Black History Month - Integration of UGA
Posted by on February 09, 2016

In honor of Black History Month, I will be profiling notable African Americans from Georgia throughout February. To read our first profile of the first African American Congressman from Georgia, Jefferson Long, click here. The second profile is of the desegregation and integration of the University of Georgia.


The Integration of UGA


In the summer of 1959, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter applied to the University of Georgia. Holmes and Hunter both had excellent records in school and surpassed admission standards, but despite this they were not granted admission on the grounds of UGA’s “limited facilities.” After multiple admission appeals, the students filed a lawsuit with the school. In January, 1961, Judge William Bootle sided with Holmes and Hunter, stating that “the two plaintiffs are fully qualified for immediate admission.”

                 Unfortunately, the new students were not met with open arms. Upon arrival, protesters filled the campus with anti-integration sentiment.  On Hunter and Holmes’ third day, rioters surrounded the dormitories in which Holmes and Hunter resided in. Several bricks were thrown through the windows of their rooms and the two returned to campus later that night with the aid of Georgia State Troopers. Holmes and Hunter were suspended shortly after for the protection of their personal safety. Immediately after the suspension, some 400 faculty and staff members at the University petitioned for the reinstatement of Hunter and Holmes. Ultimately the students were reinstated by a new court order a few days later.

 At the time, a 1956 law passed by the Georgia General Assembly forbade the coeducation of black and white students and restricted federal funding from integrated institutions. However UGA alumni Governor Ernest Vandiver and a group of state legislators waived the law and allowed the institution to reamin open.

 Holmes and Hunter both graduated in 1963. Hunter went on to work as a journalist and publish work for the New York Times, NPR, PBS, and CNN. Holmes graduated cum laude and went on to become an orthopedic surgeon after graduating from the Emory School of Medicine. Twenty-seven years later, Hamilton Holmes Jr. earned a business degree from his father’s alma mater.

 The integration of UGA began an unprecedented domino effect that led to the desegregation of the entire Georgia public university system and a dramatic change in Georgia law. In 2001, the University of Georgia renamed its academic building the “Holmes-Hunter Academic Building” in honor of the two African American trailblazers.

 Hatfield, Edward A. "Desegregation of Higher Education." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 10 January 2014. Web. 05 February 2016.

The University of Georgia. “A Brief History of UGA Desegregation.” http://desegregation.uga.edu/history/

Photo from the Atlanta Journal Constitution


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Black History - Georgia's First Black Congressman
Posted by on February 02, 2016

In honor of Black history month, I will be profiling notable African Americans from Georgia throughout February. The first profile is of the first African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia, Congressman Jefferson Long of Macon.



Born on March 3, 1836 in Knoxville, Georgia, Jefferson Long would go on to become the second African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately the first African American Congressman to speak on the House floor.

Long made his living as a tailor, opening a small but successful shop in Macon, Georgia, mostly catering to the affluent white population. Through his well-to-do clientele’s connections, Long was able to break into politics.

Immediately following the Civil War, a factional divide broke out within the Republican Party. While the Confederate states had rejoined the Union, radical Republicans placed harsh penalties on the former Confederate states. As a result, from 1865-1877, many districts in the south became safe Republican districts. Using this to their advantage, Georgia Republicans encouraged black candidates to run for shortened office terms and Jefferson Long began campaigning for the U.S. House of Representatives. 

On the night before the election, Long furiously orchestrated a last minute campaign blitz across the district, urging blacks to support the Republican ticket. The next day, Long organized a march to the polls, where he was met by armed white southerners. A riot ensued, killing four and preventing a number of blacks from voting. Despite this fact, Long won 53 percent of the vote and narrowly defeated the Democratic candidate Winburn J. Lawton. Congressman Jefferson Long took his seat in the House of Representatives one month after Congressman Joseph Rainey of South Carolina, making him the 2nd African-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

On February 1, 1871, he would become the first African-American to speak on the House floor when he spoke out against allowing former Confederates to return to Congress. The measure was ultimately defeated and after serving three months in Congress, Long returned to life as a private citizen while remaining an active part of the radical Republican wing in Georgia.

Long would be the last African-American Representative elected from Georgia until Congressman Andrew Young defeated Republican Rodney Cook in 1972.  That campaign was my first real introduction into elected politics. I volunteered for the Andrew Young campaign and two years later, I ran my own race for the Georgia House of Representatives. Then-Congressman Andrew Young helped me win that seat. In 2002, I was elected to US Congress. Andrew Young was yet again, part of my successful leadership team.

