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.

Representative Paulette Rakestraw Visited YMCA Paulding Early Childhood Development Center for Georgia Pre-K Week

Hiram, GA, — Representative Paulette Rakestraw sat alongside a group of 4-year-olds on Oct 4, 2013, reading to the group from a favorite children’s book as part of Georgia’s Pre-K Week. Around the state, attention will be turned to the tens of thousands of Georgia’s youngest children in celebration of the important work they are doing to prepare for school success.

September 30-October 4 is the state’s official Pre-K Week, hosted by Voices for Georgia’s Children (www.georgiavoices.org) and its Pre-K Week partners.  Representative Rakestraw is one of nearly 150 officials who will visit some of the approximately 3,800 Pre-K classrooms located in all 159 counties in Georgia.

“We know that early childhood education is critical to future success, and preparing for elementary school is an important part of life for a child from birth through age five,” said Representative Rakestraw.  “We are thrilled to be honoring our some of our youngest learners this week, and proud of what our state is accomplishing through Georgia’s Pre-K program.”

Representative Rakestraw participated in a reading activity with the children, toured the facility, talked with the staff, and got an up-close look at the many ways that the center is supporting early learning.

“Georgia’s Pre-K program is an exceptional program that can serve as a model for our country,” said Pat Willis, Executive Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children, a child advocacy organization. “About 84,000 four-year-olds in Georgia benefit from this remarkable program, a milestone in the critical phase of education that takes place from birth to age 8.”

 

 

 

Joining Voices for Georgia’s Children as partners on Georgia Pre-K Week are Black Child Development Institute Atlanta (http://bcdi-atl.org), Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy (www.ferstfoundation.org), Georgia Association for Young Children (www.gayconline.org), Georgia Child Care Association (www.georgiachildcare.org), Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (www.geears.org), Georgia Family Connection Partnership (www.gafcp.org), Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (www.gpee.org), Georgia Public LibraryService (www.georgialibraries.org), JumpStart(www.jstart.org),  Multiple Junior League Chapters (gajlspac.org), Quality Care for Children (www.qualitycareforchildren.org), United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (www.unitedwayatlanta.org) and YMCA(www.ymcaatlanta.org).

About Voices for Georgia’s Children

Established in 2003, Voices for Georgia’s Children (www.georgiavoices.org) is a nonprofit child policy and advocacy organization that envisions a Georgia where children are safe, healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community. Our mission to be a powerful, unifying voice for a public agenda that ensures the well-being of all of Georgia’s children.

About “Pete the Cat”

Voices for Georgia’s Children is proud to have “Pete the Cat” as the honorary mascot for Pre-K Week.  “Pete the Cat” (www.petethecat.com) is the creation of Georgia artist James Dean who illustrated the book, Pete the Cat And His Four Groovy Buttons, written by Georgia children’s author Eric Litwin.  Through the generosity of Dean, Litwin, and HarperCollins Publishers, Voices for Georgia’s Children was able to provide copies of Pete the Cat And His Four Groovy Buttons to all legislators for their use in reading to Pre-K students across the state.

Rep. Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) Wins StudentsFirst Endorsement

Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Georgia State Representative from Paulding County, has been endorsed by Georgia Parents and Teachers for Putting StudentsFirst, the Georgia arm of StudentsFirst, a nationwide, bipartisan grassroots movement that works to focus the U.S. education system on what’s best for students. Legislators achieving the endorsement were evaluated based upon their responses to a questionnaire on education policies and, if incumbents, their record of support for common sense education reform efforts.

In the announcement, StudentsFirst said, “In her time in the House, Rep. Rakestraw has helped the cause of education reform by voting for HR 1162 (constitutional amendment authorizing charter schools), SB 184 (ending “last in, first out” layoff policies), and SB 410 (creating performance-based public ratings for schools). However, Rep. Rakestraw’s opponents in the primary prioritize the wishes of the education status quo instead of putting the interests of students first.”

Rep. Rakestraw said, “My position on education matters is very clear. When our students rank #26 in math and science when measured against other countries, our educational systems are failing. Our children will have to compete for jobs in the future in a global economy, against students whose education has better prepared them. Parents are ready for more educational choices that fit their children so they can succeed at learning. This will help our students in the future compete for jobs in a global marketplace. Teachers also want to be free of government paperwork and red tape that prohibit them from spending their time in the classroom teaching. The system is broken and StudentsFirst does a great job in shedding light on the problems we face in our schools all across America. I am very proud to been endorsed by this movement, which defends the interests of children in public education and pursues transformative reform.”

StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 1 million members nationwide, working to focus our education system on what’s best for students, supporting common-sense reforms that help make sure all students have great schools and great teachers. Launched by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in December 2010, StudentsFirst has successfully helped pass more than 70 student-centered policies in 17 states, and our movement continues to grow.

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 in 2010 and currently serves on the Children & Youth Committee, the Economic Development & Tourism Committee, and on the Special Committee on Small Business Development.

Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) Provides Job Growth Update

Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Georgia House Representative from Paulding County, pointed today to new evidence that legislative actions continue to have a positive impact on bringing job growth to Georgia. The evidence came in the form of Governor Nathan Deal’s recent announcement that Interroll, the world’s leading supplier of conveyer systems and components, will locate its North American manufacturing plant, showroom facility and technology center in Paulding County. The company, based in Switzerland, plans to initially create 70 jobs and invest $10 million in the new, 93,000 square-foot operation.

“In the legislature, we have successfully taken steps to reduce taxes on manufacturing and on citizens, and to streamline government red tape,” said Rakestraw. “I have worked with Governor Deal on his Competitiveness Initiative and on the Small Business & Job Creation committee’s “Red Tape Watch” to identify areas where Georgia can reduce burdensome regulations on small business to improve the business climate in our state. Here in Paulding County, local leaders have created an ‘opportunity zone’ to attract businesses. Interroll’s announcement proves that these steps are working. Companies continue to move here and bring jobs with them. It’s a very exciting time for Paulding County and Georgia.”

On her website, Rep. Rakestraw provides a list of companies that have moved to Georgia in the last year alone.

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 in 2010 and currently serves on the Children & Youth Committee, the Economic Development & Tourism Committee, and on the Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation.