Capitol Corner

“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 […]

Georgians Sue the Georgia Department of Labor Over Unemployment Benefits

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Georgians are still out of work with no end in sight. As of December 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate is 6.7% and Georgia’s is 5.6%, down from 5.7% in November and a high of 12.6% in April. The initial economic shutdown […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Maeve Breathnach

Maeve Breathnach is a second-year Legislative Fellow pursuing an A.B. in International Affairs, an A.B. in Economics and minors in Spanish and Social Work. Seeing first-hand the inequities across her home county in high school led Maeve to intern at a legal aid society last summer. She joined the Fellowship to gain a better understanding […]

Painful Lessons: Corporal Punishment in Schools

Young people spend most of their time in school. As a result, it is essential to ensure that schools are a nurturing environment that cultivates informed and active citizens. However, this vision of a safe, productive environment does not always match up with reality. Many students have fallen victim to the school-to-prison pipeline which disproportionately […]

Health Care Access in Georgia

Georgia currently holds the sixth-highest percentage of uninsured residents in the country, with almost one out of five Georgians lacking health insurance.[1] Even Georgians who currently have health insurance are affected by the state’s infamous ranking. When insured Georgians go to the hospital and are unable to pay, the cost of their visit is largely […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Prisha Nandakumar

Prisha Nandakumar is a second-year Legislative Fellow majoring in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Health Policy & Management. With aspirations of going to medical school, Prisha has gained experience on the clinical and medicinal sides of her field and saw the Fellowship as an opportunity to pursue the policy and legislative side. She […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Richy Wagner

Richy Wagner is a third-year at the University of Georgia, studying Political Science, Sociology and Criminal Justice. He is also a theatre minor and has a certificate in Applied Politics. On campus, Richy is involved in Young Democrats. Through the Fellowship, he hopes to enact change in our government through climate advocacy, criminal justice reform […]

Emergency Response Hindered in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In early March of 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was already striking large cities, namely New York. The effect of the strained American health care system on people’s access to medical care during the worst health crisis in modern history was evident. Legislative aid packages in the first few months of lockdown narrowed […]

Can Blockchain Voting Restore Trust in Our Democracy?

From 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2018, Ontaria Woods waited in line at the polls in Snellville, Georgia. The governor’s race between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams was neck-and-neck, but statewide there had been voting machine malfunctions, shortages of batteries and power cords, and problems reading and processing ballots. Staggeringly long […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Isabella Ristuccia

Isabella Ristuccia is a fourth-year student majoring in Political Science and English. She is the Site leader for IMPACT, whose mission is to engage University of Georgia students in an affordable, substance-free, service-learning experience that facilitates the understanding of pressing social issues in an effort to develop active citizens. Isabella also works as a TA […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Ellie Wilson-Wade

Ellie Wilson-Wade is a second-year at the University of Georgia, majoring in Political Science and Journalism. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and hopes to attend UGA Law School to work in criminal justice after graduation. Through the Fellowship, Ellie hopes to gain professional skills, as well as learn more about the […]

What a Second Impeachment Means for Former President Trump

On Jan. 9, 2021, the House of Representatives made history when they impeached former President Trump for a second time, making him the first president impeached twice in U.S. history. This unprecedented decision was made after President Trump’s involvement in the US Capitol riot, which took place on Jan. 6, 2021. On Jan. 6, Congress […]

Georgia Owes Its Youth More

“Despite hundreds of student requests for science-based programs and several parent-led initiatives for curriculum change, abstinence-based programs still dominate Georgia schools.”[1] The state of Georgia has a responsibility to inform and protect its young adults- a responsibility that is not being upheld to the highest degree. Instead, the controversy surrounding the implementation of sex education […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Natalie Navarrete

Natalie Navarrete is a second-year International Affairs, Spanish, and Russian major with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. In addition to the Fellowship, Natalie is an attorney and team captain for UGA’s nationally ranked Mock Trial competitive team. She is a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society and provides defense counsel for students […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is a third-year student majoring in international affairs with a minor in public policy and management. She is currently enrolled in the MPA Double Dawgs program and is pursuing a global studies and applied politics certificate. Kate is on the Executive Board for UGA Miracle as a Campus Outreach Co-Chair. Kate is also […]

