Issues

Learn more about how Daniel will work to Move Georgia Forward Together, and key policies he will fight for as your next senator.
Daniel Blackman
Moving Georgia Forward Together

Daniel’s plan for North Georgia can be summed up in 4 words Smart Cities, Smart Counties – Daniel believes government services should be more effective and efficient, making public transportation faster and safer, improving public safety, and improving public infrastructure to attract businesses and residents. This campaign is not just about Forsyth County, it is about Hall, & Dawson, & White and every other county that will prosper with Forsyth. Daniel will work to build State and County collaborations to tackle chronic rural poverty in North Georgia, and will not wait for anyone to make up their minds and gather the crumbs for our North Georgia Counties, he will go to every corner of our state, to Silicon Valley, or to Washington D.C., wherever it takes him, to advocate for the funding we deserve to prepare our cities and counties for the technology and innovation of the future, making our workers the most prepared and our children the most advanced.

Our Plan
Smart Growth: It’s Time To Grow Economic Opportunity In North Georgia

From building and maintaining roads and bridges to providing efficient transit options, Daniel will work to bring development, infrastructure, and economic opportunity to North Georgia. Daniel will establish Forsyth as the Gateway to North Georgia allowing Forsyth to work with our neighbors in surrounding counties towards improving essential community infrastructures like schools, hospitals, commerce, entertainment, parks and water purification and sewage systems.  Daniel’s workforce development plan promotes local resident training and direct workforce access to Georgia’s growing industries.  By expanding opportunities for commerce, training, and industry; Daniel wants to ensure that working families have a livable wage, our workforce is trained and prepared to capitalize on new opportunities, and our businesses, communities, and residents will thrive.

Forsyth County is the nation’s 6th fastest growing county and arguably Georgia’s wealthiest – a place with the potential to lead the state in innovation and smart-growth. North Georgians deserve leadership willing to advocate for critical investments to our transportation infrastructure and support policies such as clean energy investments and a workforce development plan which promotes local resident training and direct workforce access to Georgia’s growing film industry.  This will allow entrepreneurs, young people, and small businesses to innovate, expand, and thrive.

 

Daniel is excited about the potential of North Georgia, and what our colleges and training institutions have to offer.  This is why he will push for local community colleges to play a greater role in preparing our students for Georgia’s 21st century workforce in emerging industries such as:

  • Film and Production Professionals | Daniel would like to create a film industry job training program that include animation, cinematography, editing, makeup, post production, and visual effects.
  • Innovators in Technology | Finding and cultivating talent will spur innovation and smart growth within our cities and counties. Daniel believes that access to new technology will boost North Georgia economies, and introduce an array of opportunities such as expanding rural Health Information Technology services, utilizing IT to improve mental health services for veterans in rural areas, and in promoting innovation and social media applications.  Daniel wants to build a workforce that will integrate technology into the growth of our cities and counties with improvements such as Smart Transportation Systems and Smarter Public Safety Systems.
  • The Clean Energy Economy | Over the past several years, inventors and investors have delivered significant progress in developing and deploying key clean energy technologies, supported by State and Federal policies.  Daniel wants this to be better reflected in Georgia’s economy as it relates to wind, solar, building efficiency, and the assembly of fuel-efficient vehicles. Daniel is committed to bringing North Georgia’s educational community together with the private sector, start-ups, and labor organizations, to push for and incentivize the development and implementation of curricula that will ensure community college students are prepared for high quality jobs upon graduation.

For far too many of Georgia’s working families, the ladder of opportunity towards health and prosperity has been severed. Incomes aren’t keeping up with increases in the cost of living, and the gap between the wealthy and working class families has widened.  Daniel believes income inequality is the defining economic challenge of this generation, and supports the idea that, “No-one who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty“.  The minimum wage must be a living wage, and those who desire to work and pay taxes should have tools they need to compete in the workforce – from affordable childcare and early childhood education to access to healthcare and equal pay for women, he will fight for the hard-working families of this state who have been disenfranchised, forgotten, and left behind.

Daniel knows that transportation and infrastructure are core public sector responsibilities that impact everything from our daily commutes to shipping goods throughout the state. From building and maintaining roads and bridges to providing efficient transit options, Daniel will ensure that Forsyth is a gateway to North Georgia as well as a driving force connecting communities and strengthening our economy.

