Deborah Silcox

Deborah Silcox.

Occupation: Attorney (State of Georgia)

Previous elected offices held: State Representative 2016, 2018

Other community service experience: State Board of Human Resources, Governor’s Commission for Volunteerism and Service (Chairman); Sandy Springs Society Member; Chastain Park Conservancy Board Member; Chastain Park Conservancy Advisory Board Member; Junior League of Atlanta Board (past Vice President of Finance and Sustainer member); Atlanta Speech School Guild (past President and Lifetime member); North Harbor Homeowners’ Association Board; Westminster Parents Association; Westminster Catbackers; Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber Board.

What is motivating you to run for this office? 

I am proud to be a strong, independent voice for House District 52, which I have represented since 2016. My focus has been and will continue to be the issues that matter most to our community. My experience in the legislature and my commitment to the health, safety and economic security of this district have motivated me to seek re-election in 2020.

What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? 

This year has been incredibly difficult for all of us — both emotionally and financially. Repairing our economy as safely as possible is incredibly important to all Georgians, but for our economy to bounce back, we must have solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. I support legislation that keeps our community healthy, relying on the advice of experts, and ensures our economy is open safely for businesses and employees

Why should voters keep you in this office? 

My experience in the Georgia House of Representatives has given me a unique understanding of the legislative process, and I have built relationships with fellow members on both sides of the aisle. I am the only candidate in this race that has the experience and relationships that are required to effectively represent all of House District 52 in the legislature. I have proudly voted for legislation that fully funds our public schools, expands Medicaid coverage for new mothers and their children, and keeps our community safe and healthy. I will continue to put the needs of House District 52 first.

What would be your policy priority in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I support local governments in their efforts to address the public health and safety issues that our community faces during these difficult and complicated times. I encourage everyone in positions of public leadership and responsibility to seek the advice of experts as we face this situation together as a state and nation. Obviously, the effect of COVID-19 on our economy has been significant, but for the economy to recover, we must focus on the health and safety of our community as well as the economic issues that affect us all.

What state law changes, if any, should follow as a result of this year’s protests about racism and police brutality? 

One of my proudest achievements as your representative is co-sponsoring House Bill 426 — Georgia’s Hate Crimes Law — and seeing it signed into law this year. This monumental legislation punishes those who commit crimes fueled by hatred against other Georgians. Additionally, I voted to increase funding for training reforms for law enforcement officers. As we begin our next legislative session, I will support legislation that provides more training reforms for law enforcement officers so that everyone in our community feels safe.

Buckhead this year has seen an increase in gun crimes, and street racing has increased in Buckhead and Sandy Springs. What state law changes, if any, should be made to tackle these crime problems? 

We are blessed in Georgia to have laws on the books that punish those who endanger the lives of others. As a state and a community we must provide accountability for those who make choices that harm others, which includes enforcing current laws that apply to these negative actions that harm our community. There is no justification for endangering the lives of others, and law enforcement should be supported in their efforts to keep our communities safe. As I begin the next legislative session, I am keenly aware of the public safety concerns facing our community and state, and I will focus my efforts on legislation that keeps our families safe while ensuring that law enforcement officers are accountable to the communities that they serve.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.