The Truth Behind Dairy: How the Georgia’s Agriculture Needs to Grow

Georgia’s dairy industry has been a key area of development in the last few decades and embodies the issues facing Georgia’s broader agricultural sector. Large supply chains, technological advancements and market volatility all loom over the sector, forcing change upon traditional methods of farming. Large Supply Chains Over the past few decades, the dairy industry […]

Veterans’ Silent Battle with Mental Health

Veteran health care has long been an issue in Georgia. The Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Decatur has struggled with unstable leadership and faltering quality, with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs giving it a 1-star rating. The Atlanta VA Medical Center is part of a larger network that receives the lowest patient satisfaction […]

Georgia is Failing its Non-Citizen Students

Introduced on February 5th, 2020, Georgia House Bill 896 could have changed the lives of Dreamers in Georgia in the near future. This legislation allowed non-citizen immigrants to pay in-state tuition at any of Georgia’s public colleges and universities.[1] Many public universities that allow undocumented students on their campus mandate that they pay out-of-state student […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Zarah Punjwani

Zarah Punjwani is a second-year marketing and international business major with a minor in French. After graduation, she hopes to work in the tech industry as a marketing director or creative brand manager. As a Public Relations fellow, Zarah aims to gain experience, memories and lifelong friends. Before joining the fellowship, Zarah served as a […]

The Policy of Black Lives Matter

This past summer, legions of people took to the streets of their cities, tense, masked, and six feet apart. They gathered to protest the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as well as the other unarmed Black people who have died at the hands of law enforcement. Gathering under the general […]

How Standardized Testing Fails Georgia Students and Teachers

The Georgia education system faces a real threat as teachers are flocking away from the profession and students battle test anxiety and learning loss. These problems stem from one issue: standardized testing. The System Georgia’s standardized test is the Georgia Milestones Assessment System, which tests students in elementary, middle and high school over the core […]

Voting Rights Aren’t Always Guaranteed in Georgia

Georgia garnered national attention this recent election cycle for its newfound status as a battleground state, but the state also cycled through election headlines for another reason— problematic voting practices. During the June 2020 primaries, long lines and faulty machines plagued Georgia’s voting landscape. Many voters waited for hours to cast their vote and the […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Micah Nix

Micah Nix is a second-year political science and international affairs major pursuing a public affairs professional certificate in applied politics. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in public service and government. On campus, Micah serves as a SPIA Ambassador where she serves on the mentorship committee and the diversity and inclusion committee. She […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Riley Grube

Riley Grube is a second-year political science major with a minor in international affairs. She joined the fellowship to learn how to conduct policy research and write legislation, which will be vital to her career goal of earning a Master’s in Public Administration and becoming a policy analyst. In addition to the fellowship, Riley is […]

Modern American Eugenics: The Fight for Reproductive Justice Continues

Compulsory Sterilization in ICE Detention Centers The United States has a treacherous history with eugenics that continues to specifically endanger Black, Hispanic, and Native American women. Last month, an ICE whistleblower brought forth allegations of forced mass hysterectomies performed on detainees, unearthing America’s ongoing perpetuation of the abuse of immigrants’ rights. On Sept. 14, Project […]

Child Mental Health Interventions in Georgia Schools

During the 2018-2019 school year, nearly 80,000 Georgia students in sixth through 12th grade considered attempting suicide, according to the School-Based Mental Health report.[1] The report also finds that nearly 40% of children have trouble accessing the mental health treatment they need. Undoubtedly, greater access to mental health resources at schools would be beneficial for […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Charley Claudio

Charley Claudio is a fourth-year international affairs and economics major. This is her second year working as a legislative fellow. She was motivated to return to the fellowship to build upon her work helping Georgians. In addition to the fellowship, she is also involved with Women in Economics at UGA and has interned with Tradesecure, […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Caroline Solomon

