The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) hosted its second candidate forum on disability issues this past September, which gave candidates running for public office an opportunity to speak to the public about their disability platforms and issues of importance to the intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) community. Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and community members had the opportunity to hear from candidates running for public office about various topics including affordable health care, educational opportunities, voting access, and waivers.
The hybrid event, which was well attended, took place at the Courtyard by Marriott Decatur Hotel and Conference Center in Decatur, Georgia, and gave participants and attendees the opportunity to see candidates up close and personal. Candidates who were invited to participate were competing for the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, insurance commissioner, attorney general, labor commissioner, state superintendent of schools, and U.S. senator for Georgia.
Candidates who participated in the candidate forum included Governor Brian Kemp and Stacy Abrams, candidates for governor; Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, candidates for U.S. Senator; Charlie Bailey, a candidate for lieutenant governor; Bee Ngyuen and Ted Metz, candidates for secretary of state; and Janice Laws Robinson, a candidate for insurance commissioner.
Additionally, attendees were also introduced to GCDD’s new executive director, D’Arcy Robb, who hosted the event.
“We were thrilled at the enthusiastic participation from community members and from the candidates. There is something uniquely powerful about creating this space for the candidates to speak directly to the disability community about some of the most pressing issues we are facing,” said Robb. “It not only helps voters make informed choices. It helps the candidates understand our community.”
The GCDD partners who helped plan this event include the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), Sangha Unity Network, and REV UP Georgia. The first GCDD candidate forum took place in September of 2018 and GCDD plans to continue this event every four years during election season. Early voting in Georgia begins Monday, October 17, and ends Friday, November 4. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. Get out and vote!