Russell Edwards for Congress (GA-10)
Russell is a DFA member running for Congress in a so-called "red" state. He was a DFA Netroots Nation Scholar in 2009 and he's running a strong grassroots campaign that's fired up Democrats across his district.
Democrats in Washington are playing defense, but we're not. We're going on offense and supporting progressive challengers like Russell Edwards across the country. Join the campaign today and help fuel our 50 State Strategy.
Here is Russell's statement to Democracy for America:
I am a Georgia native, born and raised in Fayette County. As an adolescent, I began organizing trips to a half-way house in Atlanta to provide food and fellowship. There, I came to realize the struggles faced by some of my fellow citizens and the importance of supporting them. I began to question the validity of a modern Republican ideology driven by the notion that everyone can fend for themselves and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
I went off to college at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. There, I received a B.A. in Spanish and also managed a local architectural salvage business. I fell in love with Appalachian culture.
After college, I moved to Washington, D.C. and taught Spanish in D.C. Public Schools. I also coached basketball at the school, leading its team to an undefeated district championship. There, I recognized the incredible challenges facing today’s educational system as well as the children and parents it serves. Teaching in D.C. also gave me a firsthand opportunity to work alongside important national leaders. I worked with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as her Chair of Outreach for the D.C. Congressional Art Competition Committee and was instrumental in expanding the program’s reach and participation.
I also fought for clean air and water while I lived in Washington, serving as a leader of the Sierra Club’s Washington D.C. Chapter. I launched a renegade campaign that distributed over 5,000 energy-saving light bulbs to residents of the community, mostly by standing on the sidewalk outside the Eastern Market with a box of bulbs. I also organized a Climate Change Youth Summit that brought together community members to explore ways to reduce energy consumption and lessen America’s dependence on oil.
During my time in the nation’s capital, however, I never forgot my Georgia home. In 2007, I made the hard decision to leave my teaching position in Washington to return to Georgia.
I next attended and graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law. Much of my studies at law school centered around how to make it easier for all Georgians to register to vote. I successfully fought the GA Secretary of State to remove an illegal requirement on GA’s Voter Registration Form.
I am a 2009 Netroots Nation Scholar and have attended several DFA Campaign Academies. I feel I have been given the tools to make a difference for my state. Now we just need support to execute our campaign's strategy.
I am running because I think it's time for my district to send responsible representation to Congress. We need someone who will fight to create jobs in our community and support our schools. My district is currently represented by one of the most embarrassing members of Congress, Paul Broun, Jr.- someone the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the "Doctor of Demonization." To be honest, much of my inspiration to run derives from the terrible leadership GA is currently experiencing. I am a firm believer in the 50-State Strategy and have taken matters into my own hands. I am DFA-trained and feel empowered to win!
Job creation is probably the most important challenge my District faces. We are experiencing record unemployment levels, and businesses are left with few reasons to invest in our area. We have crumbling infrastructure, underfunded schools, and a lack of public investment in job-creating research. The current incumbent believes earmarks are unconstitutional, so all federally-funded institutions in the district suffer under his rule. If elected, I will work tirelessly to restore important research funding to district institutions that will help attract private investment and good-paying jobs back to our district.
Supporting our area schools is also an important issue. Local and state budgets in Georgia have been slashed and revenue is down. Unfortunately, Georgia's teachers have received the brunt of the cuts. They have been fired, furloughed, and forced to teach classes with unmanageable amounts of students. If we can come together and pass a three page bill to bailout Wall Street's illegal gambles, then we should come together to help our community's teachers. There is no way we will prosper by short-changing the education of our children.
Learn more from Russell's website.
Jim Nichols for State Senate (GA-SD17)
Jim Nichols is 29 years old and works at UPS loading trucks. He attends Georgia State University and he's working on degree's in Economics and Philosophy. He's an activist and DFA Campaign Academy alum -- and he's DFA's Georgia All-Star.
Jim is running for State Senate to get Atlanta working for the people of Georgia again. Join the campaign today to help put him over the top.
Here is Jim Nichols' statement to Democracy for America:
I am 29, currently lives in metro Atlanta with his wife Deana, and work at UPS loading trucks. I attend Georgia State University and am working on degree's in Economics and Philosophy. I am a graduate of DFA grassroots training and jumped in head first–becoming Chair of Henry County Democrats in 2008, Young Democrats of GA Legislative Aide of the Year in 2008 and 2009, and 2nd vice chair of 3 congressional district 08-current. I ran a GOTV for a State House special election in 2007 and was campaign manager for a State Senate race in 2008.
On the campaign trail since May of 2009, I will fight to bring the new ideas, new energy, and new leadership needed to clean up state government and shake things up in Atlanta. I intend to keep doing what i'm doing--giving Republicans a full court press. Democrats have failed to be a strong opposition party and our citizens have paid for this in bad legislation.
Creating a sustainable budget. The State of GA ranked 49th in per capita spending---yet we have the 10th largest budget shortfall in the nation. We are firing teachers when we should be hiring them. Even now Republicans are running on "cutting taxes"--I'm running right back at them asking "how many more teachers are you going to fire when you do it?" Engaging on the issues is the only way to regain the narrative from the tea party fringe.
Find out more at Jim's website.