A number of years ago, I had the then pleasure of interning/working with State Representative Jill Chambers. I met Rep Chambers because I wrote all of the members of the Georgia House of Representatives asking them to pledge support to HB 885--The Nondiscrimination Act of 2003. When a Representative didn't respond to my letter within 2 or 3 weeks I sent a follow-up letter that let them know I understood they are busy--bla-bla-etc---"but a number of your peers found time to write me." Well, I had to send one of the follow-up letters to Rep Chambers, and she responded quickly to the letter. I continued to send occasional letters and emails to reps regarding bills that caught my interest, and Rep Chambers always responded. Before long I was in her office finding a way to be involved with her service to District 81.
Rep Chambers was the only Republican to vote no against the GA constitutional amendment (regarding gay marriage). I still admire her vote; however, as she said in her Capitol office-- she voted the way she felt her constituents wanted her to vote. If memory serves me correctly, after her vote, GA Equality sent Rep Chambers a t-shirt with a spine printed on the back with a quote of "I've got backbone" or something of that nature. Rep Chambers says she wore the shirt proudly to the Atlanta Pride Festival after the whole debacle of amending the constitution. Not that attending an Atlanta Pride affects how Rep Chambers does her job, but I am curious as to how many festivals she has attended since she wore her "backbone" t-shirt. I would assume if she is so accepting and supportive of her LGBT constituents she might make at least a brief appearance each year. Maybe she goes only when she has something "to wave" in our faces.
I remember when I became disappointed with Rep Chambers. It was during her 2004 re-election bid. One of the gentleman she hired to manage her campaign asked me to attend a fundraiser for Rep Chambers's opposition to count how many drinks the opposition consumed during the night. When does interning/assisting with a campaign come to counting alcoholic beverages? I am sure Rep Chambers would say she never knew I was asked to do such, and I think that would be ironic since during that campaign, if memory serves me correctly, her campaign sent out fliers about the opposition receiving a DUI during his college days.
And now, more disappointment. I read in the AJC's Politic Insider that Rep Chambers tried to intimidate the man who filed a complaint on her with the State Ethics Commission. (Click here for the complete article.) Let me share some info from a police incident report:
According to [Jeremy] Tanner, last Tuesday, Chambers herself came to his residence, took pictures of his house and yard, knocked on his door, and told him “you are in serious trouble.”
….The resident said Chambers also told him that it was “a very serious offense to accuse an elected official of bribery.”
Tanner said he told Chambers to leave the property, and closed the door, after which he said that the state representative continued to knock and say,”Come on out and talk to me, Jeremy.”
After working with Rep Chambers, I believe she did exactly what Tanner claims. Rep Chambers seems to likes to use intimidation when she feels she needs to show her power wants to "defend" herself. Read some of her fliers from previous re-election bids if you think I might be a bit of course with my thoughts. When will Rep Chambers learn that intimidation is a bully tactic most people outgrow after middle school?
Mentioning middle school, let's talk education for a moment. On Rep Chambers's website she touts, Jill re-wrote the charter school laws in 2005 to allow more tax money to be used for direct student instruction. In 2008, DeKalb Schools will get a $250,000 grant to retrofit school buses for cleaner diesel emissions. Isn't that $250,000 grant lovely. Why doesn't Rep Chambers mention the $8,788,912 in austerity reductions the Dekalb County Schools have battle during the 2008 fiscal year? Dekalb County citizens, keep austerity cuts in mind because they basically equal increases in property taxes.
Also, on her website, Rep Chambers touts, MARTOC – Committee Chairman - Jill is Chairman of the Committee to oversee MARTA spending. Is that all she has to say? What has she done as Committee Chairman? Seriously, don't brag about being chairman of committee if you can't list off some accomplishments. For me, titles mean nothing-- actions do.
I bet this entry earns me a spot on Rep Chambers's crap-list. She might even regret or forget all the lovely comments she made about me to some Log Cabin members at a fundraising event at the now closed Red Chair. She might even regret the nice recommendation
she wrote for me when I applied for a political internship with HRC. Oh well, I have to speak my mind.
I recall, from those days of old, Rep. Chambers stating she needs 10% of the Democrats in District 81 to vote for her to win. Yes, I voted for Rep Chambers in the last election because at that time I did believe in her, but those days are gone. I will NOT be part of the 10% Rep Chambers needs to keep her seat. I will NOT cast another ballot in favor of Jill Chambers. District 81 is need of change in the Georgia House of Representatives. Come on Chris Huttman!