1.9 million Georgians are living in poverty.  Daniel belief is simple, hard working families should not be living at or below the poverty line, especially when they are working a 40 hour work week.  We must end the vicious cycle poverty by creating more bridges to opportunity.  Our brothers and sisters in poverty need access, hope, education, and a hand up rather than a hand out.  If we are not willing to be considerate and compassionate, then we are not willing to achieve progress.  My approach to solving the issues poverty will be: ending the criminalization of poverty, advocating for access to affordable health care, promoting access to quality education where skills are developed and innovation is applied, and being a champion for affordable housing and childcare so that everyone willing to work can make the most of their lives.

 

In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the following priorities should be set:

  1. We must reward hard-workers and those seeking to re-enter the workforce by incentivizing active participation within the labor force.  This includes raising the minimum wage, using our technical colleges to reduce the poverty rate through education, and making it easier for those returning from prison to reestablish themselves as hard-working citizens.
  2. We have to recognize that there is no “one size fits all” approach to eradicate poverty. I believe in an “all hands on deck” approach where local governments and communities work in tandem to restore the friends and families that make up the population.  These types of partnerships will allow benefits and programs to be crafted towards the diverse economic and social challenges within those communities.
  3. Access to quality and affordable education will improve skills of our men and women in the workforce while opening the door for their children to have a more attainable pathway to success.  When we restore dignity to our labor force, we have increased productivity.  When we have greater productivity, we inherit economic stability and hope for future generations.
  4. While our compassion drives our support to people who are vulnerable or in need, we must focus on giving people a “hand up, not a handout”.  This includes mitigation and preparedness.  Once anyone makes it out of poverty, our goal should be for them to navigate through life as prepared as possible to continue on a pathway towards prosperity.

 

 

Atlanta Journal Constitution Q/A

 

The current minimum wage in Georgia is $7.25 an hour. A person working 40 hours makes $290 a week, approximately $1160 a month. Do you support raising the minimum wage, why or why not?

 

Far too many Georgians are working for inadequate wages and under harsh conditions. I get angry every time I see a hard-working family struggle or a child in poverty, and I will fight every day to ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty.

 

I support a living wage, because it is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs.  What every American needs in 2016 is their dignity in a time of poverty, I will be a champion for fair wages and economic security.

 

 

Foreign-born Georgians own 31% of the businesses in our state. Legal Permanent Residents and naturalized citizens contribute approximately 1.8 billion dollars in state and local taxes each year. How will you help ensure Georgia is a welcoming place for foreign born entrepreneurs and their families?

 

There is no doubt that Foreign-born Georgians are a critical part of Georgia’s course towards prosperity.  In 2010 when the last census took place, new immigrant business owners generated $2.9 billion, 64,000 immigrants became new business owners, and 15.5% of Georgia business owners were immigrants. When we support Foreign-born Georgians, we support their culture, when we support their culture, foreign born entrepreneurs and their families feel welcomed.

 

I will promote immigrant entrepreneurs by highlighting their contributions to large innovative companies as well as small business formation in local communities throughout Georgia. We ought to support immigrant family-owned small businesses that contribute to the vitality of their local communities.

 

I will reward Immigrant entrepreneurs which bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy, especially in our rural areas. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders must recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

 

 

What experience do you bring to the job and what is your motivation to serve the people of Georgia?

 

Daniel has over 10 years of public and intergovernmental affairs and experience and has worked with elected officials, community leaders, and the business community    to help shape foreign and domestic policies including (1) climate mitigation strategies which include reducing emissions  through improved energy efficiency, (2) advocating for accurate food labeling of genetically modified foods, (3) supporting drug control policies that target high intensity drug trafficking areas, especially heroin trafficking and support prevention efforts, (4) working with members of the U.S. Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in communities throughout America, and (5) being appointed by retired Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears to the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law.

 

I am highly motivated to serve the people of Georgia because very few elected officials are willing to work across the aisle and put differences aside to find common ground.  I want to be a thoughtful and considerate statesman that put Georgians first and politics second.

 

 

If elected, what would be your top three priorities and how would you work to achieve results?

