Paulding Legislators Speak to Chamber Chairman’s Club

Paulding County, GA – The Paulding County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Chairman’s Club breakfast this week that included a panel discussion with the Paulding Legislative Delegation.  The panel consisted of Representative Howard Maxwell (R-HD17), Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), and Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30).

L-R:  State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), State Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw Braddock (R-HD19), State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17), Ford Thigpen, President, Westside Bank.

L-R:
State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), State Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17), Ford Thigpen, President, Westside Bank.

The discussion centered around expectations for significant legislation for the upcoming session, and gave each member of the delegation an opportunity to discuss with the members of the Chairman’s Club the pieces of legislation they plan to carry in the next session.

Rep. Howard Maxwell, chair of the Paulding delegation, said, “We expect an aggressive agenda this session.  We will move through it very quickly.  I have a couple of retirement bills I will be carrying and the Regulated Industries Committee that I chair will have several bills come before it, but I think there is an appetite to not pass a lot of legislation this session.”

Rep. Paulette Rakestraw discussed a couple of bills she is carrying.  One will eliminate the tier tax system in Georgia, to help the state be more economically competitive.  She is also sponsoring a compact in Georgia to call for an Article V Convention that will force Washington to operate under a balanced budget and lessen federal ability to raise the debt ceiling.  According to Rep. Rakestraw, this is a big initiative because several states are banding together to pass this compact so it can be expedited and happen quickly — in a year or two rather than over 20-30 years.  Rep. Rakestraw also discussed H.B. 707 that she is co-sponsoring to nullify the implementation of Obamacare in Georgia.

Rep. Micah Gravley is carrying a 911 bill that will prohibit releasing to the media the audio portion of 911 calls when there is a victim of rape or aggravated battery. This will prevent media use of these calls to sensationalize a tragedy.  Rep. Gravley said, “This needs to be a session of common sense.  We need to get in and address issues that matter to the tax-paying citizens of Georgia.”

Senator Mike Dugan discussed his “Merry Christmas” bill, S.B. 283.  This bill clarifies the law to state that it is okay for a school system to use a seasonal holiday greeting like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukah.”  Senator Dugan also has S.R. 734, a constitutional amendment that would place term limits on Georgia senators.

Ford Thigpen, the Chairman of the Government Affairs committee and the President of Westside Bank, moderated the panel discussion.

Republican Women Honor Women in Politics

Paulding County, GA – The Paulding County Republican Women hosted a luncheon to honor State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) and the wives of other Paulding Legislators for their efforts in the political arena.  The luncheon was held at The Olive Tree Restaurant in downtown Hiram and was an opportunity for the Republican women in Paulding to come together and share their concerns with Representative Rakestraw and with the wives of the state and federal elected officials.

The guest speaker for the event fell suddenly ill and was replaced at the last minute by Ms. Virginia Galloway, the outgoing State Director for Americans For Prosperity and the incoming State Director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a political organization founded by Ralph Reed.  Ms. Galloway was ready to step in and speak at the list minute, briefly discussing her upcoming career change and encouraging all attendees to read the book, The Devil Inside the Beltway, by Michael Daugherty.

 

L-R:
Libby Kingston, wife of U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-1st Congressional District), Susan Heath, wife of Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), Nancy Hollingshed, outgoing President of the Paulding Republican Women, Marsha Evans, Asst. Treasurer of the Paulding Republican Women, and Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19).

Susan Heath, the wife of Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), attended and was honored for supporting her husband.  Susan is actively involved in the political arena with Senator Heath, working tirelessly with him on campaigns and during legislative session.  Susan frequently can be seen at the Capitol during the legislative session, helping the senator with administrative duties and supporting him at legislative functions.  Libby Kingston, the wife of U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston (R-1st Congressional District) was also in attendance with her mother-in-law, Anne Kingston.

Both Heather Gravley, wife of Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), and Missy Dugan, wife of Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), were invited to the event to be honored for their support of their husbands, but were unable to attend.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

Representative Rakestraw Reviews Technology in Georgia

Paulding County, GA – Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) spent the day with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), reviewing the state’s technology infrastructure and information and plans for efficiency and security of public data housed in Georgia.  Rep. Rakestraw was appointed by Speaker David Ralston to the Georgia Technology Authority Oversight Committee last year to review the state’s infrastructure and technology systems.

