One of my responsibilities in my new job is compiling a list of news stories every morning (yes, Monday through Friday) and never repeating a story twice. The news I compile ranges from coast to coast, from Georgia to Texas to California, and every big and little state in between. Compiling these news stories has showed me just how much I don’t know (!) and how much our communities need to know.
So, every Wednesday I’m publishing top articles on moments that “you should know!” I hope you will find these articles enlightening, educating, and so much more.
Below are the articles (no editorials/opinions/commentary!). Each article is hyperlinked in the title and below the title you will find the outlet, the author and the date. Below all that can find small snippet from the article.
You Should Know This: Wednesday, 3.9
Senate passes bill eliminating need for Georgians to get a license to carry handguns
AJC (by Maya T. Prabhu) | 2.28
The Georgia Senate voted along party lines Monday to back legislation that would let Georgians carry a concealed handgun without first getting a license from the state. Supporters of the measure said it removes an unnecessary barrier to their constitutional right to carry handguns. Opponents said there already are few barriers in Georgia and the proposal will remove one of the only checks to make sure people carrying weapons have a legal right to do so. Senate Bill 319 passed 34-22, with the Republican majority supporting it and Democrats opposing it. State Sen. Jason Anavitarte, the Dallas Republican sponsoring the proposal, said there has been an increase in Georgians getting carry licenses and purchasing guns since the coronavirus pandemic began two years ago.
Sonny Perdue to make more than $500,000 a year as chancellor
AP News (by staff) | 3.5
Former Gov. Sonny Perdue will be paid $523,900 a year when he takes the reins on April 1 as chancellor of the University System of Georgia. System spokesperson Lance Wallace said Friday that’s the same amount that Steve Wrigley was making as chancellor before retiring last year. The 19-member Board of Regents voted on Tuesday to hire Perdue to lead the system’s 26 universities and colleges, two weeks after naming Perdue as the sole finalist for the chancellor’s post. Perdue was the first Republican governor of Georgia in more than a century, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. He then served as U.S. agriculture secretary under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2021.
Atlanta HBCUs: Why we teach critical race theory
AJC (by Eric Stirgus) | 3.3
Kurt Young, political science chair at Clark Atlanta University, said his students are asking more questions about critical race theory these days. It’s happening amid a smoldering national debate on the subject, which has also erupted in Georgia. Critical race theory, typically used in graduate and law schools, examines how race has shaped culture, legal systems and policies to produce unequal outcomes. Republican state lawmakers have introduced several bills in recent weeks that would limit discussions on race in public schools and colleges and, in some cases, impose financial penalties. Young says the controversy has increased interest among his students in critical race theory. “It’s the reverse of what the intentions seem to be of proponents of the attacks on critical race theory,” he said.
Georgia bill seeks to raise penalties for fleeing police
AP News (by staff) | 3.6
Georgia lawmakers are seeking to raise the penalties for people who flee from police. The House voted 95-62 on Thursday to approve House Bill 1216, sending it the Senate for more debate. The measure says that anyone convicted of fleeing from the police for a fourth time would be convicted of a felony. Right now, all offenses of fleeing from police in Georgia are high and aggravated misdemeanors, a category of misdemeanor that carries higher penalties. Supporters of the change cite more than 500 pursuits conducted by state troopers as part of a crime suppression detail they have been working in metro Atlanta since April 2021.
Georgia House voting on bill to control how race is discussed in schools
AJC (by Ty Tagami) | 3.4
The Georgia House of Representatives is expected to vote Friday on legislation that would control what teachers say about race in public school classrooms. The vote for passage of House Bill 1084 by the House Education Committee last week broke mostly along party lines. If the same thing happens in the full House, which is dominated by Republicans, the bill will head to the Senate. Four such bills have been introduced during this year’s legislative session, and this one is the first to reach a vote by one of the chambers. It comes in the wake of national outrage over the notion that K-12 teachers are promoting the college-level academic concept known as critical race theory, which is used to examine the effect of racism on society.
‘We’re very concerned’: Black voters fear changes to Georgia voting laws
NBC News (by Janelle Griffith) | 3.2
Hillary Holley, organizing director of Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization, said one goal of voter suppression laws is to confuse people to the extent that it discourages Black people and other voters of color from showing up to the polls. Her group was founded by Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her bid for Georgia governor in a contest marked by allegations of voter suppression affecting mostly Black voters. Over the years, however, there has been a greater turnout among Black voters, despite attempts to suppress their votes, Holley said. “What I hear from Black voters today is they are upset with the voter suppression laws,” she said. “They’re angry that people are trying to restrict their access to the ballot.” But after expressing that frustration and anger, she said, “their next question is always, ‘OK, so what do we do?’ That’s what I hear across the state. A lot of young voters, and I’m a Black voter who was born and raised in Georgia, we were taught to think that this was over, that our nation had overcome this,” Holley said. “And the fact that we’re still having to deal with this, it is frustrating.”
A white man got probation for voting fraud. A Black woman faced six years in prison for an error
The Guardian (by Sam Levine) | 3.3
In the late summer of 2020, Bruce Bartman went to Pennsylvania’s voter registration website and signed up his mother and mother-in-law to vote. Both women were dead. A few months later, Bartman, who is white, requested a mail-in ballot for his late mother and cast her vote for Donald Trump. Bartman was arrested that December and charged with perjury and unlawful voting. Months later, he pleaded guilty, admitted he made a “stupid mistake”, was sentenced to five years of probation and barred from serving on a jury or voting for four years. “There’s not public benefit to him being incarcerated,” Jack Stollsteimer, the local district attorney said at the time. “This defendant from the beginning has accepted responsibility for his actions, and he has paid the price for them.”
Why voting rights activists aren’t giving up
Vox (by Fabiola Cineas) | 3.6
Is the push to protect voting rights dead? Democrats’ voting rights legislation, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, was defeated in the Senate in January. A few weeks later, the Supreme Court allowed a racially gerrymandered congressional map in Alabama to take effect for the 2022 election, signaling the court’s continued willingness to gut the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. Despite the repeated setbacks, activists are still working to protect and restore voters’ rights on the ground. In January, to mark the 57th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers bludgeoned voting rights activists as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, thousands of activists, lawmakers, and supporters crossed the bridge to signal their dedication to the cause and all those who fought for voting rights before them. Cliff Albright, the co-founder of Give Us the Ballot and co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, one of the organizers of the event, told Vox that the movement for voting rights is only gaining momentum. Though Biden and Democratic leaders failed to move key legislation forward in January, the moment wasn’t all a loss, Albright said.
Information is power and information grows in power but it adds something special ✨ impact✨ when we share, so I will continue to share the articles I come across. (Maybe I’ll do a bit of commentary on one of these articles later in the week, who knows?)
If you come across an article you think people need to know about let me know so I can get it added to next week’s: You Should Know This…