 

  1. Education – We have already seen billions in funding cut from education, and in November, voters will have to consider a proposed amendment to the constitution that would establish an Opportunity School District of “chronically failing schools.” The Opportunity School District would be managed by a Governor-appointed Superintendent who would be given vast new powers over the use of local funding and local educational decision-making, yet be unaccountable to local taxpayers.  Instead, I support focusing on better teaching, stronger lessons, stable school leadership and more funding for local schools.

 

  1. Energy – I will focus on instituting sustainability best practices that protect consumers, invests in renewable energy, and push for more transparency between government and the community so that every energy program or policy is screened and evaluated according to its economic and social impact.

 

  1. Income Inequality -According to a study, income inequality is wider in Atlanta than in San Francisco, Boston, or Miami.  To put this in perspective, the top 5% of households earn nearly 20 times the income in our capital than the bottom 20%, . That spread makes Atlanta the city with the highest degree of income inequality; and the numbers get even worse when you factor in our rural communities.  Here is what I would propose: (1) Raise the minimum wage, (2) Provide stronger incentives for inner-city job creation, and (3) Strengthen laws on nondiscriminatory hiring.

 

 

At least five rural hospitals have closed their doors since 2013 and Georgia has the worst maternal mortality rate in the nation, with 35 maternal deaths for every 10,000 live births. How would you address the lack of healthcare access in rural areas?

 

What it comes down to is this, if we are going to have an overall healthy Georgia, EVERYONE needs to have access.  We are sending $9 million of Georgia taxpayer money to Washington every single day, and getting nothing back. We need to find common-ground solutions that keep that money here to improve our economy, create jobs and improve health care for people across Georgia.

The challenges of access to healthcare will be solved when we consider high poverty rates and medical access problems seriously.  Unfortunately, state legislators have failed to work together in an effective way. We have to carefully consider health behavior, clinical care, physical environment, and social and economic factors, including the percentage of children in poverty, unemployment and education rates.

 

I would support every effort to put money into rural health care, including increased funding for federally qualified health centers.

Smart On Health: It’s Time To Care About The Health Of Our People

Daniel will advocate for substantial investments in our residents’ health and well-being, ensuring that all of Georgia citizens will be safe and affordable health care.  Our county health departments must be empowered to do their part in protecting our residents and communities.  We must support their ability to offer a broad range of services like administering flu shots, providing behavioral and mental health services and care, securing and delivering health information, and preventing and responding to public health emergencies.  From our hospitals and emergency rooms to clinical care facilities, Daniel is committed to working collaboratively with our counties to support the systems that keep us healthy from the time we are born to the time we grow old.

How Forsyth can win the fight against substance abuse

 

As State Senator, Daniel will focus on:

 

Prevention: I believe we can empower our communities to implement programs that teach adolescents about drug use and addiction.  We can do this through continued partnerships within the Forsyth County Public School System, and through increased funding and resources to the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council.  Supporting these types of organizations assists in educating, advocating for, and empowering our diverse communities, thus preventing substance abuse while preserving the integrity of our neighborhoods.

 

Treatment and recovery: Substance use disorders are chronic diseases, and recovery is only possible through effective and ongoing care—not neglect or stigmatization. Everyone who needs treatment and ongoing support should be able to get it. Additionally, increased public assistance options for families struggling to pay for drug and alcohol treatment should be seriously considered. Lastly, Opioid dependence leads to 3,000% rise in medical services; therefore, we should invest in and empower our recovery community organizations.

  • First responders: All first responders should have access to naloxone, a drug that can prevent opioid overdoses from becoming fatal.
  • Prescribers: Drug prescribers will have to meet standards for training and go through a prescription drug monitoring program before writing a prescription for controlled medications.
  • Criminal justice reform: Let’s prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over prison for low-level and nonviolent drug offenses and work to end the era of mass incarceration.

