Waycrossan Barbara Griffin, who is seeking election to the District 176 Georgia House seat, is originally from New York but has made her home in Waycross for some time and genuinely cares about the future of the population of the state.
If elected, Griffin plans to work hard for clients who need mental health care and medical attention. She also plans to address protection of natural resources and the scourge of trash dumped in illegal places.
“During my time at Brooklyn College, I was active in both Civil Rights and anti-war activities. In 1971, I moved to Athens, Ga., to obtain my masters degree from the School of Social Work,” said Griffin. “Since then, my work history has included working with emotionally disturbed children, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, hospice and dialysis. I have been in Ware County since 1980. I initiated the formation of a Big Brothers-Big Sisters program, served as chair for the Ware County Democratic Committee, vice-president with the Waycross NAACP, supported the local humane society and participated in productions with the Waycross Area Community Theater.”
In 2015, Griffin helped create a new non-profit theater company, Purlie Productions which has as its motto, “To elevate, educate and inspire.”
“I am a proud member of the National Association of Social Workers and my candidacy is endorsed by the NASW Georgia,” said Griffin.
“I have worked with both mentally and physically ill individuals for many years; daily I see a closeup view of the struggle for survival and to obtain the care and treatment they need and deserve. Economics are the root of the weaknesses in our society — those who are not able to earn more than minimum wage frequently do not get medical care because of lack of insurance and/or time off from work. As a result, when they finally are treated, the illness is worse and more difficult to treat.”
Griffin said that a growing body of research has determined that “the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) not only provides an income boost, but it can also boost health.”
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute has led the “Georgia Work Credit” campaign since 2015 with goal of enacting a state earned income tax credit for working families. They note that “research shows that higher EITCs contribute to improved maternal health, infant and child health, as well as mental health.”
Griffin said she will support any state initiative to fund healthcare programs, especially Medicaid expansion. Improving the financial status of low-income families as well as adequate insurance coverage, is also the best means to support struggling hospitals in rural areas, said Griffin.
Overall, economic support for individuals is the best way to improve the health of the State of Georgia.
“We know we frequently have an inordinately high unemployment rate and not enough is done to attract new businesses that provide more job opportunities.
Another major area of concern is public education.
“We must provide diverse educational opportunities in grades K-12, plus technical and academic education beyond high school. Privatization of education is not the answer.”
Georgia is a state with abundant natural resources that must be protected and enhance including forests, waterways and “quality of the air we breathe,” said Griffin.
Recycling is taken for granted in urban areas but has not reached the southern part of the country.
Trash dumping is commonplace and found in areas used for recreation by families.
“I believe now is the time for us to stop accepting the status quo and act to move our state forward,” said Griffin.