A wave of women and first-time seat-seekers have qualified to be political candidates in the state of Georgia in 2018. Here in Glynn County, we had both a woman and first-time seat-seeker, Julie Jordan qualify for the 2018 candidacy to run for the Georgia State House Representative District 179 seat. A seat which has been unopposed for several years.
Julie is a long time resident of Coastal Georgia and has spent the last 19 years working as a school counselor at Needwood and Glynn middle schools and currently serves as the registrar at Glynn Academy. Julie had decided to run for the seat because she “wanted to give voters a choice, another voice other than that of local candidates who continually run unopposed.” She stated that she wanted “all voices to be heard and the issues of all people to matter.”
All on Georgia- Glynn had the opportunity to talk with Julie and highlight some of the issues she will be campaigning for during her candidacy.
We also talked with Julie more in-depth on her background, her platform from which she will run and some of her positions on key issues:
AOG-Glynn: Hi Julie, thank you for joining us. Please tell us about your background?
I was raised in Lancaster, California, which is in the Mojave Desert. My mom was a cosmetologist and small business owner. My dad worked for the Safeway grocery store chain for 35 years.
As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on a basketball scholarship, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism/Public Relations. After graduation, I attended Georgia Southern University where I received a Master of Science in Sport Management, while working as a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team. I received a Master’s level Certification in Health/PE in 1992 and a Master of Education in Counselor Education in 1995. I went on to complete my Education Specialist in Counselor Education in 1997.
I have been lucky enough to call Saint Simons Island my home for the past nineteen years. As an educator for 28 years I have been a school counselor at Needwood and Glynn Middle, and am currently Registrar at Glynn Academy.
AOG-Glynn: What qualifications do you have to run for the Georgia State House District 179?
I had the honor of serving as President- Elect for the Georgia School Counselors Association (GSCA) in 2012-2013 and served a three- year term as President-Elect, President, and Past President. GSCA has over 1000 members and continues to grow as one of the most dynamic educational organizations in Georgia. GSCA gave me the opportunity to grow as a leader and allowed me to be a part of facilitating and planning leadership institutes, collaborating with national organizations such as the American School Counselor Association, working with Georgia legislators and other educational leaders to introduce and pass legislation, and participate in meetings with senators and representatives in Washington D.C.
I am also a leader of the Women’s Voices of Glynn County, a Democratic Party Precinct Captain, an at–large member of the Glynn Dems Executive Committee, and a Glynn County liaison to Greening Georgia, an environmental caucus of the Democratic Party of GA.
AOG-Glynn: Why did you decide to run for State Representative?
I am running for office because I want to give voters a choice, another voice than that of local candidates that continually run unopposed. I want all voices to be heard and the issues of all people in this district to matter.
AOG-Glynn: What is your platform and what issues would be your top priority for HD 179 and how do you propose to enact change?
Key issues for me are economic development and a living wage! We must do more to prepare local residents for the changing economy so that we can be competitive in a global market. Increased job training and continued efforts to bring new industries into the area are key to expanding job opportunities in Glynn County.
To prepare our children to be college and career ready, we must expand access to quality Pre-K education. We need to provide Pre-K education and transportation to all our families. Over 25% of our children are growing up in poverty. They must have access to high-quality schools and teachers in order to succeed. The benefits of early education include lower retention rates, higher graduation rates, and is one of the best investments we can make as a community to help our students compete in the job market and in life.
Our Georgia coast is one of our most valuable and beautiful assets. Tourists come from all over the world to visit our beaches and marshes. Shrimpers, fishermen, and the seafood industry rely on our nutrient-rich waters. These resources are threatened by offshore drilling, seismic testing, and unmanaged coastal development. We must protect and preserve our home and we must do it together.
Access to affordable and quality health care continues to be a growing problem for Glynn County due to physician shortages and not enough primary care. We need to start by expanding Medicaid and close the healthcare gap for the uninsured. We must secure access to affordable, quality health care for all Georgians.
AOG-Glynn: What is your position on the state income tax?
Instead of a modest tax cut on state income taxes, I would like to see the additional influx of money be used to close the health coverage gap, provide universal child care for low-income Georgians under 5-years-old, and helpfully fund public schools.
AOG-Glynn: How do you plan to work with locally elected officials to upgrade infrastructure as a state legislator?
Infrastructure is a serious concern. As a major tourist destination in the state, many of our public utilities are stressed, especially during the influx of seasonal tourists. I will work with local officials to help them find the resources, specifically financial, to maintain and improve local services.
How do you plan to build relationships within the Capitol if elected? Relationships are built on respect and trust. Serving the people of GA HD 179 would be an honor and I would collaborate with stakeholders to do what is in the best interest of all of the people in this community.
620 Sea Island Road, Suite 179
Saint Simons Island, Georgia 31522