Source Material

Jefferson Franklin Long" in Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. Prepared under the direction of the Committee on House Administration by the Office of History & Preservation, U.S. House of Representatives. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2008.

Image courtesy of georgiaencyclopedia.org

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Congressman David Scott to host Annual Military Academy Ceremony - Sat. Feb. 6
Posted by on January 27, 2016

Congressman David Scott to host Annual Military Academy Ceremony

WHAT:  Congressman David Scott (GA-13) will host a special ceremony to honor 22 local students from Georgia’s Thirteenth Congressional District with nominations to attend one of our nation’s esteemed military service academies, which include the United States Air Force, Merchant Marine, Military (West Point), and Naval academies. 

Additionally, Congressman Scott and Brigadier General Joseph Jarrard will make a special presentation of medals to U.S. Army Vietnam War Veterans Lanny Howard, of Douglasville, and Thomas Williams, of Ellenwood.  Mr. Howard will receive a Purple Heart Medal and Mr. Williams will receive a Bronze Star Medal.       

WHEN:  Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Brawner Hall, 3180 Atlanta Road S.E., Smyrna, GA 30080

The ceremony will feature the Douglas County High School Color Guard, soloist Amanda Peterson of Campbell High School, Dobbins Air Reserve Base Commander Colonel Steven Parker, and representatives from the U.S. Military and Naval Academies.

Students to be nominated include:

U.S. Air Force Academy

Asia Ayanyemi, Jonesboro resident, Air Force Academy Prep student

Wedgide Bourdeau, Jonesboro resident, Mundy's Mill H.S. student

Kyla Martin, Jonesboro resident, Air Force Academy Prep student

Stockton McGuire resident, Douglasville, Landmark Christian School student

Zurial Tabe, Austell resident, South Cobb H.S. student

Jasmine Underwood, Hampton resident, Air Force Academy Prep student

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Austin Grimes, Stockbridge resident, Community Christian School student

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Sekou Matesso, Fairburn resident, Langston Hughes H.S. student

Jamelah Williams, Douglasville resident, New Manchester H.S. student

U.S. Naval Academy

Justin Capp, McDonough resident, Eagles Landing Christian Academy student

Camden Cusumano, Fairburn resident, Landmark Christian School student

Cameron Jones, McDonough resident, Eagles Landing H.S. graduate

Tyreek King-El, Smyrna resident, Pebblebrook H.S. student

Latesha Locker, Riverdale resident, Mundy's Mill H.S. student

Johnnay Martin, Fayetteville resident, Mundy's Mill H.S. student

Thomas McMurrain, Palmetto resident, Landmark Christian School graduate

Obumneme Okeke, Jonesboro resident, Mundy's Mill H.S. student

Oscar Prioleau, Fairburn resident, Grady H.S. graduate

John Robbins, Douglasville resident, New Manchester H.S. graduate

Austin Salinsky, McDonough resident, Community Christian School graduate

Barrett Tallant, Winston resident, Alexander H.S. graduate

Cedric Williams, Powder Springs resident, McEachern H.S. student

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Recognizing World AIDS Day
Posted by on December 01, 2015

As we recognize the 28th World AIDS Day, we have much progress to celebrate. We also have new challenges to address.

Consider that the CDC ranks Atlanta as 5th in the nation with new HIV infections and the South ranks first in the nation for its rate of new HIV cases. In 2013, the South had a rate of 20.5 HIV infections per 100,000 residents.

Compared with members of other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease from new infections to deaths. According to the CDC, African Americans accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections in that year. In Georgia, African Americans represented 30 percent of the total population in 2009, but 74 percent of all diagnosed HIV cases.

Congressman Scott is a strong advocate for awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. He was a leader as a member of the Georgia State Senate in writing the first sex education program in Georgia. Each year, hundreds of AIDS tests are provided to district residents for free at his health fair by partners like AID Atlanta and the Clayton County Community Services Board. At the 2015 event, 125 HIV tests were conducted and in 2014, 203 tests were conducted.

Do you know your HIV status? If you don’t, please get tested.

For more information about HIV/AIDS, please visit the comprehensive website: www.aids.gov

HIV/AIDS related legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Scott in 2015:

HR 1706: Real Education for Healthy Youth Act of 2015

  • Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to award competitive grants for comprehensive sexual education for adolescents and higher education institutions as well as training for faculty and staff to teach comprehensive sexual education to elementary and secondary school students.

  • Amends the Public Health Service Act to remove limitations on using AIDS prevention program funding for education or information that promotes sexual activity or intravenous substance abuse.

