The Close of Special Session & What’s Around the Corner

Maps Update

The train rolled into the station with no time to spare as maps were signed by the Governor last Friday — the deadline set by federal Judge Steve Jones. Republicans say their new maps meet the court order because they create the required number of Black districts while protecting their incumbents. But if it was that simple, the order wouldn’t be 516 pages long.

The next stop is Judge Jones’s courtroom for a December 20th hearing. I’m quite certain that during the special session the judge has been paying attention to presentations made in House & Senate Redistricting Committees, floor debates argued by your elected officials, and your comments in the public portal. Even though the battle is now in the courts, every voice matters!

The judge needs to make a determination very quickly as to whether the maps meet the order. If he rules they do not, he will appoint a special master to redraw them. There are several “suggested” maps circulating, created by plaintiffs and the Democrats in the legislature, from which the special master can draw ideas. Time is of the essence because the Secretary of State’s office needs time to prepare for elections, and candidates qualify for their races the second week of March. The train of democracy rolls on!

A Very Special Resolution

Tuesday I had the opportunity to present a very special Privileged Resolution to the Lubin family of Dunwoody. Their 20-year old daughter Rose was murdered in Israel on November 6th while on duty guarding a gate to the Old City of Jerusalem. About a dozen members of the Lubin family were present for the ceremony. It’s clear Rose was a very passionate, empathic and brave young woman, and I was touched to be able to do something to honor her short life. You can watch the video here.

A Baby in the House (again)

Monday I attended a lunch seminar on the issue of maternal mortality. While there, I sat next to a new House member, and learned that she was bringing her 4-month old baby with her to the special session. It warmed my heart to see her doing that, just as I had done 24 years ago following the birth of my first child. The exchange caught the attention of an AJC reporter, who wrote this very nice story.

Getting Ready for 2024

Someone once told me that in an ideal world everyone should take a sabbatical once every seven years. It’s been seven years since I got back into politics, and I’ll admit, it’s been tougher than I expected. Since this year was not an election year, I took full advantage to nurture my mind, body and spirit.

For my mind, I attended several conferences, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and the Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

For my body, Jay and I went rock climbing in the Colorado Rockies and the Black Hills of South Dakota. (This took quite a bit of prior conditioning and practice at our local climbing gym.)

For my spirit, I visited family in my hometown of Indianapolis and got to attend church services with my mother in the church where I grew up. And I’ve also been nurtured by so many of you at various backyard gatherings throughout the district.

The Dakota Sioux have a tradition of calling their spirits back inside their bodies after a period of play. I love the image of spirits coming out to play! As I prepare for the upcoming session, I find that I am reenergized, not just from the rest I’ve gotten, but from my personal growth.

While out west this summer, I climbed taller climbs than I have ever climbed — in fact, I climbed over 100 feet — right to the end of our 60-meter rope! And believe it or not, I am afraid of heights.

During the course of the last seven years of politics, I have found myself outside my comfort zone. Climbing has taught me that by practicing in my “risk zone” I can transform fear into comfort. As my body learns that the person holding my rope will catch me if I fall, my zone of comfort enlarges.

The same is true in politics. This growth will be with me next session, as I work within an increasingly polarized system. I will look for those moments of commonality — those cracks in the polarization — to find power in the crevices.

Elections follow very quickly after the session is over, and I must be ready. Thank you to everyone who has made a recurring donation — you help keep the campaign lights on to cover ongoing expenses. If you would like to support my 2024 campaign, please do it now. (Actblue) I cannot accept contributions after session begins on January 8th. I would very much like to keep on climbing, continuing the work that I have begun.


2023 in Pictures

Here’s me near the top of my 110 foot climb. That’s the equivalent of a twelve story building!


This route is called the Trail of Teeth — lots of crystals sticking out of the rock to use as footholds on the way up!


I was climbing on rocks that formed from volcanic magma 1.7 billion years ago! Deep in the earth the magma cooled slowly, allowing large crystals to form.


Embedded in this rock I discovered black tourmaline, which is supposed to fend off negativity. I’ll be taking some with me to the Capitol next session!


Took some time to look at this big carving. Climbed routes on the backside later that day


Standing outside the State Capitol of Indiana while attending conferences. Indianapolis is where I grew up.


In Athens, Georgia, where I attended the Legislative Leadership Institute.


I got to attend church with my mom in Indianapolis at the church where I grew up.


I attended lots of backyard gatherings across the district this summer.


Sally’s Speech opposing the new Senate Map


Privileged Resolution for Rose Lubin


Another Baby in the House

The Original Baby in the House, January 2000