Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 13, 2013

City well-represented in legislature

-- — With one additional representative for Valdosta following the redrawing of legislative districts after the 2010 census, the community has strong leadership in Atlanta looking after the community’s interests.

With districts crossing a handful of counties in south Georgia, Reps. Amy Carter, Dexter Sharper, Ellis Black and Jason Shaw, along with their counterpart Sen. Tim Golden, the region is reaping the benefits which come with having a diverse delegation, ranging from their first to their 23rd sessions.

The committee assignments were well suited to their areas of expertise, and the delegation’s ability to secure funding for several smaller but significant projects in the area is essential to future growth.

By keeping education and healthcare in the forefront and concentrating on the region’s many assets, particularly in agriculture, the delegation is keeping essential services at the forefront of their initiatives. They are all responsive to the needs of their respective districts and are receptive to their constituents’ ideas.

Other areas of the state are not so fortunate, with delegations that cannot agree on issues, and are more devisive than inclusive. Even those who work together from some of the larger metropolitan areas are not as effective and are at odds, especially when it comes to funding issues.

Kudos to Sharper for making an impact in his first legislative session, and for bringing attention to issues that are essential to address but typically under the radar for others. By developing programs to work with inmates who will soon be released into society again, and helping them learn skills to become entrepreneurs and successful citizens, Sharper is helping to ensure a healthy future for those who might not have had one otherwise.

Through the Georgia Grown program, the Invest Georgia initiative, funding resources, assistance to education and healthcare, our local delegation is working to ensure that south Georgia is still a major player in the state political arena.

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