Peggy on the Issues

Economy & Small Business

Small businesses are the engines that drive our economy. Georgians have always led the way in taking risks, creating jobs, and building a stronger Georgia. I’ll work to remove barriers that stand in the way of small businesses and provide targeted support to promote entrepreneurship — helping more small businesses to get off the ground, expand, and hire new workers.

Also, at a time when corporate executives are giving themselves tax break after tax break, we should make sure that the people who really do the work have money in their pockets to spend in our communities so money flows to all of us. That’s why I want to raise teacher pay, increase pay of our first responders, expand Medicaid, and lower healthcare costs.

Every Georgian deserves to have a representative who will work to protect their family budgets from the outrageous price increases that too many big corporations have put in place in order to boost profits and corporate executive pay. As your state representative, I’ll crack down on price gouging, and call out the companies that are putting their own bonuses ahead of our wallets.

Quality Education

Georgians take pride in our schools. Families move to our district and many others to benefit from the quality education that their children will receive. We can’t let Georgia schools fall behind.

However, both here and across the state of Georgia, the quality of our education is at risk. We rely on our teachers, more than we rely on most anyone else. Yet, we do not pay them at a level that reflects their importance and their impact on the lives of our children, now and for their entire future.

Given this importance and incredible impact, a teacher should not have to go outside of the profession he/she loves in order to make a good wage – or, worse, outside the state. Georgia can lead the way in this effort to support these professionals by paying a fair wage and providing advancement opportunities, thereby attracting the best and most dedicated to the schools in our state. I will always fight for our educators and our children’s future, especially in District 49.


I have spent much of my life working with childhood cancer nonprofits, and have seen far too many parents go broke and even declare bankruptcy simply because they did whatever they could to try to save their child’s life.

My niece had cancer, survived, and then relapsed. She did not survive the second cancer, despite every effort, and my sister and brother-in-law were left with debt that took them several years to repay - even with so-called “good” insurance. This definitely should not happen.

Affordability and accessibility are huge issues in this state; fixing that will be a top priority for me. Everyone should have access to quality healthcare and no one should wonder if they can afford to get sick or care for their sick child.

We need to end the surprise billing that bankrupts family budgets after getting needed treatment. We need to expand Medicaid, so every Georgian can see a doctor when they need one. As your state representative, I will bring providers and patients together to re-envision the cost of healthcare in Georgia to better serve District 49 and the entire state.

Women's Reproductive Rights

I believe that Georgians should have the right to make their own private, personal medical decisions about whether and when to start a family – not government or politicians. Taking away this right relegates women to second class citizenship by being told by our Supreme Court and our government that we can't be trusted to make our own reproductive health decisions.

If elected, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Georgians, particularly those in House District 49, know that their State Representative will advocate for their reproductive freedom.

It is critical that the American people turn out to vote in their state elections, and vote for candidates who will defend our basic freedoms.

Gun Violence and Safer Communities

We all want to keep our families safe. Every Georgia family deserves to feel safe in their homes, in their everyday lives, and when they send their kids to school.

Unfortunately, gun violence is a crisis in this country and the leading cause of death of our children. Georgia is no exception. People are concerned for their safety when they are in public like never before. This is unacceptable, and it is solvable. No one law can stop all tragedies, but there are critical steps we can take now that will make a difference and save lives. Recent legislation announced by the White House is a great start, but much more must be done.

I became involved in this fight several years ago after my 11 year old daughter, having heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook, asked me if “When I was little, did people come into my school and shoot kids?” Our children deserve to grow up without this kind of fear. Enough is enough.

The vast majorities of Georgians, including responsible gun owners, want laws that will help put an end to this crisis, such as requiring a background check for each and every gun purchase, keeping high powered guns out of the hands of children and adolescents, and red flag laws that allow our trained law enforcement officers to step in when someone is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Keep in mind, we can protect our Second Graders and our Second Amendment at the same time! Common sense gun legislation is not a threat to the second amendment. The lack of such legislation, however, is a threat to ALL of us.

Once in the State House, I will always stand with my constituents, and I will never stop fighting to protect our communities and our safety.

A Clean Energy Future

Georgia is among the top 10 states at most risk of damage from climate change. With untold costs coming to our neighborhoods and our communities, this will harm our small businesses and quality of life.

Our state is at high risk for all 5 categories of climate change effects – Extreme Heat, Drought, Wildfires, Coastal Flooding and Inland Flooding. We are already seeing many effects right here in Georgia– rising sea levels, increased temperatures, more severe storms and resulting damage, and flooding.

Waiting longer to deal with these effects will only cost us more, not in the distant future, but soon. In the Georgia State House, I will make our clean energy transition a priority. Every Georgia family deserves to benefit from the progress we make by slowing the damage of climate change. As your State Representative, I’ll hold polluting corporations accountable and keep Georgia lawmakers focused on the health and future of all Georgians.

Our beautiful state and the people in it deserve no less.

Accountability / Civility / Bipartisanship

One of the first things that both frustrated me about politics and led me to want to run for office, was when I realized just how often elected lawmakers do not actually represent their constituents. Some don’t listen, and when they go to the state legislature, they don’t effectively represent us.

Additionally, the incredible partisanship that frequently takes priority over making progress on important issues, is stifling our government.

Our ability to conduct the people’s business with basic civility has reached an all-time low in the last few years. It is disheartening to see the lack of respect that some elected officials show to those with which they disagree. That failure of leadership trickles down to the way that ordinary people act toward each other when their beliefs are not the same.

I will make a difference by prioritizing progress, cooperation, and collaboration. I will listen to ideas from all sides and recognize that compromise is often necessary.

Peggy Gillen for Georgia

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