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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

Georgia Progressives Send A Message Re Budget Priorities

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Welcome to Message Monday!


Yesterday, when I was talking about what progressives need to do to build power within the Democratic coalition, I said, “We need to prove that our policy priorities ARE broadly popular…Polling matters.” 


Then today, along comes a lovely email from a Georgia consortium saying, “The poll [released last Thursday] reveals broad consensus

among Georgians on crucial statewide issues.”  The group is shining a light on what people really want from state government, as a new legislative session gets underway.


Georgians Want Services, Not Low Taxes for the Wealthy


Can I get a witness? The poll found most Georgians across all backgrounds prefer investing in services for their communities over keeping taxes low for the wealthy and big corporations. Most voters also prefer to see the surplus invested in services over given as tax rebates.


The poll was conducted by HIT Strategies [“the leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion research firm in DC”] on behalf of a coalition of partners led by State Innovation Exchange (SiX),  including 9to5 Georgia, New Georgia Project, Amplify Georgia Collaborative, and The Southern Economic Advancement Project.


Connecting To Existing “Common Sense”


The #2 “takeaway” from the survey was, “In thinking about the upcoming budget, voters strongly support priorities that will make their lives more affordable, given high cost of living and inflation.” 


What every news story says, right?  Then here’s the part that only progressive groups will say, here validated by voters: “These priorities include more affordable health care, prescription drug prices, housing, and childcare.  They also support funding elderly and disability and rural healthcare services.”  Boom!  Other priorities, of course, are abortion access and Medicaid expansion.


They also note that “Affordable housing is especially concerning with Black and younger voters, while white and older voters are more concerned with crime and violence.”


The Poll Is The Beginning, Not The End


Now the groups will have to undertake the uphill battle of getting these findings into the media and the political conversation around the state budget.  I can assure you that this does not just happen, especially when you have findings like these.  But the poll is a great tool and a weapon to hold elected officials and candidates accountable to the people.


Let’s hope that when there are upcoming debates in the Peach State, someone will start a question with, “Polls say that most Georgians support abortion access, Medicaid expansion and rural healthcare.  Where do you stand on that?”

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