MORE POLICING IS NOT THE ANSWER TO COMBATING DRUG ABUSE

“We can police and we can police…we can build more prisons, and incarcerate more and more folks until we can’t lock up anymore. We have done that. We have done that without consideration of consequence or regard to humanity. Instead of incarceration as our only option, we must recognize that failed policies have done nothing but increase unemployment, broken our families and communities, and imprison nonviolent offenders.” -Daniel Blackman, Speaking to Clergy

 

As the father of three sons, Daniel understands that talking about substance abuse and the disease of addiction can be a difficult conversation, but it can be a life-saving one.  From the inner city to rural areas of Georgia, Heroin is a serious problem throughout the metro-region.  In fact, 2015 saw the deaths of 27 of our Forsyth County neighbors due to drug overdoses or complications from overdoses. He is and will continue to be FULLY committed to supporting the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council which collaborates with the Sheriff’s Office, Board of Education, Judicial Officers, local non-profits, local businesses, parents, and students, to help raise awareness about the dangers of drugs in our community. He will work with this council and actively support any programs or initiatives created through the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, especially initiatives teaching our children and grandchildren the dangers of drugs and addiction.

 

Here is Daniel’s Perspective:

 

  • Daniel recognizes the explosion of heroin abuse and overdose deaths in Georgia, that’s why he is committed to creating and promoting platforms which help parents, educators, community members, and young people discuss dangers of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use. He will actively support the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council and their mission to educate, advocate, and empower the community to prevent substance abuse across the lifespan in Forsyth County, Georgia.
  • Daniel believes in collaboration, and he wants to create a comprehensive plan to end heroin and opioid addiction not just in Forsyth, but throughout Georgia’s other 158 counties by establishing a statewide heroin task force charged with ending the heroin and opioid crisis in Georgia. This collaborative effort will be comprised of a diverse coalition of experts in law enforcement, healthcare, education, and drug-policy, and will include Georgia’s youth and parents, as well as Georgians in recovery, to support existing state efforts and use their expertise and experience to win back a generation of hope and prosperity. Members of the task force will hold public listening sessions across Georgia to inform their recommendations.
  • Daniel will advocate for federal funds to help prevent heroin use, prescription drug abuse, and opioid overdose, especially amongst adolescents and young adults across the State. Since heroin abuse is at epidemic levels, and Georgia doesn’t have the infrastructure nor the resources for proper treatment, increasing awareness about the dangers of drug abuse will be a top priority of his when elected.
  • Daniel believes nonviolent offenders should not be incarcerated. Instead, they should be allowed to access affordable treatment to address their drug dependencies, and we should work with their families to increase awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.

 

In 2015, Daniel traveled to our nation’s capital because he believes America needs a national labeling law for genetically engineered foods, so he worked with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to reevaluate the Food and Drug Administration’s role in regulating genetically modified food.  Daniel argued that the bill (referred to as the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015”) would not actually require labeling of genetically engineered foods, even though it “claimed” to provide for a national labeling system.  He went on record by saying, “…the current voluntary system of food labeling has resulted in massive consumer confusion, and as it stands now, the FDA allows companies to voluntarily label foods containing GMOs. The thing is, they don’t do it, and we should not accept that.”  Daniel will bring this type of leadership to our counties.

Smart On Crime: Let’s Create a Balanced Approach To Keeping Our Communities Safe

“When a kid commits a crime, our justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if burdening young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. What we need is a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity and toughness with compassion. If I could make any contribution to our justice system, it would be changing people’s lives for the better instead of ruining them; and if we’re not building bridges within the lives of our children, we’ll have to face the harsh reality of repairing them as adults. ” –Daniel Blackman, on his service to the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Marriage, Children and Family Law.

 

As Senator, Daniel will be a leader on smart on crime efforts that promote data-driven, evidence-based methods for providing inmates with the tools they need to rebuild their lives when released from jail or prison. This will involve efforts to substantially scale up grant programs for reentry, life skills training, and education and employment opportunities to reduce the alarmingly high chance that prisoners will resume a life of crime upon their release. I will also push for federal funding for public-private partnerships that bring private sector firms into prisons and jails, creating connections and training programs that will produce jobs for inmates after their release.

 

Daniel’s plan for Public Safety & Crime Prevention includes developing policy positions on issues concerning law enforcement and other emergency services, corrections, substance abuse, juvenile justice, homeland security (including disaster preparedness and relief), domestic terrorism, court systems and gun safety.

 

Daniel believes that we must maintain a relentless focus on reducing violence, while vigorously prosecuting criminals who threaten our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. However, as a former Georgia Supreme Court appointee to the Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law, he has seen firsthand the devastating effects of mass incarceration and the revolving door of recidivism. Daniel believes Georgians desire legislators who are “smart on crime” instead of individuals that believe in a “One Size Fits All” approach to justice where families are broken and communities are left in despair.

