Want to know more about the future of transportation and infrastructure in Athens? Join us as we discuss what’s in store for Athens with Kelly Girtz and Tim Denson. After serving as a County Commissioner in Athens-Clarke County for 12 years, current Mayor of Athens-Clarke County Girtz has prioritized a connected set of initiatives in Athens designed to provide a strong foundation for all Athenians, and to create a sustainable, resilient community that our children and grandchildren will be proud to call “home.” Tim Denson, current District 5 Commissioner for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government and former President and Organization Coordinator of Athens for Everyone, organizes and advocates for initiatives his community think are important. He was integral in the campaigns for Sunday Bus Service, Living Wages for Athens-Clarke County Workers, an Athens Civil Rights Committee, and Athens Transit’s move toward hybrid-engine buses.
On this episode we welcome Maxwell Ruppersburg, an Athens native and Executive Director for Reform Georgia, a nonprofit advocating for criminal justice reform at the state and local level in Georgia. He graduated from Emory University, worked at The Carter Center, and built a startup company before earning a Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University in 2016. Since returning to the Atlanta area, he has been working in local government management and advocating for progress in Georgia. Ruppersburg believes criminal justice is a fundamentally local issue and that a research-driven approach to policy reform is a critical part of the solution. We discuss the current status of state and local bills, laws, and ordinances regarding medical cannabis cultivation and social equity, legalization of marijuana, and restorative justice.
Want to know how recent cybersecurity policy could affect the local community of Athens? Jonathan Wallace, Scott Jones, and Chuck DeLozier discuss the complexities of cybersecurity legislation and different ways it affects Georgia communities. Jonathan Wallace, former Representative for House District 119, uses his degree in Computer Science from the University of Georgia to write software and code for various endeavors. Currently, he is VP of Engineering at Softgiving, a financial technology startup, and he's recently been appointed to the Oconee County Board of Elections. Scott M. Jones serves as Acting Director of Electronic Frontiers Georgia, a local activist group focused on protecting and promoting civil rights and civil liberties online and in technology-mediated spaces. Mr. Jones was present for the ACLU v. Miller case and also coordinated opposition of the "State DMCA" bills. Additionally, he is a system administrator for a small startup in the insurance industry and has also been a developer during his nearly 30-year career in the technology field. Chuck DeLozier is the founder of Valiente, a lifestyle company that caters to people’s needs while also maintaining their privacy. One of his focuses is on engaging Georgian's around personal computer security and best practices. He’s also been a leading activist in the Atlanta area against the recent FCC Net Neutrality decision. What do these three men have in common? Their concern over recent Georgia legislation that authorizes the state to purchase unsafe and hackable election machines.
Wondering what sexual harassment policy changes our legislature is making and how domestic violence affects Athens? Join us with Tangela Ferguson (Beard) from Project Safe and Representative Renitta Shannon to discuss recent sexual harassment procedural changes in the Georgia legislature and different ways domestic violence hurts a community. Tangela Ferguson is a Domestic Violence Advocate with Project Safe Inc currently in the Associate Director where her current focus is on increasing intimate partner violence trainings and presentations in Project Safe primary service areas of Clarke, Oconee, Madison, and Oglethorpe county, and helping to evaluate the work and services of Project Safe to adapt it to the needs of the local communities they serve. She also has a graduate degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Renitta Shannon is currently the 84thdistrict House Representative for Georgia. While she sits on the committees of Government Affairs and Insurance, last January, Rep. Shannon launched the Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council which is a coalition of state legislators dedicated to advancing reproductive freedom in state capitols and to push back against this administration's work to restrict access to birth control and women's reproductive services both through general legislation and court rulings that lay the groundwork to reverse Roe v. Wade. Rep Shannon is also one of the founders of HerTerm, an organization focusing on preparing female Democratic candidates to run and win office in Georgia.
