More than 3 million voters turned out to cast their ballots for the Georgia Public Service Commission race in yesterday’s election. Although Commissioner Chuck Eaton retained his seat, more than 1.5 million people voted for me, voicing their desire for a new approach to leadership for Georgia.
After 11 months of traveling throughout Georgia listening to the concerns of the people, I am proud of our accomplishments and most grateful to the diverse cross section of individuals who wanted a commissioner who would represent their families, free of any conflicts of interest, to make Georgia a more vibrant place to work and raise our families.
I hope Georgia’s citizens remain active on the important issues brought to light during the campaign. We must hold public officials’ feet to the fire when they fail to protect the peoples’ interest on utility rate increases, nuclear construction cost overruns or when their objectivity is clouded by campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts or by the companies they regulate. Without a doubt, we have moved the discussion. Elected officials may claim contributions and lobbyist gifts don’t affect their judgment–but you be the judge. Before this race began Commissioner Eaton said solar energy was not viable for Georgia, calling it “ideology driven by the green agenda.” Two months ago he flipped his position saying Georgia could do more solar energy here. But the real test of his public service remains; will he see the economic viability of advanced solar energy technology is leveraged to decrease energy rates for Georgians or will simply let it become another tool for utility company profit?
Together, we have moved the needle on public servants accountability and ethics as well as the need to use modern energy technology including solar energy and energy efficiency to reduce our utility bills. Going forward let’s hold our elected officials accountable for the promises they have made for lower rates and create a more diverse, modern, energy portfolio.
Let the commissioners and incumbent Eaton know you want to see more solar energy and energy efficiency projects in Georgia and the jobs this will create and the reduced utility rates for ALL Georgians.
Dynamic non-partisan groups in Georgia are performing the important task of holding our elected officials accountable daily, regardless of whether it is an election year or not. I encourage you to check out their websites, and choose one or two that resonate with you and remain involved and learn how you can continue to make a difference during the next few years:
Georgians for a Healthy Future
Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club
Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta
Coalition for the People’s Agenda
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)