 

When he says, “smart on crime”, he is taking an economic perspective on incarceration and the criminal justice system as a whole.  Daniel does not believe in a justice system that responds to all crime as equal, and that is why he is committed to a “smart on crime” approach – one that applies innovative, data-driven methods to make our system more efficient and effective.  He believes this approach will decrease incarceration rates, prevent and reduce recidivism, and increase transparency and accountability throughout our current justice system.

“I do not believe we have to chose between safety and justice.  I believe being “smart on crime” ensures impartiality and guarantees our constitutional rights within the criminal justice system.  I want more than anything to continue to build upon the trust between law enforcement and the communities in which they serve while increasing public safety.” –Daniel Blackman

SUPPORT LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT Daniel is the son of the late Staff Sgt. Rudolph Blackman who served his country honorably as a United States Army Ranger who also spent time as an officer with the Georgia Department of Corrections.  Daniel believes that community outreach is a vital component of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, and he is fully committed to supporting local law enforcement to promote safety within Forsyth County to citizens of all ages.  He will coordinate events to educate members of the community which will be one his priorities as a Senator.  As a business owner and vendor to the Metro-Atlanta Region, Daniel is a founding partner and avid supporter the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office’s annual youth conference entitled H.Y.P.E. (Helping Youth Prosper and Evolve).  H.Y.P.E. designed to encourage youth between the ages of 11-17 in becoming more productive students by providing them with age appropriate information to help them make sound decisions as they navigate through the tough years of middle and high school.

COUNTY ROLE IN JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

“…when any of us are threatened by terrorism, it is our local police, sheriffs, and firefighters who rush to the scene putting our safety and security first. I will support and encourage opportunities where local law enforcement work in tandem with their state legislators to receive the full support and resources they need and deserve to detect security threats and coordinate and cooperate with state and federal agencies.” –Daniel Blackman

Daniel wants to ensure that Forsyth County remains one of Georgia’s safest counties, and will focus on two distinct areas of justice and public safety: (1) emergency response and preparedness and (2) the criminal justice system. His common sense approach Justice and Public Safety is to be Smart on Crime. He knows it is not enough to patrol the streets, that is why he supports:

  • more efficient policies and find funding for operating and maintaining our detention facilities,
  • more resources for the service of our county courts,
  • and supporting our county sheriffs and other law enforcement departments that are on the front lines of public safety and the criminal justice system everyday.

Daniel is committed to communicating with our judges, district attorneys, public defenders, court clerks, jail directors, 911 operators and coroners, to ensure the integrity of our service to the public.

As the godfather of a survivor of human trafficking, Daniel will be a champion for child victims, and women who are victims of sexual violence.  He has been an outspoken leader in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking, and will fight against the victimization and enslavement of poor and vulnerable women, girls, and boys. The facts about human trafficking in Georgia are alarming.  Here is what we know:

  • The Metro Atlanta Region was named by the FBI a top 3 region with the highest rate of children used in prostitution.
  • In Georgia, 12,400 men purchase sex with young women in any given month.
  • Approximately 100 adolescent females are sexually exploited each night in Georgia.
  • In Georgia, adolescent females controlled by the child sex trafficking trade are sexually exploited by an adult male on an average of three times per night.

Daniel is in FULL support the Safe Harbor Amendment, referred to as Senate Resolution 7. He will be supporting a number of events between now and election day (November 8, 2016) to ensure passage of this important resolution. In the November 2016 General Election, Georgia voters will be asked to vote on a State Constitutional Amendment that would allow for additional penalties to be applied to those found guilty of trafficking, prostitution, and related crimes and to use those funds to establish a Safe Harbor Fund for survivors.