Calvin Rhodes, chief information officer for Georgia, led the meeting, held at the GTA offices.  Joe Webb, deputy executive director of the GTA, Steve Nichols, chief technology officer, Tom Fruman, senior enterprise governance and planning officer, and Jeff McCord, director of intergovernmental relations, were there to present information to Rep. Rakestraw and to answer questions.

Throughout the state budget cuts, Georgia has centralized its technology infrastructure, information systems, data management, security, and telephony systems to streamline government services and make them more robust and cost effective.  The GTA provided Rep. Rakestraw  with a status report on the implementation timeline, identifying which agencies have been centralized already and the measurable results of that effort in terms of efficiencies gained.

The Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) division has worked to modernize the state’s information technology (IT) infrastructure to allow better management of IT resources, so that government can meet its service obligations to Georgia’s citizens.  It has a predictable spend, better security, and a robust disaster recovery system for emergencies.  A centralized effort has also enabled GETS to replace an aging IT infrastructure more cost effectively than would have been possible with the compartmentalized, multi-departmental approach that previously existed.

L-R:
Jeff McCord, GTA Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Calvin Rhodes, GTA Chief Information Officer, State Representative Paulette Rakestraw  (R-HD19), Steve Nichols, GTA Chief Technology Officer, Joe Webb, GTA Deputy Executive Director, and Tom Fruman, GTA Senior

The Georgia Technology Authority is a state authority that is self-funded through data sales and administrative fees and has public/private partnerships with outside companies to provide centralized information systems efficiently and cost effectively throughout the state. The GTA manages the state’s central IT infrastructure, data center, security, network, and telecommunication services. The vision statement of the GTA is, “To provide exemplary customer service; to enable business solutions for Georgia’s state government; to lead change for Georgia’s state government.”

Rep. Rakestraw commented, “The centralization of our State’s IT infrastructure was a huge undertaking, but it has helped our state be more efficient, cost effective, and secure —things I believe every tax-paying citizen seeks from their government.  I am honored to serve on this oversight committee, looking at how our state can be more efficient in the technology realm.”

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

Paulding Chamber Hosts Legislative Listening Day

Paulding Legislative Delegation

Paulding Legislative Delegation, L-R:
State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Kimberley Alexander (D-HD66), State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17).

Paulding County, GA – The Paulding County Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its annual “Legislative Listening Day,” in which all State Legislators representing any part of Paulding County came to listen to local city, county, and government officials, local businesses, and community stakeholders.  The focus was on issues facing the county and areas in which the legislative delegation could help Paulding County by having a strong, unified voice in the State Capitol.

Six members comprise the Paulding legislative delegation: State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), State Representative Howard Maxwell (R-HD17), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67) and State Representative Kim Alexander (D-HD66).

In addition to the government officials and businesses, the delegation heard from the leadership teams of Kennesaw State University, Georgia Highlands College, and Chattahoochee Technical College regarding plans for future expansion of their higher learning facilities in the county.

The Government Affairs committee of the Chamber of Commerce spoke to the delegation about the five biggest issues facing Paulding County and how they can help plan a better future for the county in the following areas: environmental & water, transportation, education, economic development, and healthcare.

The Paulding County Chamber holds this legislative listening day annually to help promote a strong business climate for Chamber members and to strengthen job opportunities for the citizens of the county.  It is a collaborative effort among the business community, the Chamber, and city, county, and state officials.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

Paulding Legislative Delegation with members of the Chamber Government Affairs Committee.
Back row, L-R: State Senator Bill Heath (R-SD31), State Representative Micah Gravley (R-HD67), Don Barbour of AT&T, State Representative Howard Maxwell, (R-HD17), Ford Thigpen of Westside Bank, Drew Ferguson (Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Tom Graves), Phillip Godfrey of Georgia Power.
Front row, L-R: Senator Mike Dugan (R-SD30), Scott Greene, (Paulding DOT Director), State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), State Representative Kimberley Alexander (D-HD66), Carolyn Wright (Chamber President).

 

Representative Paulette Rakestraw Visits Dugan Elementary with GABIE

Paulding County, GA – Representative Paulette Rakestraw visited Dugan Elementary School with GABIE, the Great American Bus of Interactive Education, this week.  GABIE was created by Ms. Lisa Williams, a constituent of Rep. Rakestraw.  The mobile, interactive, educational bus was created to teach school children about agriculture in Georgia.

Six third-grade classrooms at Dugan Elementary learned about Georgia’s crops and agriculture by touring the GABIE bus.  Students learned to grind wheat into flour and each took home a sample bag of flour and a cookie recipe to try.  Students in each classroom also planted lettuce or cucumbers; they can watch these plants grow and then use them to make a healthy salad or side dish for their families.

