned the diversity […]

Georgia Assembly Aims to Silence Georgia Schools

The Georgia Assembly is aiming to silence schools that acknowledge and discuss the ongoing presence of racism and oppression present in the United States. In the 2021-2022 Georgia Legislative Session, House Bill 888 was introduced and assigned to the Education House Committee. This bill is sponsored by Powell (32nd), Leverett (33rd), Jasperse (11th), Washburn (141st), […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Inaara Lalani

Inaara Lalani is a third-year Fellow majoring in international affairs. Her background as the daughter of Pakistani immigrants and an Ismaili Muslim motivated her to get involved in politics, as she feels the minority experience is one that is often not included in politics. She has seen minorities having to depend on the majority to […]

Safe Schools For All: How Georgia Fails to Protect LGBTQ+ Students

On January 21, 2022, a student at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in Athens had their artwork, which featured a pride flag, removed after a parent complained and compared the artwork to hanging a Nazi flag.[1] This local incident is reflective of the issues LGBTQ+ students face across the state and the nation. LGBTQ+ students in […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Keegan Cardman

Keegan Cardman is a third-year political science major with a minor in international affairs. She was first motivated to enter politics after meeting her Representative on a school trip to D.C. in 8th grade. Through the Fellowship, she aims to gain a robust understanding of the political sphere, from the policy-making process to communications. By […]

A Systemic Failure: The Child Care Crisis

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the United States and schools moved online, parents were left with an immediate crisis and an important decision to make: how to care for their children while providing economic stability for their families. While exacerbated by the sudden changes caused by the pandemic, this impossible […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Matthew Curlee

Matthew Ryan Curlee is a fourth-year international affairs major pursuing the master of public administration at the University of Georgia. He was initially motivated to enter politics because of his desire to see his community grow and prosper, and he hopes to pursue a career in management in local government or humanitarian non-profit organizations. Through […]

Press Release: Rep. Spencer Frye Releases Proposed Athens-Clarke County Commission District Map

PRESS RELEASE   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Betsy Theroux Tuesday, January 18, 2022 (404) 656-3996   betsy.theroux@house.ga.gov   Camille Taylor   (404) 656-0305   camille.taylor@house.ga.gov   Rep. Spencer Frye Releases Proposed Athens-Clarke County Commission District Map   ATLANTA – State Representative Spencer Frye (D-Athens), who is a member of the Athens-Clarke County Legislative Delegation, today […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Riley Grube

Riley Grube is a third-year Senior Staffer majoring in political science with a minor in international affairs. This is Riley’s second year with the Fellowship and she has been motivated to continue her involvement so she can gain experience conducting research and analyzing legislation as well as getting to know other Fellows. Through her experience […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ashni Patel

Ashni Patel is a second-year majoring in international affairs and economics with a minor in statistics. She was motivated to get involved in politics by Stacey Abrams’ 2018 run for governor, which taught her the importance of working to elect politicians that represent her values and the power that we have to make that change […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Isabel Archer

Isabel Archer is a second-year political science major with a minor in women’s studies. As a Legislative Fellow, she hopes to learn about the behind-the-scenes of politics, particularly what it is like to campaign and be a part of the legislative session. Throughout her experience in the Fellowship so far, Isabel has learned the importance […]

CVS v. Doe: Ensuring Access to Life-Saving Medication for All

Equitable access to healthcare, especially medication, is a right all Americans should enjoy. Those living with diseases such as HIV, in particular, deserve the same protection afforded to those unafflicted. The United States Supreme Court is currently preparing to hear a case regarding this kind of protection in CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Doe. The respondents, […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Katie Roth

Katie Roth is a fourth-year political science major with a minor in communication studies and a certificate in applied politics. Through the Fellowship, she hopes to gain a better understanding of the bill drafting and legislation writing processes while also strengthening her political research and public communication skills. Her biggest takeaway from her time in the […]

The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

As of early October, over 700,000 Americans have died as a result of the coronavirus.[1] While the average number of COVID-19 related deaths in the state has decreased since the introduction of vaccines, Georgia was home to five out of ten counties in the nation with the highest numbers of COVID-19 related mortalities just last […]

Revisiting Georgia’s Three Strikes Laws

The three-strikes law is a law for habitual offenders that imposes mandatory sentences for people convicted of their third felony.  In 1993, the state of Washington passed the first three-strikes law in the United States, followed by California in 1994.1  That same year, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ellie Wilson-Wade

Ellie Wilson-Wade is a third-year political science major with minors in women’s studies and law, jurisprudence and the state. This is her second year serving as a Legislative Fellow. Throughout her time in the Fellowship, she has gained leadership skills while learning more about the legislative process, service, community work and mutual aid. Before joining […]

A New Encampment to Provide New Hope for Athens’ Unhoused Community Members

Growing up in Athens, it was not unusual to pass tents when driving near the 10 Loop and Highway 78. We always called it “Tent City.” It has been years since I have seen tents pitched on that hill. Recently, I heard this name again as it was mentioned by a friend. I was unaware […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Daniel Schultz

