Melody Bray for Georgia State Senate District 38
Policy Priorities
Let’s face it: A few issues listed on a website will never encompass all the issues that a Senator encounters. We can talk about issues, but it’s also important to know how elected officials approach their decisions. I believe we should be judged based on how we show up for the most marginalized people in our community. When we implement inclusive policies to help the most vulnerable in our city, we all win. The policy positions below are where I would like to start. Over the next several months, I will be meeting with experts and stakeholders in these areas to formulate strategies that push toward lasting change, so check back for updates.
Voting Rights Are The Key
There’s a reason that the Civil Rights Movement focused so intently on securing voting rights. Without the right to vote, citizens are unable to speak up and stand up for the issues they care the most about. Access to the ballot box is the key that opens the door to systemic change. It should be no surprise that those who are in power, and who have the most to lose, are doing everything they can to make sure that the status quo never changes. That is why they passed Senate Bill 202: because they are afraid that we, the majority, are close to taking power and using that power for everyone instead of the few.

During my time co-founding and leading The Georgia 55 Project, I realized there is a larger force trying to disenfranchise Georgians from voting, but also the change that can happen when people unite towards a common goal. As your State Senator, I will fight to remove unnecessary barriers to voter access while ensuring that our voting process continues to be transparent and secure. Access to the ballot box is access to accountability, justice, and freedom.
Housing Must Be Safe & Affordable
The cost of rent in metro Atlanta is increasing faster than wages and people are spending too much of their paychecks on housing. It is clear that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for working class people and they are being forced to leave our city. And when we lose those folks, they’re gone. Our city’s make up changes. The very fabric of who we are changes. Permanently.

While working with CityRoots ATL, I advocated for all levels of government-- federal, state, and local-- to work together to create affordable housing options for metro Atlanta residents. We want legacy residents to be able to stay in their homes. We want seniors to not be displaced due to rising costs. We want new families to be able to find an affordable home to raise their children. As your State Senator, I will work with federal and local stakeholders to increase access to the affordable housing resources necessary to increase the housing supply in metro Atlanta and make housing more affordable for everyone.
Let’s Reimagine Criminal Justice
The criminal justice system does not start at the jailhouse doors. We must remember that the men and women populating our jails and prisons were once children and somewhere along the way we failed them. During my time working as an attorney in the criminal court, I saw the complex circumstances that lead to someone committing a crime. Whether it’s inadequate pre- and post-natal care, unsafe housing, or poor education, we need to tackle criminal justice from a broad systemic approach while also ensuring that those currently engaging the justice system are treated with dignity. As your State Senator, I will push for research-based solutions to the complex problem of crime in metro Atlanta with a focus on tackling the underlying causes of criminal behavior and restorative justice for victims of crime when it occurs.
Providing Food Security
We make better decisions when we are not coming from a place of scarcity. When we are focused on how to put food on the table, we cannot give thought and energy to education, personal health and wellness, or planning for our future. Did you know that 1 in 8 metro Atlantans do not know where their next meal will come from? We cannot expect people to actively participate in creating their own bright future when they are worried about the basic human needs of today. While working with Urban Recipe, I facilitated school partnerships to make sure that students and their families know that they have healthy food to eat. As your State Senator, I will forge partnerships between those organizations already doing work to support metro Atlantans who need food security by connecting them with the state resources they need to expand their reach and increase their impact.
Education is Fundamental
While representing school boards and teachers in court, I learned that the way we approach education in Georgia is not setting up our students and teachers for success. We must focus on the whole child, not simply test scores. Educational achievement does not occur in a vacuum; it happens when communities, governments, and businesses come together to support both the child in the classroom and the families in their neighborhoods. We must fully fund education and overhaul our outdated funding formula. We must take into account the effect of poverty on educational outcomes. And, importantly, we need to get back to discussing educational issues rather than focusing on political talking points for personal gain.
We Need Climate Action Now
Our communities are already feeling the effects of the climate crisis: from dangerous heat waves, to failing infrastructure projects, to unpredicted rainfall and floods. We have some of the highest energy burdens in the country, which means that a large percentage of resident’s income goes toward their utility bills. But there’s another way. We deserve bold investments in sustainable infrastructure that create local, good paying jobs. While it’s promising that the City of Atlanta has made a commitment to 100% clean energy by 2035, we need state stakeholders to jump into this fight. As Senator for District 38, I will work with the city to bring the state-level resources necessary to meet this ambitious goal, fight for policies that give residents better access to clean, affordable energy, and address environmental justice issues so the most vulnerable are not left behind.
Melody Bray for Georgia State Senate District 38
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