State Rep. District 176: Jason Shaw/Debra Tann

Debra Tann

The 2010 General Assembly has received significant criticism for failing to resolve critical financial issues of the state. If elected, what will you do to ensure better success in 2011 and future legislative sessions?
In 2011, I am hopeful for an upward swing in our economy. When you know better, you can do better, I must be knowledgeable. I will take careful strides to ensure collaborative approaches to making our state better financially. Legislation in this area would be examined by me; to avoid any mishaps from previous years. When elected, it will be to my advantage to be well aware of financial issues and work collegially with fellow legislatures to do what is best for the state of Georgia.

How will you engage voters in your district in identifying issues that are important to them, and how will you ensure progress is made on these issues?
I will visit people in my district and talk with them personally. My goal is to have town hall meetings to listen to the people. They need to know I care and that I am interested in listening to the issues of their heart. Appealing to as many people as I can personally will engage and encourage them to go to the polls and vote. I will keep runnings notes about the top four areas of concern. I will examine those trends with the goal of ensuring progress in at least three major areas.

What specific changes, if any, to property tax policy would you like to see?

I know most prefer their taxes to be reduced but I would ask "at what expense?" We certainly do not want to take away from our schools. So, while taxes may increase, I think a better position would be to examine why the increase and what it will specifically enhance in our state and communities.

If elected, what would be your three (3) top policy priorities and how would you work to achieve results?
I would say education, education, and education as I believe education correlates to our economy, our environment, health issues, poverty, job opportunities, and transportation in rural areas. I would hope with my educational background, I could work closely with the state office of education. We simply must do better in the area of education. I am convinced, once we get our educational system on the right path, the aformentioned areas will be tremendously affected in a positive manner.

Do you think that Georgia should adopt an independent redistricting commission, that should be put into law in time for 2011 redistricting?

Perhaps this is a viable method to ensure fairness in the redistricitng efforts for Georgia. Much relies on our census numbers, hence an independent commission may be helpful. However, I would like to see data about what has occurred in the past. Has Georgia been fair over the years? Has oversite been necessary? And most of all, is it feasible for a commission to be in line for 2011? If so, how? I need more information but I am not opposed to at least the consideration based on facts.

What else needs to be done to resolve Georgia’s transportation problems?

South Georgia seems to be taking a hard hit in this area. Lowndes County tried hard to bring forth transportation. I attended many meetings and now it appears to be on the "back burner" if you will. Perhaps other areas are struggling in this area too but I need to know what has been done thus far. North Georgia seems to be doing fine from my prospective. The topic of transportation varies based on geography. It would be interesting to see and hear from legislators on this important issue.

What further changes, if any, does Georgia need in terms of ethics reform?

Ethically speaking, Georgia should always be concern about what is best for us. I understand some ethics changes may be happening if the governor signs a bill for stronger ethic policies. In addition, it would be helpful to see local candidates have their forms managed through the same computer system (Ethics Division) that is in place for state candidates. This would streamline the administration and all candidates would go through the same procedures regarding forms and regulation adherence


Age (as of June 10): 50

Education: BA California State University Sacramento, MA Valdosta State University, and Ed.D. University of Sarasota

Family: Husband Chris, three sons Nigel, Demitrius, Malik and a dog name Shep.

I've desired to run for a political office for 10 years. However, my sons were too young. Now with two of the three in college, it is time! I have a strong campaign and we plan to win the race. In addition, I am capable of examining possible bills to see which ones may benefit the state of Georgia. In addition, I was a local, state, and national government teacher for 7 years at the college level. I believe in this country and Georgia. I know I would make an effective servant leader.
Jason Shaw

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