Caroline Solomon is a second-year Russian and environmental economics and management major with a minor in environmental design. She is involved with a variety of organizations on campus, including the Roosevelt Institute, Model United Nations, Catholic Center at UGA and the French Language Community. After graduation, Caroline is interested in pursuing a career as a […]

When You Lose Your Right to Vote

Fifteen Percent Fifteen percent of the population of Georgia faces sanctions on their right to vote. While the right to vote constitutes an essential part of a functioning democracy, the promise of “liberty and justice” is, unfortunately, not “for all.” Human rights should not be subject to terms and conditions, yet certain felons in the […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Vanisha Kudumuri

Vanisha Kudumuri is a second-year economics, international affairs and political science major with a minor in women’s studies and a certificate in legal studies. After graduation, she would like to pursue a career in women’s rights or reproductive rights law, potentially working for a public interest organization. As a Legislative Fellow, she hopes to learn […]

How Georgia Fails to Protect Transgender Youth

Georgia lawmakers are creating legislation that targets, dehumanizes and terrorizes its transgender community. On June 26, 2020, the Governor signed into law HB 426, more colloquially known as the Hate Crimes Bill.[1] Georgia was one of the last states to adopt a hate crimes bill. While this bill was a step in the right direction […]

A Dirty Taste of “Clean” Energy

Two biomass power plants in northeast Georgia have led to enormous fish kills, environmental investigations, legal battles, and adverse health effects for residents of Franklin and Madison counties, just northeast of Athens [1]. These wood-fired plants burn creosote-treated railroad ties to produce what is supposed to be clean energy [2]. The plants, owned by Alabama-based […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Jalise Black

Jalise Black is a senior at the University of Georgia double majoring in International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. She is a UGA Presidential Scholar. Jalise has served as Vice President of the Black Affairs Council and an Involvement Advisor with the Involvement Ambassadors. She has also receive an executive […]

A Better Reality for Dreamers

Georgia’s sizable immigrant population greatly contributes to the state’s social and economic prosperity. Ten percent of the state’s population was born in another country, and 1 in 13 Georgians is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent. Foreign-born residents comprise 40% of such agricultural occupations as foresters, fishers, and farmers in Georgia […]

How a Virus Could Threaten Your Right to Vote

As the novel coronavirus continues to take its toll on America, the debate surrounding mail-in voting has grown increasingly prevalent. Though the option protects the health and safety of Americans, it presents a long-standing issue in American history: voter suppression.  Mail-in, or absentee, voting can protect both voters and poll workers alike come November. For […]

What Governor Kemp’s Executive Order Means for You

The Georgia Department of Public Health has determined that implementing restrictions is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 [1]. Starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020, all residents and visitors to the State of Georgia will be required to shelter-in-place while practicing social distancing and sanitation in accordance with the guidelines published […]

Unpacking the COVID-19 Relief Package

WHAT IS IT?  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020 by President Donald Trump. The bipartisan bill is meant to provide emergency aid to individuals, families, businesses of all sizes, as well as hospitals and state governments [1].  The […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Dionne Wareham

Dionne Wareham is a senior majoring in International Affairs and minoring in French at the University of Georgia. She is a Cine Film Critic and a LEAD Diversity Fellow. Dionne serves as the Director of Volunteer and Alumni Experience at Designated Dawgs. As an Education Abroad Ambassador, she also serves as Vice President of Campus Outreach. […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Madeline Moore

Madeline Moore is a third year pre-law international affairs and political science double major at the University of Georgia. She is a member of the personal development-focused sorority Delta Zeta and participates in UGA Young Democrats. Last summer, Madeline engaged in a service-learning Maymester at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Upon graduation, Madeline hopes to […]

Athens Transit – A Model for Mid-Sized Municipalities

Athens has been ranked the 4th most used transit system in the nation that follows only the New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. areas [1]. Athens-Clarke County is a leader in transportation services by efficiently serving all members of the Athens community including, but not limited to, those who are disabled or mobility-impaired, […]