Daniel Schultz is a second-year political science major with minors in cognitive science and statistics. Daniel is currently serving as a Senior Staffer with the Fellowship and previously served as a Legislative Fellow during the 2020-2021 school year. Through the Fellowship, he hopes to gain a holistic understanding of policy development while working alongside legislators […]

Food Deserts Starve the State and Its Residents

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately affect low-income communities, the lack of proper access to food only serves to worsen this disparity. Food deserts occur where there is little access to healthy food, typically due to limited public transportation. These deserts are prevalent in low-income and rural communities. Since there is a lack of […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Gitzel Anguiano

Gitzel Anguiano is a third-year at the University of Georgia studying international affairs and public relations with a minor in French. She is also pursuing a public affairs communication certificate. Gitzel is involved in a number of organizations on campus including Speak Out for Species, Hispanic Student Association, Young Democrats, Student Government Association and the […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Catie Gelting

Catie Gelting is a fourth-year at the University of Georgia studying international affairs and philosophy with a minor in political science. She is a member of the philosophy club and a non-religious member of the Bahai’i Student Association. Catie is also the Historian for UGA’s Demosthenian Literary Society, where she keeps records of meetings, historic […]

The Toll of COVID-19 on Women in the Workplace

“We can do it!”––the iconic poster of Rosie the Riveter looms over girls and women in schools and workplaces alike. But can they really do it? Even as higher education and male-dominated industries have become more accessible for women, the pillars of the patriarchy stand tall with the wage gap and the glass ceiling. This […]

The Student Loan Crisis Plaguing America

The Student Loan Crisis The student loan crisis is a predicament millions of Americans face daily. In the wake of the Russians’ launch of Sputnik, the American government introduced student loans with the aim of increasing enrollment in institutions of higher education and retaining American competitiveness in the space race. Today, however, America has failed […]

Gun Reform: A Sensible Response to Growing Tragedy

Following recent tragedies such as the Atlanta spa shootings and the Boulder shooting, gun control advocates are once again calling for new federal and state legislation on guns. The Atlanta spa shootings were a series of attacks on three spas in metro Atlanta that resulted in the deaths of eight people, including six Asian women. […]

Private Influence in the University System of Georgia

In 2014, the University System of Georgia became the laboratory for what one Savannah newspaper called “one of the nation’s largest experiments in privatized college dorms.”[1] The “experiment” in question is what is known as a public-private partnership, or P3, between the University System of Georgia and a company called Corvias Property Management. Under this […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Shahrzad Roshan

Shahrzad Roshan is a third-year at the University of Georgia studying international affairs. She is the co-president and co-founder of Undocumented Student Alliance (USA). USA is an advocacy group on the UGA’s campus that advocates for und(er)documented students in Georgia, participates in community service to serve the und(er)documented community in Athens and conducts political action […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Adia Aidoo

Adia Aidoo is a fourth-year at the University of Georgia studying public relations and sociology with a certificate in Public Affairs Communications. Outside of the Fellowship, Adia is involved in IMPACT UGA where they work with external organizations to provide aid to a variety of causes, such as HIV/Aids and environmental justice. She marches trombone […]

Mobile Health Clinics: Georgia’s Next Big Advancement in Healthcare

As Georgia has faced unprecedented challenges over the past year managing the COVID-19 pandemic, all eyes are on healthcare institutions and the efforts they are making to ensure the health and wellbeing of Georgians. One relatively new concept is the idea of mobile health clinics. These new mobile health clinics have been assisting in not […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Dinah Gorayeb

Dinah Gorayeb is a first-year student at the University of Georgia studying International Affairs and Economics. Along with the Fellowship, she is also a member of an on-campus organization called Period, where they have weekly meetings to learn more about periods and period poverty, and packing parties to create period kits and distribute them to […]

Protecting Georgia’s Workers Must Be Our Top Priority

The past year has been tough on all Americans. There have been lockdowns after lockdowns, quarantines and separations from loved ones and many have been left in complete isolation. However, many Americans have stepped up and taken action to continue to provide for and support our communities. These essential workers have endured constant COVID-19 exposures […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Madison Greer

Madison Greer is a second-year public relations and marketing major. Madison serves as the Vice President of Member Relations for Women in Media at UGA. She runs the mentorship program for the Women in Media and helps plan their yearly A Seat at the Table event. Previously, she was a staff intern at Gwinnett Daily […]

Georgia’s Assault on Reproductive Justice

Introduction On May 7, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed HB 481, also known as the “heartbeat bill”, into law. The bill prohibited physicians from offering abortion services to pregnant women if a fetal heartbeat is present, which typically occurs at the six-week mark. Although many women do not even know that they are pregnant at […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Taylor Wilhelm

Taylor Wilhelm is a political science, international affairs and criminal justice major with a certificate in Public Affairs Communications. She is a sister of Sigma Kappa where she volunteers and raises money for the Alzheimers Association. She is also a member of UGA Miracle where she volunteers and helps raise money for Children’s Healthcare of […]