Shea Roberts

Shea Roberts.

Occupation: I am one of three owners in the Buckhead boutique real estate law firm of Giacoma Roberts & Daughdrill, LLC. Additionally, I have predominant responsibility for management of the firm and its employees.

Previous elected offices held: None.

Other community service experience: None.

What is motivating you to run for this office? 

In 2018, I ran to represent our district because I felt our leaders no longer reflected our community’s shared values. Since then, the need for change has only become more urgent. As we see our way out of this global health crisis, we need legislators who will fight for accessible, affordable healthcare, support our small businesses, and fully fund our schools; representatives who will prioritize fair elections over politics; leaders who will forge an inclusive Georgia to protect our children’s futures. In 2018, we came close to winning this critical seat. This year, we’re finishing what we started.

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

Next year will be a tough year for us because of the economic and social repercussions of a poorly managed health crisis. When we are facing proposed budget cuts in the midst of our recovery, it’s crucial that we have a representative who can balance a budget without slashing billions from public schools. I will fight for a COVID-19 recovery plan that bolsters our small businesses, fully expands Medicaid, and provides economic opportunity with a living wage.

The incumbent defeated you in a previous challenge for this office. Why should voters reconsider their choice?

Last time, despite knowing seven months was suboptimal to campaign against an incumbent, I gave our district a choice for the first time since 2004. And the results were too close to give up, especially now that the stakes are higher. As people try to survive this health and economic crisis, my opponent continues to vote with Governor Kemp against fully expanding Medicaid and they gutted the public education budget by $1 billion. Working families want to know they are the priority, not regressive legislation that doesn’t match their values. Georgians want someone who will fight for them. That’s me.

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

First and foremost, recovery from this pandemic requires healthy Georgians. I will fight to fully expand Medicaid because it makes fiscal sense, and I’ll look for additional affordable, quality solutions for all our families. As a small business owner, I also know we must protect our jobs, support small businesses, and make sure that a strong economic recovery includes everyone.  Strong economies require strong public schools. While our current leadership always cuts the education budget first, I will prioritize investing in our schools so that kids and educators alike can return safely and parents can get back to work.

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

Georgians are harnessing the power of protesting and social media to demand justice for all of our people — especially for our communities of color. While our legislators passed a Hate Crimes bill this year, there is still much work to be done. I will fight to repeal the “stand your ground” law that promotes vigilantism, and create a database that tracks use of lethal force by law enforcement. But to better equip our police in handling the myriad of situations they handle, I also support investing in de-escalation training and community policing models.

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 must be doing more to keep our children and our communities safe. That starts with treating gun violence for what it is: a public health crisis. I support common sense gun reform that includes red flag laws and investment in community programs for mental health treatment, universal background checks, and closing gun purchasing loopholes.

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