Carolyn Bourdeaux is an associate professor of Public Management and Policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She has just embarked on an ambitious campaign to unseat four-term Republican incumbent Rob Woodall, in a district that has been held by the GOP since the wave election of 1994. If Carolyn wins, her predecessors in office would include former Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens and GOP-er-turned-Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr.
If that sounds like tough territory, it’s not necessarily. Republican incumbents have run unopposed or faced only nominal opposition in the past in this district. Black, Asian, and Latino communities have thrived in the suburbs of Gwinnett County, though they so far have won little political representation at the local or national level. These demographic shifts are making a former GOP stronghold a potential Democratic pick-up–and if the Democrats have any chance of winning back the House in 2018, that path runs through Georgia’s 7th District. (For a frame of reference, the district is actually more diverse than the one narrowly lost by Democrat Jon Ossoff in June.)
Carolyn is smart, experienced, and very serious; she’s planning to run hard on the issues of healthcare, education, and transportation that matter most to voters. It’s going to take principled people across the country just like her to reverse the course we’re on politically in the age of Trump. Please consider liking her Facebook page, following her on Twitter, or even donating or volunteering for her campaign.
Here is a profile from the campaign website:
Carolyn has spent her entire career working on public policy solutions to improve people’s lives. As the founding director of Georgia State’s Center on State and Local Finance, she is an expert in tax policy, budgeting, and economic development. From 2007-2010, she served as director of the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office, where she worked with people of both parties to bring fiscal stability to the state budget during the Great Recession. She was honored with Senate Resolution 1598 for significant service to Georgia.
Before coming to Georgia, Carolyn was a legislative aide to Senator Ron Wyden, where she advanced legislation to promote livable communities in the federal transportation bill. This legislation was the precursor to the Livable Communities Initiative in the Atlanta region that has helped fund the redevelopment of downtowns throughout the 7th District. Also while in Washington, Carolyn secured funding for Portland’s light rail system and went on to work on transportation policy in Los Angeles, where she received a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Southern California.
Carolyn received degrees in history and economics from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Public Administration at Syracuse University, focusing on public finance. In 2003, she moved to Georgia State University to teach at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. In 2013, she was elected to serve as chair of the National Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.
Carolyn believes that everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream. But to get there, we have to have a health care system that works for everyone at a reasonable cost and an education system that connects children to economic mobility. It means wages and salaries so all workers can provide for their families. And it means transit options so life doesn’t pass us by while commuting in stop-and-go traffic. She thinks it’s time for all of us to step up and fight for the 7th District and our country.