House District 82 Newsletter


In this issue:

—DeKalb Legislative Delegation Public Hearing

—DeKalb Schools consolidation and redistricting meetings
—Lakeside HS
—Livsey Elementary School

—Emory LaVista Parent Council Legislative meeting

—At the Capitol

—Meet my team

Education was the theme of the week!

Throughout the week, I heard from you about the schools. On Monday evening, 1/24, the DeKalb Legislative Delegation (State Representatives and Senators) heard from citizens about a variety of concerns, but the possible closing of Livsey Elementary School was brought up eloquently by a number of attendees. (See Livsey, below.)


On Tuesday evening, 1/25, there was an extremely well-attended meeting of residents in the Lakeside High School area. An alternative to both the DeKalb County School System (DCSS) Centralized and Decentralized options was presented that could better preserve the integrity of Lakeside feeder communities.

This alternative plan, called SCORe, has widespread support among parents from the
Lakeside feeder schools. Briefly, this proposed alternative plan would greatly reduce the total number of students who would be redistricted and would in most cases respect long-standing neighborhoods. In a few instances it would actually help unify neighborhoods. It should minimize traffic congestion, and also would consider geographic proximity, including the possibility of walking to school.

The proposed plan is sensitive to nearby areas, such as Druid Hills in Super Cluster 2, and the high schools in Super Cluster 5 also would not be negatively impacted. In fact, the plan seems to offer a more logical option for portions of those areas. For details on how the plan would affect Lakeside HS, Henderson Middle School, and the feeder elementary schools, send an email to: This will also enable you to keep abreast of new developments.

On Saturday, 1/28, the Livsey Elementary School community met to express support for the school, which is proposed for elimination in the Centralized Plan. The Decentralized Plan would call for many children to be moved out, including some who live in the immediate vicinity of the school. I was honored to speak, and was followed by other speakers, all of whom described the school's outstanding reputation as well as the negative impact its closing would have on the community. As this is a recognized School of Excellence that has won numerous awards (, it would make more sense to enlarge its capacity, which can be done readily, in order for the school to continue as a model of excellence for DeKalb County.

The Emory-Lavista Parent Council met on Thursday, 1/26, for its annual legislative program. State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and State Senator Fran Millar talked about legislation that could impact the school system. In particular, there are two bills, each with the goal of decreasing the size of the School Board from its present 9 to either 5 or 7 members. Please let me know your views on changing the size of the School Board.
For the second portion of the meeting, former Atlanta School Board member (and recent candidate for State Superintendent of Schools) Joe Martin explained school financing. As your representative, I promise to do everything in my power to support strong public schools and the necessary funding to make that happen.

If you have not yet given the school system your feedback on the proposals, you can e-mail the Superintendent and the members of the Board of Education. Click here for a link that contains the email addresses of all nine school board members and Superintendent Ramona Tyson.
At the Capitol

I attended my first meetings of the Children and Youth Committee and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. I also attended a briefing on the impact of military deployments on Georgia families that was presented by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government of the University of Georgia. As a veteran of three overseas deployments, I appreciated the information that was provided.

The session starts slowly, with budget hearings being the first order of business, followed by committees starting to hear bills. I'll keep you apprised of significant bills as they begin to make their way through committees, and will seek input from you.

My Team

I am proud to introduce to you my outstanding team that will be helping me throughout the 2011 Legislative Session.

Chief of Staff
Ann Abramowitz

Dr. Ann Abramowitz is the Chief of Staff. In this role, she manages the legislative office and is primarily responsible for constituent outreach. In 2010, she served as the Campaign Manager for my campaign. Ann is extremely active in DeKalb County and House District 82.

Ann brings a tremendous amount of experience to the Capitol. In addition to her political experience, she is a clinical psychologist and faculty member at Emory University. She is also the Secretary of the Georgia Psychological Association and the Secretary of the Board of the International Women's House, a domestic violence shelter in DeKalb County.

Legislative Aide
Aaron White

Aaron White is the Legislative Aide for Representative Scott Holcomb. Previously, he served as the Coordinated Campaign Field Director for the Democratic Party of Georgia. In 2009, he was an English Language Teacher in Chile. He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.

Please contact them at any time for assistance - they are happy to help!

Please contact me at any time to share your thoughts.
Capitol Office: Coverdell Legislative Office Building, 511-E, Atlanta, GA 30334.
Capitol Phone: 404-656-6372
Home: 2306 Briarcliff Commons, Atlanta, GA 30345
Cell Phone: 404-387-0373

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