It is of the utmost importance to not only bring criminals to justice, but to also provide support for victims of crime.  Here are a few position statements that I would like to share:

 

  • I support increased penalties for violating domestic violence restraining orders.
  • I support the use of sick leave or personal business leave for victims seeking domestic abuse treatment, rather than only vacation time.
  • I support preventing anyone with a restraining order or certain domestic abuse convictions from possessing a gun or ammunition.
  • I support increasing the current statute of limitations for rape and other sex crimes
  • I support requirements for universities in Georgia to keep written, public procedures for responding to sexual assaults of students, faculty or staff. The procedures must include notifying victims of their rights and resources available to them.
  • I support funding for Child Abuse Intervention Centers throughout the State of Georgia
  • I support the combination of Senate Bill 8 and Senate Resolution 7 — (both sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford) which establishes a new “Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund”, and would get money through new $2,500 fines on convicted traffickers and an annual $5,000 fee on adult entertainment establishments. The money would then pay for physical and mental health care, housing, education, job training, child care, legal help and other services for victims.
  • I support reducing violence and prosecuting violent criminals with consideration of social impacts in the lives of our young offenders to get them back on track while working with the community and their families to prevent the escalation and continuation of criminal behavior.
On The Issues

In an effort to save our children and to protect public education, Daniel opposes the idea of establishing an Opportunity School District of “chronically failing schools”, because the Opportunity School District would be managed by a Governor-appointed Superintendent who would be given immeasurable new powers over the use of local funding and local educational decision-making, yet be unaccountable to local taxpayers.

 

While Daniel applauds the Governor Nathan Deal for his veto of both the Religious Freedom Bill and the Campus Carry Bill, he opposes the creation of any State-wide school district where a new and unelected Superintendent is hired by and for the bidding of the Governor.  And regardless if the Governor is a Democrat or Republican, he believes the public must know and be engaged in any attempt to take local board control away, thus controlling billions of local tax dollars without transparency and accountability.

 

As the language reads, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance”, it really comes down to this: if we vote for the Opportunity School District, we will end up paying private companies and vendors to takeover schools. In Recovery or Opportunity School Districts, the schools became permanent charters; even though taxpayers paid for the buildings and facilities, the Charter School Company was permanently given management of the schools.  Daniel does not believe the Governor should be allowed to bypass the Georgia Department of Education and pattern Georgia after Louisiana, where after state management was implemented in New Orleans, only 6% of high school seniors in the Recovery School District scored high enough in English and Math to enter a state four-year college/university.  In Tennessee, audits uncovered problems in the way that federal dollars were handled, and ultimately, the founding superintendent resigned.  Similarly, the Michigan Superintendent resigned after 2 years on the job after criticism for high rates of student and teacher turnover, questionable spending, and problems with special education services. 

 

Additionally, there is NO process for appeals for parents or students if the Governor has his way. Daniel believes in local control. There are too many hard-working teachers who are doing there best with limited resources and the constant threat of budget-cuts in education from the legislators we have entrusted to protect us.  Instead of lending more resources and providing support to our school districts, personnel in Opportunity School District schools can all lose their jobs through the “re-constitution” of our schools.  Lastly, there are NO provisions or interventions that are proven strategies and methods that work in classrooms related to Opportunity School Districts.

 

Daniel’s ALTERNATIVE TO THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

We have a choice, either we can build academically and socially strong children, or we will repair illiterate and socially broken adults.  For this reason, Daniel will encourage community involvement and push for increased accountability standards from school leaders. Georgia already has the authority to remove school members and superintendents due to ethical issues or academic performance. Daniel will exercise the authority that the state already has before EVER attempting to take away local control.

 

Daniel has three children fortunate enough to receive a quality education in Forsyth, however, as Forsyth County Schools continue to set new and innovative education standards, other districts do not have the ability to surround students with a community of support.   Daniel will work to bring community and state resources into public schools throughout Forsyth, North Georgia, and any other county where children and communities need our help the most.
While funding for public education has improved, low performing schools still experience severe state funding cuts, and too many of our Georgia schools are a reflection of the challenges and lack of resources within the communities they serve. This is why Daniel believes the State of Georgia must uncompromisingly provide FULL financial support to our schools, especially throughout our most underserved school districts.  He will serve as an outspoken advocate for funding because he knows the State of Georgia has a constitutional obligation to provide funding to public schools so that they can provide their students with a quality education.  Lastly, state grants could be leveraged to fund teachers to encourage become Nationally Board Certified and teach within schools identified as failing.

