59th Edition

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59th EditionNovember 16, 2018

Federal Update

Congress began its lame duck session this week. Besides completing the remaining FY2019 appropriations bills, there may be a push on criminal justice reform over the next few weeks. We also expect Congress to advance a disaster funding bill for the two hurricanes impacting the South as well as the California wildfires. 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was elected by Republicans to be House minority leader in the 116th Congress. The Speaker will not be selected until January 3rd; Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the candidate to beat. In the Senate, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were re-elected by voice vote to lead their respective parties. The parties began organizational meetings this week to decide what members will join which committee and who will hold the Chair and Ranking Member positions of each.

Drs. Colleen Kraft and Bruce Ribner were on Capitol Hill this week advocating for continued funding for the National Ebola Training and Education Center. This national training program was created during the peak of the Ebola outbreak, and we look forward to continuing work to secure another round of funding for the program. Dr. Douglas Hicks, Dean of Oxford College (pictured below on the left), was also on the Hill to discuss higher education with staffers who serve Members on the House Education and Workforce Committee as well as Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA).  

Congressional Staff Tour

On November 1st, half a dozen congressional staffers, based in DC, spent the day learning more about Emory University. This bipartisan group tour was focused on Emory’s STEM programs and generous financial aid policies. The group began the day at the chemistry building; they learned about the innovative curriculum developed by Emory faculty and viewed equipment purchased by National Science Foundation grants. Next, two of Emory’s student tour guides led the staffers on a walking tour of campus and described the student experience at Emory. Staffers had questions about the dorms, freshman life, and student activities at Emory. Over lunch, John Leach, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of University Financial Aid, walked the staffers through Emory’s generous financial aid policies. The group engaged in an important discussion about student loans and the rising cost of tuition. Finally, the group toured the training simulators at the nursing school, gaining an appreciation for how Emory’s nursing students enhance their education with hands on experience. The staffers had the unique experience of watching Emory’s midwives “deliver” a baby, and were able to hear from students about their path to the nursing profession as well as their future career goals.

Thank you to everyone on campus who contributed to making the day a resounding success!

State Update

State lawmakers convened at the Capitol Tuesday to begin a special session to appropriate $270 million in state funding for relief efforts after Hurricane Michael devastated the southern part of the state. The funding will primarily be used for debris clean-up and infrastructure repair. It will also require federal money to help the southwest corner of the state fully recover. The session is expected to last five days.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones delivered a split decision on Wednesday that ordered the Secretary of State's Office to not certify results of the Governor's race until absentee ballots are counted on which the voter's date of birth is missing or incorrect. Based on the latest numbers, Brian Kemp still has a lead by about 55,000 votes. Stacey Abrams is hoping to gain about 17,800 votes to force a December 4 runoff, or the roughly 15,400 need to trigger a recount. The OGCA team will continue to monitor the election.

Emory in the Community

Stonecrest Kidz Health Festival

On November 3rd, the OGCA team participated in the 1st Inaugural City of Stonecrest Kidz Health Festival with City Councilwoman Dr. Diane Adoma. Emory behavior analyst and program director for the Emory Autism Center, Dr. Michael Morrier, was one of the panelists. He spoke about what autism spectrum disorder is and how it is diagnosed. Emory hosted a table and provided information on healthy eating and portion control. Emory also did a demonstration of the “sugar shocker” which shows the impact of sugars in our body. Guests were able to count out the teaspoons of sugar on a plate to visually see the amount of sugar consumed with popular drinks.

Exploring Atlanta

The OGCA team and other offices hosted “Exploring Atlanta: Inclusive Growth and Opportunities”, the first in a series of events planned to focus on economic development and workforce in Atlanta. Speakers and panelists included Mike Alexander (Atlanta Regional Commission); Tim Keane (Planning Commissioner, City of Atlanta); Rohit Malhotra (Founder, Center for Civic Innovation); Ambrish Baisiwala (CEO, Portman Holdings); Bentina Terry (SVP, GA Power); Rashad Taylor (Chief Equity Officer, Atlanta); Jordon Stein (Founder, CityMatters) and Emory officers Dan Gordon and Josh Newton.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The OGCA team is thankful for our partners on campus, those folks that help us create unique and educational opportunities for our elected officials and their staffs, as well as those that take the time to visit Capitol Hill and the statehouse to amplify our messaging. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
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