Our first bilingual episode (English & Spanish)
Curious about LatinX identity and what it means in Athens? Tune in and listen to Dr. Sharina Maillo-Pozo, Beto Mendoza, and Jimena Pacora discuss their LatinX identity, the shaping of LatinX identity in the U.S., and how their own LatinX identity reflects their experiences in Athens. Dr. Maillo-Pozo is an assistant professor specializing in Latinx and Caribbean literature and culture paying special attention to the cultural production of the Dominican Republic in the U.S. at the Romance Languages Department of the University of Georgia. Mr. Mendoza is the founder of Athens Immigrants Rights Coalition which he formed to assert justice for Athens area immigrants regardless of their legal status after HB 87 and SB 59 made life extremely difficult for hard-working immigrant communities and made it a criminal act to employ, transport, or give shelter to an undocumented person. Jimena is using her privilege to unapologetically fight for undocumented immigrant rights and the liberation of Black and Brown people after observing the injustices the U.S. while she lived here as an undocumented immigrant from Lima, Peru for the first half of her life.
Join us as we discuss STEM opportunities for all children with Monique Sanders. As the Program Director of Get STEMulated in Athens, she implements different learning techniques to enhance students' understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles for k-12 boys and girls. She will be discussing how to engage students with engineering, biology, medicine, and physics through exciting experiments that helps their comprehension with these STEM skills. Why is STEM important for all students to learn now? What opportunities are there? Tune in and learn how your children can prepare and be part of the STEM career path.
This week we speak with Robert Covi and Vickie Krugman from Indivisible 10 GA. The group advocates for a paper-based voting system that would have voters submit their vote on a paper ballot which then gets scanned and recorded as a vote. The current GA legislature is considering which voting machines to buy and when will they be implemented. Listen in to learn about the pros and cons of hand marked ballots vs. machine marked ballots. Did you trust the voting machine you voted on in 2018?
Adam Shirley - as a District 3 committee member for the SPLOST 2020 Citizens Advisory Committee in Athens-Clarke County and member of numerous committees at Commerce Middle School where he is a teacher, Shirley is one of 22 committee members responsible for recommending a list of candidate projects for adoption by the Mayor and Commission with SPLOST revenue. These projects range from increasing the stock of affordable rental housing to a new recycling facility. Adam has been posting about these on Facebook, but we will have a chance to ask him questions in person about his experience with the process and his take on why we all need to get involved in the selection of SPLOST projects. By the way you will find out what those letters - SPLOST - actually mean.
On our second episode we welcome Celeste Ngeve to discuss empowering students. Celeste is a local sheroe, poet, author, support coach and Director at Rutland Academy. She is an expert in facilitating crisis management and therapeutic support that includes self-growth, self-love, and self-awareness. Inspired by Maya Angelou, Ngeve’s empowerment brand, #SheSPEAKS, uses her experiences and education to help every girl, woman and man SPEAK their ugly truths to attain mental freedom.
Celeste also graces us with a mini spoken word performance called "Gathering the children."
Welcome to Open Records with Deborah Gonzalez a broadcast and podcast shining light on news and issues that affect our everyday lives. Focus is to bring transparency and accountability to what is happening in our capitols in DC and ATL, as well as make it relevant to all of us here on the ground. We will have interviews with incredible people who are in the midst of what is happening, and highlight community organizations doing the hard work in the trenches. We will have a Millennial Minute (hosted by interns) as well as bilingual episodes so we can reach all of the wonderful people who make up our community. With community leaders as co-hosts and everyday people guiding our topics - this show is about and for you.
Our first episode introduces me, your host, and what we are trying to achieve with the show. We also have an enlightening interview with Tommy Valentine. Tommy is the Executive Director of the Athens Historic Heritage Foundation and former candidate for an Athens Commission seat. Today he agreed to stop by and talk to me a bit about some the meaning of “place” and “heritage” and some upcoming projects the Foundation is involved in that seeks to protect segregated properties.