The third-grade classrooms have been learning about government and Representative Rakestraw spoke to the students about her role in government.  Students answered questions about their studies and asked Rep. Rakestraw about what she does and tied it all back to the lessons they’ve learned about how government operates.

Ms. Heather Wilson’s third-grade class sang a song about how government operates to Rep. Rakestraw.  Teachers say this helps the students retain information about the three branches of government and what they do.

GABIE has recently filmed a pilot for a television cooking-contest show in which teachers can create a recipe using a Georgia crop and submit it to the show. The winner of the recipe contest may then bring 30 students to film the television show with GABIE.   Long-term plans are to expand and launch programs in other states to highlight the state’s products and teach students about trading.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

 

Leadership Paulding Class 22 Brings Flowers to Paulding

Paulding County, GA – The Leadership Paulding Class 22 (the twenty-second in the series of classes created to foster effective leadership practices in the county) recently took on a class project to beautify Paulding County. The project, suggested by class member Sam Elrod of Elrod Nursery and titled, “Paulding is Blooming,” involved planting flowers on the medians in the main roads going into Paulding County. Elrod headed up the project and it has been heralded throughout the county as a smashing success.

State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) commented on the how well the project has been received.  “Everywhere I go, people are talking about how beautiful the flowers are,” she said. “When I tell them it was a project from my Leadership Paulding class, they clearly appreciate our efforts. I commend Sam Elrod because he has overcome adversity to make this project a success. He had to re-plant flowers a couple of times due to the rain and the medians being inadvertently mowed.  And he funded a lot of the project himself,” said Rep. Rakestraw.  “Sam has exhibited good, old-fashioned American ingenuity and devotion to hard work.” The class undertook and planned the initiative and facilitated fundraising to support the effort.  The county, in turn, used prison labor to plant the flowers.

 

The members of the Leadership Paulding class are as follows:

 

Brian Acker Paulding County Board of Commissioners
Paula Bechtler Kennesaw State University
Paulette Rakestraw GA State Representative Paulette Rakestraw
Erica Breazele Olympus Media Inc
Sam Elrod Edrod Garden Center
Jamie Gilbert Paulding Economic Development
Natalie Higgins Hardy Dealerships
Mark Jackson Croft & Associates
Teresa Janiga Visiting Angels
Cathy Ledbetter Georgia Highland College
Clark Maggart Paulding County Board of Edcuation
Kara Marinko Aspen Village at Lost Mountain
Jim McMichen Visiting Angels
Tonya McNabb Comfort Keepers
Anthony Murray Oasis Family Center
Carol O’Connell Wellstar Paulding Nursing Center
Doug Osteen Ace Hardware of Dallas
Catherine Owens United Way
Jody Palmer City of Hiram
John Rakestraw Raker Construction
Michael Rickman Flad Architects
Carmen Rollins Main Street Guns, Gold & Pawn
Amy Turner US Senator Johnny Isakson

 

 

Paulding residents who would like to see the “Paulding is Blooming” project continue to bloom can donate at www.pauldingisblooming.com or can support the cause by purchasing a “Paulding Is Blooming” t-shirt from Teresa Janiga at Teresa@westcobbangels.com or 770-222-7388 x102.

 

Link to Paulding is blooming website:  http://www.pauldingisblooming.com

 

Representative Rakestraw Honors Women at Women’s Legislative Caucus Retreat

Paulding County, GA – State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19, Paulding County) took an active role in planning the Women’s Legislative Caucus Retreat in downtown Atlanta last week.

As a member of the planning committee, Rep. Rakestraw worked to secure speakers from various organizations for the event. As a result of the committee’s efforts, Kim Schofield, Advocacy Chair of The Lupus Foundation of Georgia, spoke to the group about the prevalence of Lupus. Kelly McCuchen from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation illuminated the Common Core educational initiative and the digital classroom of the future.  Virginia Galloway, the State Director of Americans for Prosperity, discussed concepts of Economic Freedom in Action, and national speaker and author Dr. Cindye Coates spoke about Women and Economics and the impact women-owned businesses are making in Georgia. (Georgia leads the nation in women-owned businesses.) Lisa Williams, the owner of the Great American Bus Interactive Education Company (GABIE), addressed the audience at the luncheon honoring Ms. Martha Phillips, the retiring Executive Director of the Georgia Dental Association.