What Athens Residents Need to Know About COVID-19

As COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, continues to spread, over 300,000 cases have been confirmed in the world [1]. The local, state and federal governments have announced and implemented plans to keep citizens safe. As of March 22, there were nine positive cases confirmed in Athens-Clarke County [2]. The Mayor and Commission unanimously […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Charley Claudio

Charley Claudio is a third year International Affairs and Economics double major at the University of Georgia. Charley has been recognized as a Public Outreach Scholar and interns at the Carl Vinson International Center. She is involved with Women in Economics, a professional development organization in the Terry College of Business. Charley is also president […]

Benefitting Communities One Trail at a Time

Community trails will help create many social, economic and health benefits for Georgians throughout the state.  Socially, trails create a safe and enjoyable environment for those who reside near the trail and those who visit the area. They can provide a space for group meetings, walks, bike rides and other communal activities In some cases, […]

Dual Enrollment: A Program Worth Preserving

Slashing dual enrollment funding and opportunities will hurt Georgia’s high school students and future workforce. Dual enrollment, a program with an enrollment of 52,000 students in fiscal year 2019 [1], is essential for increasing the number of high school and college graduates in Georgia, allowing more low-income students to obtain a college degree and benefitting […]

The State of Adoption Laws in Georgia

The adoption and foster care system in Georgia is caught in a tug of war between the past and the future. While some areas of adoption and foster care laws have improved in the state, others are in danger of regressing.  Kin Based Placements  Currently, anyone over the age of 25 in the state can […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Buket Urgen

Buket Urgen is a sophomore International Affairs and Social Work double major at the University of Georgia. She is a member of Young Democrats at UGA as well as the Undocumented Student Alliance, a service and advocacy organization. Buket also serves as a Social Work Ambassador. Over the summer, Buket hopes to participate in a […]

Fellowship Spotlight: John Lee

John Lee is a freshman Political Science and Public Policy double major at the University of Georgia. He is a member of the Korean Undergraduate Student Association soccer team and a youth counselor at his church. John hopes to obtain an internship for his first undergraduate summer.

The Democrats are Coming to Georgia

After about a year of campaigning, the Democratic presidential primaries are happening now. The Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary and Nevada caucuses have shown just how much of a toss-up this election could be. What once was a field of 29 candidates has now become just eight. Each candidate has increasingly stepped up their game […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Katie Morris

Katie Morris is a senior International Affairs major minoring in Spanish at the University of Georgia. She is a recipient of the Hope and Zell Miller scholarships and has been honored on the Dean’s List. Katie has interned with Congresswoman Lucy McBath as well as Honduras Outreach Inc. in Atlanta. She is a member of […]

More MARTA: Closing the Coverage Loop

When MARTA hit its 40-year birthday in 2019, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms unveiled a new expansion plan, the “More MARTA” project. In a city that is projected to grow by millions of people over the next decade, it is vital that the city adapts its transportation network so that everyone can reap the benefits of […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Saarah Amer

Saarah Amer is a senior Political Science major at the University of Georgia with a Public Affairs Certificate in Applied Politics. She is a Hope Scholar, a Clarke County Mentor, and a middle school tutor. Saarah has participated in IMPACT, a service program dedicated to fulfilling community needs. She has also directed political science research […]

Fellowship Spotlight: Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor is a senior International Affairs major at the University of Georgia. Caroline has served as a School of Public and International Affairs Ambassador. She is also a member of the political student organization Young Dems and the sorority Delta Gamma. Upon graduation, Caroline hopes to work in Washington, D.C. in policy.

Georgia’s Path to Healthcare Coverage

Background Since its establishment in 1965, the government-funded healthcare assistance Medicaid, has been the subject of much praise and criticism. Though it has changed significantly since the 1960s, Medicaid continues to be a valuable resource for low-income citizens obtaining health services. In its current form, Medicaid is funded jointly by both the state and federal […]