  • Amends Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to allow funding to be used for Contraceptive distribution in schools.

HR 6: 21st century Cures Act

  • Reauthorizes National Institute of Health through 2018.

  • Establishes the NIH Innovation Fund to fund the development and implementation of a strategic plan, early-stage investigators and high-risk, high-reward research.

Rep. Scott Signed Letters to Appropriations Committees In Support of AIDS Research and Programs:

Adolescent Sexual Education and Pregnancy Prevention - Programmatic funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI), the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), and the elimination of funding for the ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) grant program in FY2016.

National Institutes of Health Funding - The National Institutes of Health are our nation’s preeminent medical research centers and represent our best hope for finding cures, improving treatments, and gaining a better understanding of the diseases and conditions that affect millions of Americans. NIH research is a critical part of meeting health care challenges, strengthening our economy, inspiring the next generation of scientists, and maintaining our nation’s leadership in innovation. Continued investment in the NIH can leverage existing resources for maximum impact and will build on current progress to further help the American public.

Title X Family Planning Services - Far beyond just family planning services, Title X provides critical access to preventive health care services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV tests and immunizations. For many of the patients Title X serves, this program is the only source they can rely on for these services.

HIV/AIDs Prevention - The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program works with cities, states, and local community-based organizations to provide services to an estimated 536,000 people each year who do not have sufficient health care coverage or financial resources to cope with HIV disease. The majority of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funds support primary medical care and essential support services. A smaller but equally critical portion is used to fund technical assistance, clinical training, and the development of innovative models of care.


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You Can Start Saving For Retirement With MyRA
Posted by on November 23, 2015
Many people have not begun saving for retirement. Maybe their employer does not offer a retirement plan or they do not know how to get started. A new government savings plan has been started that allows anyone to start saving with just a few dollars. This plan was created specifically for those people who have not started saving.

It costs nothing to open a MyRA plan and there are no fees. The investments are backed by the Treasury. You can withdraw the funds at any time. However, it would be best to continue building the account so that one day it can be converted to a traditional or Roth IRA. Try several savings ideas using the online calculator.

To learn more, visit https://myra.gov/

Low income earners who save money in their work sponsored retirement plan or contribute to a savings plan like an IRA are eligible for a tax credit. The credit is based on your adjusted gross income for the year. To learn more, visit the IRS Savers Credit page.

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Rep. Scott Addresses Visa Waiver Program Security Gaps
Posted by on November 20, 2015
Terrorists in recent attacks have travelled to Syria and Iraq with European passports. Many western countries participate in the visa waiver program with the U.S. This program allows for visa-free travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days under specific guidelines.  Each year, almost a third of temporary visitors to the US travel under these waivers.

Congresswoman Scott joined as a co-sponsor of a new bi-partisan bill (H.R. 4122), which would strengthen U.S. security by addressing security gaps in the visa waiver program.
H.R. 4122 would suspend the visa waiver program for travelers who have visited a country designated as a state sponsor of terror (Iran, Sudan, Syria) in the last five years. The bill also includes visits to a  countries with active global terror networks (Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria). The Secretary of State would be able to add additional countries if there is a known threat.

UPDATE: On December 8, Congressman Scott joined the House in overwhelmingly approving the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act (H.R. 158), by a vote of 407-19.  This legislation will help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identify and stop terrorists with Western passports from entering the United States. It would require countries participating in the visa waiver program to continually share terrorism and foreign traveler data with the U.S. and screen all passengers against all INTERPOL databases and notices.  The Senate is expected to approve H.R. 158. To track this legislation or other bills, visit https://www.congress.gov/ 
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USDA Announces $18 million grants for 1890 schools
Posted by on November 17, 2015
Earlier this year, Congressman Scott lead an effort to bring the 1890 Land Grant institutions to Washington to testify before the House Agriculture Committee. This was the first time that 1890 schools were asked to testify before the committee.

The Second Morrill Act of 1890 was enacted by Congress to support states in establishing the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. These Historically Black Colleges and Universities are committed to providing educational opportunity through scientific research and extension programs. There are nineteen 1890 schools which cultivate leadership in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and agriculture. 

