Candidate Q&A – State Rep. Michel Henson, House District 86Michele Henson
In advance of the May 22 primary election, Decaturish is publishing Q&As with the candidates. To see your sample ballot, click here.
Michele Henson, House District 86 (Incumbent)
Why are you running for this position?
For over 20 years, I have served my community in the state legislature because I am committed to ensuring that my neighbors have an advocate under the Gold Dome. I want to continue to use the relationships I have built to bring good jobs to my community, improve public school education, and provide quality healthcare to Georgians of all ages.
What are your qualifications for this office?
I listen to the opinions of my constituents and their concerns about the budget and proposed legislation. During the 28 years that I have served my community in the state legislature. I have attended my committee meetings, talked to individuals advocating for and against legislation and examined the effects of the proposed legislation. I have been proactive in addressing the major issues both in my committee meetings and in the House. I have both advocated for those bills and been instrumental in killing bills that would be detrimental to our county and cities.
What kind of work do you do?
To name a few of the things I am proud to have worked on…
1) Bringing good jobs to DeKalb County by championing apprenticeships and connecting small businesses to Georgia industry
2) Protecting public school education and providing teachers with the resources they need to teach our kids
Fighting to expand Medicaid in Georgia and bring down insurance premiums for everyone.
What are two or three things you’d like to do if you’re elected?
Our top issues are education, access and affordability to health care for all Georgians including mental health, a transit system that will link the Metro Atlanta area and relieve the congestion that will ultimately have a negative effect on economic development. It is important to me that we strive to ensure a favorable business climate to retain our current businesses and attract new businesses to Georgia.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
As the State Representative of District 86 I am committed to ensuring that my neighbors and constituents have an advocate under the Gold Dome. As a result of my seniority I have established good relationships with legislative leaders, agency and department heads and have a good knowledge of the intricacies of State government. I want to continue to use the relationships and knowledge I have to bring good jobs to my community, improve public school education, and provide quality healthcare to Georgians of all ages. I have excellent committee assignments because of my seniority – Health and Human Services, Economic Development and Tourism, Small Business Administration and Appropriations. Over the years I have worked on legislation that affects our families and our government. I have been involved in all health insurance mandates for coverage for the various medical issues people face without discrimination for their illnesses. I am a strong advocate for affordable and accessible health care for all Georgians and will continue to fight for Medicaid expansion. I helped to create the Georgia Pre-K program and the Hope Scholarship and will continue to support legislation and funding that will give our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed from Pre-K to career. I was supportive of the incentives that we gave the film industry back during the recession which helped many of our small companies survive and am pleased that last year the industry brought over 63 billion dollars to Georgia. I have been involved with my community since I moved there. I’m active in my homeowners’ association, a founding member and current board member of PRISM – Pride Rings in Stone Mountain, a member of ADL which has brought the No Place for Hate programs to our DeKalb Schools and many more over the years. I am accessible and available to my constituents and have worked with them on their various issues over the years and will continue to do so.
If elected, do you promise to conduct yourself in an ethical and transparent manner?
Once re-elected I promise to continue to conduct myself in an ethical and transparent manner. Georgia’s transparency regulations regarding legislators fully disclose any contributions, expenditures, and vote history. I will never vote to weaken those laws.