“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Georgians are our neighbors, friends, members of our communities of faith, our family, co-workers, and fellow Americans. Our state played a critical role throughout the Civil Rights Movement by addressing our shortcomings and offering solutions to our most pressing challenges.  We are a resilient state, not a perfect one, so when it comes to being able to earn a living or be served by businesses – EVERY Georgian regardless of their ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation, should be treated with fairness and equity and never be condemned to discriminatory practices.” – Daniel Blackman

 

Daniel has never wavered on his belief that while we have differences, discrimination of any kind is not just bad for growth and prosperity throughout Georgia, it is just plain wrong and bad for humanity.  Even our Republican friends believe in “expanding opportunity’ and ‘reaffirming individual liberty’”.  According to Georgia Republicans for the Future, 59% of Republicans nationwide believe there should be laws banning discrimination against the LGBT community, and a striking 79% of Millennial Republicans believe the same.  Daniel believes that the next generation of our nation’s leaders will embrace an inclusive society which creates economic and political opportunity for everyone.

 

Daniel supports non-discriminatory policies, and will work with State Legislators to ensure that our legislative process produces results that balance both the core principles of civil rights with the religious liberty that we hold dear in this country.  He agrees with the idea that continued prosperity depends on a strong business brand and high quality of life that provides an open and inclusive home for all. Forsyth County and North Georgia are well positioned for continued growth and great potential, so it is imperative that we embrace forward thinking.

When Governor Deal vetoed “campus carry” legislation he did the right thing.  While I understand the concern for the protection of our young men and women while they attend our colleges and universities, college students to carrying concealed guns onto campuses is not the answer.  Daniel believes this would make it harder for campus police to protect our campus communities.  What Daniel is in favor of is more severe penalties for any unauthorized possession or use of firearms on college campuses.

The measure would have allowed anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on public colleges or university campuses except for dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses and athletic events.   Daniel encourages a more solution-driven approach, and wants us to turn to the voices of those within our campus communities throughout Georgia, “the students, administration, and campus police should determine how to work collaboratively to best address public safety and security on Georgia campuses”, says Daniel.

Daniel will be “Smart on the 2nd Amendment”, advocating for gun safety and committing himself to reducing domestic violence, death, and injuries by firearms throughout our beloved State of Georgia.

 

Daniel supports Georgians for Gun Safety and the following principles:

  • The safe and legitimate use of firearms for sport and hunting purposes.
  • The right of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms, provided reasonable background checks and common sense safety procedures are put in place.
  • The strengthening and enforcement of laws that keep guns out of the hands of: felons, unsupervised children, domestic abusers, straw buyers and the court-adjudicated mentally incompetent.
Working Together

EQUALITY FOR WOMEN

Daniel has been and will continue to be a tireless advocate for Constitutional Equality for women, acknowledging that, “equality in education, pay, job opportunities, political structure, and social security will not be truly attained without a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution. In Georgia, women’s equality will continue to be a top priority because he believes advancement relies on legislation that is sensitive to the progress of women.

His plan calls for a wide range of economic justice issues impacting women including a livable wage, ending job discrimination, promoting pay equity, and championing social security and pension reform.

ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

Daniel knows first-hand the impact caused by acts of violence against women. In 2010, his Goddaughter was kidnapped and became a victim of human trafficking and sexual abuse. This led to Daniel’s commitment to the protection and safety of women and girls not just in Georgia, but around the world. He has fought for and supported tougher legislation related to domestic violence, and has worked to solve family related issues as an appointee to the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law.

As a business owner, he works with the White House on an initiative called “It’s On Us”, which is a led by Vice President Biden, and works to end sexual assault on college campuses nationwide. It’s On Us asks everyone — men and women across America — to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault.

Provide Our Veterans With What They HAVE Earned | With almost 800,000 Veterans living in Georgia, Daniel believes that we owe them the support and care they earned while wearing our nation’s military uniform. He also believes that providing medical care and disability benefits is our reasonable service. Growing up on Fort Benning, Georgia, he watched hopelessly as scams and other predatory conduct uniquely targeted service members, and as a Senator, he will fight to prevent dishonorable treatment towards our honorable men and women of service.   He will also fight for enhanced protections for active-duty and Veteran homeowners and their families. Daniel ensure that when Veterans leave military service, they have the support they need to readjust to civilian life, including proper physical and mental health care. It’s unconscionable that 22 Veterans take their own lives each day. He will bring together federal, state, and local government leaders plus Veteran Service Organizations and non-profits to ensure that every Veteran knows what benefits they earned and how to access those benefits.

