This election cycle has seen an uptick in minority candidates, especially women of color, allies, and members of the LGBTQIA community. Georgia is no exception. This past weekend, Judge Shalanda Miller, State Representative Park Cannon, and Imani Barnes held a meet and greet with Atlanta’s LGBTQIA community.
Hosted by Kia Barnes at My Sister’s Room, the only lesbian bar in the Southeast, the event focused on LGBTQIA voter engagement, community concerns, and each candidate’s platform and track record.
Judge Miller, an ally who is running for Fulton County Superior Court Judge against an inexperienced Governor Kemp appointee, shared that her experience in family and juvenile law, arrest and search warrants, and with civil and criminal matters as a Juvenile and Magistrate Court Judge help her make the best decisions from behind the bench.
“I bring this consideration to every interaction, acutely aware that individuals are much more than the facts and circumstances that bring them before the court.” A mother of two, Judge Miller also shared her plans for helping uplift and engage Atlanta’s youth.
Likewise, first-time candidate for Georgia House District 86 Imani Barnes shared how her experience as a mother, a scientist, and researcher at Emory University for 18+ years helped her hone in on the need for more inclusivity, equity, fair housing, and a specific focus on the youth.
“As a woman of color and member of the LGBTQ community, I empathize with citizens’ concerns and understand that the success of our district's future depends on inclusion of the unique heritage of our residents.”
Both candidates fielded questions from the audience and took the time to meet and greet constituents. Representative Cannon was unexpectedly unable to attend. Nonetheless, the candidates were well received and have both been endorsed by Georgia Equality, the state’s largest LGBTQ rights advocacy group.
What can you do to help? Be sure to check your voter registration and get out to vote! Georgia’s early voting has already begun and is highly encouraged, but the official election date is Tuesday, May 24th. Mark your calendars, because you never know if your one vote might be the one to make a difference.
Gayes, if you’d like to support or engage, each candidates website is listed below.