 

Rep. Rakestraw is one of the tri-chairs for the Women’s Legislative Caucus, along with Rep. Nikki Randall (D-HD142) and Senator Gail Davenport (D-SD44). The event was held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

 

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County. She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

 

AFP link:  http://americansforprosperity.org/georgia/

 

Georgia Public Policy Foundation link:  http://www.georgiapolicy.org

 

GDA website: http://www.gadental.org

 

GABIE website:  http://gabieinc.webs.com

Representative Rakestraw Works to Bring Jobs to Georgia

Paulding County, GA – State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19, Paulding County) took an active role in Governor Nathan Deal’s Competitiveness Initiative at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega last week. The Competitiveness Initiative is a forum for state government and the business community to work together to grow Georgia’s economy.

Governor Deal spoke to the group about his strategic approach to growing jobs to make Georgia’s economy more vibrant.  This public/private approach to making Georgia more competitive has helped Georgia become the economic leader of the South — with an enviable logistics system, top-tier research universities, world class technical education, a robust agricultural sector, abundant natural resources, and a positive global reputation — all of which contribute to our ability to attract, retain, and grow both jobs and investment.

The strategic plan to improve its business climate will position Georgia to be more competitive for decades to come, and will ensure a bright future for its citizens.

“I’m honored to have a chance to participate in this Initiative,” said Rep. Rakestraw. “This strategy absolutely supports my passion for job creation and small business growth.”

The Competitiveness Initiative is holding three meetings around the state to talk with members of the business community.  The next Competitiveness Initiative is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton, Georgia.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.

L-R:
State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) with Governor Nathan Deal

 

Representative Rakestraw Honors Vets in Paulding

Paulding County, GA – State Representative Paulette Rakestraw of Paulding County, Georgia attended the second annual Paulding County Air Show, entitled Salute America 2013. One segment of the show was a ceremony recognizing local veterans for their service to our country.

Rep. Rakestraw arranged for Major Donald Glenn Karr, a 94-year-old veteran who served as a pilot in the Air Force during World War II, to be honored in the ceremony as a VIP.  Major Karr’s granddaughter, Ms. Susan Leslie, escorted him and  the two spent time together in the VIP tent watching the air show and later attended a dinner specifically honoring the veterans.

Other prominent local citizens who are also veterans were also honored at the air show.  Dr. John Covington, a retired physician, trained as a pilot in the Air Force.  State Representative Howard Maxwell (R-17) served in the Army in Vietnam, and Post 1 Commissioner Dave Carmichael served in the Marine Corps.

“It was such an honor and a privilege to recognize Major Karr at the air show; he is an amazing gentleman,” said Rep. Rakestraw.  “I am always honored to meet our veterans and am so thankful for their sacrifice and service to our country.  Major Karr earned a Silver Star for his service and I am very proud that I’ve had an opportunity to talk with him about his experiences.  It humbles me to know the sacrifices these great men and women have made to protect our freedom.  I always keep that in mind when voting for legislation that impacts Georgians lives because so many have sacrificed so much to protect that freedom.  I am grateful that I was able to talk with many veterans at the show and thank them for their service as well.”

The Salute America Air Show is an annual event hosted at the new airport in Paulding County.  It is a non-profit event for the community and proceeds go to support several local charities.  The Air Show is recognized as a fabulous event for the whole family.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County. Paulette is the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenille Justice and Economic Development Committees.

Representative Rakestraw Supports Habitat for Humanity

Paulding County, GA – State Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-19, Paulding County) attended a chili cook-off event in Cherokee County, with Habitat for Humanity as the primary beneficiary.

 

The chili cook-off is a local event hosted by the Cherokee Association of Realtors.  The purposes of the event are to engage realtors in networking opportunities, to support their local communities, and to raise money for charity.

 

A three-judge panel selected the prize-winning chili recipes.  Third place went to Chris Coulter with Supreme Lending, second place went to Kathy Delbridge with Success Mortgage Partners, and first place was won by to David Moody, President of ERA Sunrise Realty.  The People’s Choice Award went to Jimmy Bracco.

 

The event was well attended, with proceeds going toward Habitat for Humanity.

 

“I am happy to support our realtors and Habitat for Humanity,” said Rep. Rakestraw.  In the legislature, I stand with the realtors in Georgia in support of private property rights. Those rights are at the core of what makes America great and they differentiate us from other nations.”

 

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County. She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenille Justice and Economic Development Committees.