Rep. Mike Dudgeon: Transparency In the Age of Technology

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Anyone who knows me personally knows how much I adore convenience providing technology, individuals who speak their mind, and processes that afford ample transparency.  I believe that those who can be informed can also engage, and the more folks are engaged are the more who can bring about sustainable methods of solutions to the challenges of our time.  I do not believe that elected oficials are inherently corrupt, but do recognize that it takes some serious courage and vision to alter a pre-existing system.  With this perspective, my compliments to legislators do not come easily nor is my respect earned without merit.  The Georgia General Assembly has been my playground and profession for the last twelve years.  I cut my teeth with the House Hawk system (to which Congressman Tom Graves belonged) and I have mourned the loss of a number of men and women who contributed not simply to their district, but to greatness of the state as a whole.

Last week I was sad to hear of the decision of Representative Mike Dudgeon to not seek re-election.   The image to the right was the image accompanying his Facebook post notifying the public he would not be seeking re-election.  I am particularly sad about this because of his contribution to a more open and transparent bill comparison system.  In a General Assembly in which the Senate still does not provide live streamed meetings, (and as of last week) I was told by Senate Gallery Doorkeepers photographs were no longer allowed in the Senate gallery, Representative Dudgeon stood in direct contrast.  He is no rabble rouser, but simply admires limited scope of government and does not hide behind some archaic idea that technology is something to be feared.  In contrast to the same photo-prohibiting ladies that explained I could use my cell phone for “business” not for “playing” while in the gallery, Representative Dudgeon and many House members actively have dialogue with their constituents via social media.

Thanks be to God for the House chamber, and specifically for Representative Dudgeon.  For those who are unaware, Representative Dudgeon graduated Georgia Tech with a degree in Electrical Engineering and currently holds five patents.  During his years in the Georgia General Assembly, Rep. Dudgeon also took time out of his full-time job in the tech sector and his service as a member to develop an inter-office software program that analyzes the different versions of bills as they go through the legislative process. 

Here’s where is gets wonky, so skip down a paragraph if you are not into political nerdom/ jargon. Continue reading “Rep. Mike Dudgeon: Transparency In the Age of Technology”

International Women’s Day: A Template For Future Success?

WIT imageYesterday was International Women’s Day.  It’s a day where we celebrate Madame Curie, recognize women’s accomplishments and struggles across the globe, and pat ourselves on the back for “coming so far”.  But what if we didn’t?  What if we looked at the situation of women, not as a retrospective, but as a projection?  How would our worlds collide if we conceptualized women were the next leaders in business?  In politics? Georgia was named last year as the number one state for fastest growing women owned businesses.  Unmarried women also make up the largest voting bloc in not only the state, but in the nation.  According to MassMutual Financial Group, senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth.

If women are owning more businesses, have more wealth, and hold more votes, wouldn’t it make sense to consider their interests when making our states’ economic and business plans?  I ask this in response to a couple of articles and propose that Georgia, if wisely positioned, could be set to be bold in business, make leaps for women, and all while not having to acquiesce the tax revenue normally sacrificed on the altar of attracting economic development.  Continue reading “International Women’s Day: A Template For Future Success?”