Friends –

The 2016 Legislative Session at the Gold Dome has been challenging, with spirited and often contentious debate.  Here’s some of the highlights:

The Senate Democrats fought hard against the harmful and hateful Preacher Protection Act/Religious Freedom Restoration Act/First Amendment Defense Act.  As I reminded my Senate colleagues, this terrible legislation is the first time since our state was in the tragic grip of Jim Crow that the General Assembly has passed a bill legalizing discrimination against our fellow citizens based on who they are.  Thankfully the outcry about the bill from inside and outside Georgia convinced Governor Deal to veto it earlier this week.

I led the fight in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor against the bill that would allow guns on college campuses.  Unfortunately, the Republican majority rammed it through, but we continue to work to prevail upon the Governor to veto it as well.

The Park Atlanta Bill and the 911 Rebate Bill – measures I authored to give Atlanta citizens cost savings while addressing unnecessary burdensome governance from city hall – were met with bipartisan support in the Senate, and the positive response around them from consumers, citizens, and business owners was statewide.

And an issue close to my heart – support for Atlanta Tech and Atlanta Metropolitan – grew to $6.5 million in the budget.  I fought hard for that funding to help our community and to support educational institutions that teach and enrich young folks in Atlanta.

Now, I need your help.  I have drawn an opponent in my re-election bid to represent you in the Senate.  I believe strongly that this opponent – who qualified at the last minute – is a direct response to my outspoken views that buck the status quo. A challenger entered the race BECAUSE of my efforts to fight for YOU and not the corporate interests.  Can you help me fight this test of our values?  Let’s spread the word that we will not be silenced – we will always speak out when injustice exists.

Our city ranks number one in income inequality and immobility.  Do we continue down this path, or is this the year we say enough – and organize together to fight for economic equality that promotes a living wage, expands healthcare for everyone, protects the environment, and respects citizens’ rights to love who they choose?

Please join my team today to say NO to looking backward.

I am humbled to represent you.  You make me proud every day.  You will be hearing more from me soon.

With gratitude,

Vincent Fort