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How do you make your voice heard? What matters to you most? And what dictates whether the issues important to you are given consideration by the legislature?

The answers might surprise you.

Brenda Lopez tells listeners:

  • Who holds the power to decide which bills move forward and which don’t in Georgia
  • What elements of a bill make it more likely to be heard and voted on
  • Under what conditions a republican might be asked to carry a bill originating in the democratic party and vice versa
  • What would cause an elected official to take action on a particular issue

Brenda Lopez made history in 2016 when she became the first Latina elected to the Georgia General Assembly, representing House District 99 in Gwinnett County. Having run and been elected as a democrat in the US House of Representatives in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District with majority republican chambers, she knew it would be tough to move certain legislation forward.

Nonetheless, she continued advocating for the same causes that she advocated for prior to her election. This means she did everything in her power to connect local organizations that were working to block “bad” legislation and used her elected capacity to serve those advocacy needs, as well as continue to bring the voices of Georgia residents into the light.

Lopez’s other primary goal was to grow the pipeline of young, diverse, first-generation college students who could enjoy a welcoming environment in Georgia—something that didn’t really exist before. For each session over the last four legislative years, Lopez made an accomplishment to this end: she took on at least eight legislative aides, helping them to become empowered political operatives, and (potentially) preparing them to run for office.

From the structure of legislative sessions and what her “to-do” list looks like from day to day, to the legislative budget in Georgia and party difference discourse in the legislature, Lopez covers it all.

Tune in and send your questions or comments to Brenda Lopez on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @VoteBrendaLopez

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