 

Daniel’s Statement to Veterans:

I would first like to acknowledge the honorable service provided by each and every one of our Veterans by saying THANK YOU.  My father served our nation honorably for 22 years, and is in eternal rest at Georgia National Cemetery. As the son of a United States Army Ranger and the son-in-law of a Colonel who served at the Pentagon, I believe veterans affairs is an uncompromisable priority.  In fact, I am committed to eradicating chronic veteran homelessness in Georgia, because when Vets have a place to call home, it is a small but powerful way we can show our appreciation.  My mission to eradicate chronic veteran homelessness in Georgia is not some far-fetched idea; I want Georgia to join the other seven major cities and states which have effectively eradicated chronic veteran homelessness as well as the cities across America that have set ambitious goals to end veteran homelessness by 2016 in accordance with a White House initiative.  We can accomplish this by taking advantage of federal funding made available to give American veterans a roof over their head. 

 

Lastly, I know first hand that when you have served your country, there is a chance that it came at great personal cost, that is why I want to invest into the lives of service men and women by advocating for and funding programs and resources to help address challenges such as:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)
  • Substance Abuse(Alcohol or Other Drugs)
  • Homelessness/Housing Concerns
  • Disability and Health/Illness Issues
  • Unemployment/Under employment
  • Poverty
  • Educational Deficit
  • Financial Literacy
  • Social Anxiety
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Family Issues

Your service to our country is immeasurable and we owe you and your families more than appreciation; we owe you respect, resources, and opportunity.  We owe you progress, not politics.

Very Sincerely,

Daniel

Daniel Blackman is the son of the late Staff Sgt. Rudolph Blackman who served as a United States Army Ranger and his wife Jeanelle is the daughter of Colonel David Thomas Bullock who retired from the Pentagon. Both Daniel and Jeanelle believe that, “When the brave men and women of our military serve, their families are serving and sacrificing as well”. For this reason, Daniel is committed to raising the mindfulness of the service, sacrifice, and needs of military spouses and their children. Growing up on Fort Benning, Georgia, Daniel values the input of military families, and will work tirelessly to ensure access to counseling, employment opportunities, education, financial support, health and wellness.

Georgia has become home to many immigrants. As a matter of fact, I am the son of immigrants myself. The majority of Georgia’s immigrant population consists of people who value family, faith and hard work, and who happen to live within a broken system. Their story is our story, the story of America where hard-working families come to states like Georgia to attain the dream of better opportunities while creating a brighter future for their children and grand-children.

Yet our system offers no legal channel for anywhere near a sufficient number of peaceful, hardworking immigrants to legally enter the United States even temporarily to fill this growing gap. The predictable result is illegal immigration.

In response, we can spend billions more to beef up border patrols. We can erect hundreds of miles of ugly fence slicing through private property along the Rio Grande. We can raid more discount stores and chicken-processing plants from coast to coast. We can require all Americans to carry a national ID card and seek approval from a government computer before starting a new job.

Crossing an international border to support your family and pursue dreams of a better life is not an inherently criminal act like rape or robbery. If it were, then most of us descend from criminals. As the people of Texas know well, the large majority of illegal immigrants are not bad people. They are people who value family, faith and hard work trying to live within a bad system.

When large numbers of otherwise decent people routinely violate a law, the law itself is probably the problem. To argue that illegal immigration is bad merely because it is illegal avoids the threshold question of whether we should prohibit this kind of immigration in the first place.

The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time. I support former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ position that: “Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.” That is why I have supported the Fight For 15 and efforts to Raise The Wage.

I will advocate for legislature to support a living minimum wage, The minimum wage must be a living wage, and families should have tools they need to compete in the workforce – from affordable childcare and early childhood education to paid family leave and truly equal pay. I believe in attracting a new and diverse industry to North Georgia, promoting a workforce development strategy to prepare Georgia for the growing entertainment industry. I know income inequality is the defining economic challenge of our time. But addressing income inequality is just one part of the solution. We also need to cultivate economic growth that creates real opportunity for Georgia families and businesses. To that end, we must invest more in education – from early childhood through college and technical school – to ensure we spur entrepreneurship, fuel small businesses, and develop a workforce that meets the demands of employers in the 21st century.

To win this election and move forward on Common Ground we need your Support.