Meet Sam Pilgreen! Our Field Event Fellow!

            As an organization with a mission to give marginalized youth a seat at the table of democracy, Georgia Shift aims to build relationships with a variety of individuals. In many efforts to understand the local community and our audience’s needs, we want to hear your stories. For the month of June, we want to highlight Samira “Sam” Pilgreen, our new Field Event Fellow.             Sam was born in Spain, but has spent majority of their life in Atlanta, GA. Currently, they are studying at Augusta University (AU), pursuing a Bachelors of Art in Communications degree.  At AU, Sam stands as the president of the LAMBDA Alliance, the university’s gay-straight alliance. This organization “makes an effort to promote equality, increase gender/sexuality minority awareness, and disperse information on LGBTQ+ issues that affect communities.” In addition, Sam currently works as the Field Event Fellow here at Georgia Shift. They hope to raise voter turnout in the Augusta area, but mostly want to bring awareness of helpful resources to the local LGBTQ+ community.  Why is civic engagement important to you? “The biggest reason is reaching out to those who feel excluded or feel that there isn’t someone on a grander scale that can help them with their personal issues. It’s also about helping those who aren’t actively engaging in civic duty realize that there’s someone in their same demographic who is trying to make a difference on a larger scale. A lot of LGBTQ+ people are sometimes told that because of who they are, they won’t succeed. Therefore, seeing someone else within their community achieve the things they wish they could gives them the courage...

Meet Kiana Harrison! Our Digital Organizer!

What inspired you to get involved with civic engagement? It’s important that individuals who look like me are represented, advocated for, and simply respected. The lack of this in everyday life is what has pushed me to get involved in civc engagement. Despite the differences, our voices deserved to be heard, especially when it comes to things that affect our well-being. Civic engagement gives me the opportunity to stand up for what’s right, the unheard and ignored, and myself. If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why? Hands down, I would want to meet Eartha Kitt. I do not need to say anything else. How do you recharge? Honestly, just some quiet, alone time is the perfect way for me to recharge, especially after a hectic day. What are three things still left on your bucket list? Visit all 7 continentsVisit all 50 statesFinish learning Spanish and French If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? To be able to do any and everything at the snap of my finger. Snapshot Bio I’m a Georgia native, where I attended Davidson Fine Arts and fully submerged myself into the arts. After my high school graduation, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in business marketing at USC Aiken. My passion for the arts, travel, and diversity has led me to do digital work at Georgia Shift. Currently, I have my own interests in women’s prison reform and women facing homelessness. Truthfully, I believe that Georgia Shift is the next huge step in my career and giving back to my...

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #11

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  April 6, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our eleventh and final edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea all session long so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened this last week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that surely stirred the pot.    🔹Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day Recap– Pictures and quick rundown of our event on Sine Die!  Piping Hot IssuesThis past Tuesday was Sine Die and as always it was a day full of running around from one chamber to the other under the Gold Dome. The day started early and finished late with last minute committee meetings and of course the eventful floor votes, but we got you covered. Here are the bills that made the most buzz 🐝: SB 15 (Policing Public School Students) had an amendment in the House and at the end passed the Senate (Yea 42 – Nay 11) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act” will require require schools to designate a school safety coordinator who works with local law enforcement to report suspected “violent criminal activity.” We will say that it was cleaned up to remove student profiles, but it is still problematic for surveillance and reporting reasons. Like we previously mentioned, the bill takes into account all security measures for the building, but does nothing to actually help students.  SB 92 (End to revoking professional licenses for loan...

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #10

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 30, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our tenth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹Call to Action –Call your legislators and let them know it’s urgent and important to stop this bill!🔹Next Event – Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day: Come lobby with us the last day of this session!  Piping Hot IssuesThis past week was the last full week of the 2019 legislative session and with Sine Die next Tuesday, it was a busy one under the Gold Dome. The committees were long and the floor votes even longer but we got you covered. Here are the bills making the most buzz 🐝: HB 213 (Hemp farming) passed the Senate this week (45 Yes – 6 No) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This is another step forward in finally legalizing issuing permits to grow and sell Hemp in the state of Georgia.  HB 218 (Extend eligibility for HOPE) passed the Senate this week (47 Yes – 5 No) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The eligibility of students receiving HOPE will now be extended from 7 to 10 years after graduating from high school. HB 324 (Medical marijuana manufacturing) passed the passed the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee this week. Hopes to make it legal for you to possess, manufacture and distribute low THC oil as long as...

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #9

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 23, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our ninth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹Call to Action –Call your legislators and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill!🔹Next Event – Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day: Come lobby with us the last day of this session!  Piping Hot Issues The week after Crossover Day is always a little slower pace than the rest. However, that did not stop this week from having its share of action under the Gold Dome. To keep you up to date, we have provided below a quick recap of the status of the bills making the most buzz 🐝: SB 92 (End to revoking professional licenses for loan defaults) was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Currently in it’s Second Reading. This bill prevents the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans.SB 15 (Policing Public School Students) was referred to the House Education Committee. Currently in it’s Second Reading. This bill aims to increase student safety in schools by establishing new positions called “school safety coaches,” volunteers who are defined in the bill as “former members of the armed forces, a law-enforcement agency or a fire department.” The bill takes into account all security measures for the building, but does nothing...