On Novever 16, USDA announced 53 grants totaling more than $18 million to support research, teaching, and extension activities at 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities. To see the full list of grants, click this link.
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Congressman David Scott Welcomes 1890 Universities to Washington
Posted by on July 13, 2015
WHAT: Congressman David Scott welcomes the 1890 Land-Grant institutions to Washington, D.C. The presidents of all 19 universities designated as an 1890 Land-Grant institution will attend a hearing by the House Agriculture Committee on the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act. That Act created the 1890 Land-Grants. Six presidents will testify before the committee. This is the first time that the Committee has held a hearing exclusively on 1890 institutions.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: 1300 Longworth House Office Building

WHO: Testimony of the following 1890 Presidents: Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A & M University; Dr. Jessica M. Bailey, Interim President, Fort Valley State University; Dr. Brian L. Johnson, President Tuskegee University; Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr. Chancellor, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; President Elmira Mangum, Florida A&M University; Dr. Juliette B. Bell, President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

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What an Iran nuke deal must never do
Posted by on July 07, 2015
The deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is rapidly approaching. Several failing states in the Middle East are being overrun with terrorist groups and Iran is influencing these civil wars directly and by proxy like the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and controlling the army in Iraq. Many of our allies in the region fear that Iran will dominate the entire Middle East. The U.S. must continue to fully enforce sanctions until any Iran nuclear weapons option is completely eliminated.

You can read the rest of my article which appears on CNN.com
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Marietta Daily Journal: Georgia lawmakers decry health care ruling
Posted by on June 26, 2015

by Ricky Leroux  June 26, 2015 12:20 AM
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies underpinning President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, but most of Georgia’s federal lawmakers denounced the decision and pledged to keep fighting against the law.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, as opponents contended.

Obama greeted news of the decision by declaring the health care law “is here to stay.” He said the law is no longer about politics, but the benefits millions of people are receiving.

Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health care overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums.

Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Republicans will “continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families.”

Several Georgia lawmakers echoed Boehner’s comments. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, has voted to defund or repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times since initially voting against the law in 2009.

Isakson said Thursday the Supreme Court’s decision will not stop him from continuing to try to get rid of the law.

“Today the Supreme Court failed to recognize how terribly flawed President Obama’s health care law is for millions of Georgians suffering under the law’s health insurance premium spikes and intrusive mandates,” Isakson said in a statement. “Despite this action by the Supreme Court I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, said the Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that the law “is a disaster” and should be repealed.

“Right now, many Georgians are seeing their premiums skyrocket by double-digits, their hours cut back because of the employer mandate, and less access to the doctors of their choice because of the empty promises made by President Obama,” Perdue said. “These aren’t theoretical problems discussed in a courtroom. They are real-world economic problems caused by Obamacare. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered alternative.”

Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, said the ruling “endorsed the status quo” and should not dissuade lawmakers from pursuing a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Price also offered his health care bill, a version of which he has filed in each of the last four Congresses, as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

“A better way to address the challenges in our health care system is to put patients and their doctors in charge of health care decisions,” Price said in a statement. “HR 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act, is legislation that does just that. It makes coverage more affordable, expands access to health care choices so folks can find and purchase the coverage they want for themselves, not what Washington says they must buy. …While disappointed in the Court’s decision, I believe that we must continue our efforts to rid the country of Obamacare and start over with positive solutions that empower the American people, not Washington, D.C.”

Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, called the ACA a “system of broken promises” and “the only prescription” to fix it is a full repeal of the law.

“With the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold Obamacare’s health care subsidies, it is now more important than ever to push for a full repeal of the law,” Loudermilk said. “In this disappointing 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court reinforced the dangerous idea that government knows what’s best for American families and our personal health care decisions.”

Loudermilk said the law has increased health care costs and put Americans’ personal data at risk, an issue he said he plans to investigate.

“I intend to diligently pursue this matter and ensure the illegal collection of data by our government is stopped, and the previously collected data is permanently removed. Our citizens deserve better than this, and I am committed to ensuring that America is once again a nation that is free, safe and full of opportunity,” Loudermilk said.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, praised the Supreme Court decision. Scott said the tax credits at issue in the Supreme Court case have helped 37,000 Georgians in his district, which includes south Cobb, get health insurance.

“The Affordable Care Act is working,” Scott said. “As a member of Congress, I will continue to focus on payment reforms and pilot projects that look at how we can improve our health care system to meet 21st century needs. I will also continue to work to protect our doctors from frivolous lawsuits and focus on real medical malpractice reform. … I will continue to advocate for public and private partnerships that focus on improving patient quality and outcomes. I will not however, vote for any piece of legislation that will repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

Unlike his Republican counterparts, Scott said he intends to strengthen the ACA.

“We have come too far in the way we look at and how we pay for health care,” Scott said. “We cannot go back. I am proud that our nation’s highest court has confirmed that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Please rest assured, I will continue to work to strengthen the law to ensure that all Georgians have access to quality affordable health care.

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