U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., will be joined by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, among other law enforcement agencies, to give ex-offenders an opportunity this week to learn how to re-enter society, obtain employment, regain their rights and avoid return trips to jail.

Johnson announced he will hold a Restoration Resource Fair from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, which is located 495 North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston. The congressman’s office said the event will include record expungements, opportunities to look for jobs, housing and transportation vouchers, mental and spiritual guidance and hunger assistance among other support services for people who have been incarcerated in prison in the past.

“This event, which is building off previous resource fairs we’ve held, is a community effort to help break the cycle of recidivism and poverty and help make those who have been previously incarcerated more productive, successful citizens,” Johnson said.

“If we can come together and achieve this goal, our district, state and nation will be better place.”

In addition to the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office, other participating law enforcement agencies include the DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton County sheriff’s offices. Other participating agencies include the DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton County Accountability Courts, the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Georgia Department of Labor.

The long list of community partners participating in the event includes: Work Source Gwinnett; Salvation Army; The National Urban League; Goodwill; the Georgia Department of Driver Services; The U.S. Census; MARTA; Waffle House; UPS; The U.S. Department of Child Support; The International Union of Engineers; Southern Mechanicals; Work Source DeKalb; GA Works; The Door; Stand Inc.; SNAP; DFCS; Overcomers House; Veterans Molding Minds; The John Marshall School of Law; Georgia Piedmont Technical College; Oakhurst Medical Center; Atlanta Food Bank; Helping Hands; Emory Conference Center Hotel; Happy Faces Personal Group; DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management; Georgia Standup; Nu-Way Staffing; JMA Placement Inc. Staffing, Life Empowerment Enterprises; Honidu’s Caring Foundation; The Service Companies; Ethne Health Community Clinic; WellCare Health Plan; the Veteran’s Administration; and several local churches.

Brand New Congress, Peace Action backs Nabilah Islam in 7th District race

Nabilah Islam picked up the endorsements of two grassroots groups in the 7th Congressional District race this past week.

Brand New Congress and Peace Action announced they are backing Islam, who is one of several Democrats running in the high profile — and open — congressional race. Islam has backed the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, student loan forgiveness.

She has also backed Brand New Congress’ 21st Century Bill of Rights platform, which includes proposals for Americans to have rights to such as healthcare and bodily autonomy, justice, liberty and housing among other rights.

“As the daughter of immigrants and a working-class American who is navigating crushing student loan debt, Nabilah personally understands the issues that millions of Americans wake up to every single morning,” Brand New Congress Executive Director Robb Ryerse said in a statement. “We started Brand New Congress to make sure that voices like hers can speak for the many in the halls of Congress.

“From her courageous petition to expand healthcare access to working-class candidates to her unequivocal support for Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, Nabilah is exactly the kind of candidate we set out to elect when we started Brand New Congress. We are excited to join her on the campaign trail.”

Meanwhile, Peace Action Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs and PAC Director Paul Kawika Martin said, “She will prioritize diplomacy over endless wars and regime change wars. She knows that continuing to expand the bloated Pentagon budget will jeopardize critical programs at home. She knows that continuing to gut the State Department will restrict our ability to maintain important alliances abroad. She knows that continuing to apply sweeping sanctions throughout the world hurts regular citizens and destabilizes whole regions not just bad regimes.”

Woodall, Bishop working on bipartisan bill to address movement of perishable goods

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., is working across the aisle with fellow Georgia congressman, U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., on the Freight Restriction Elimination for Safer Hauling Act.

The bill, also known as the FRESH Act, was recently introduced in the House to make it OK for any vehicle that is transporting perishable goods to use the same weight limits on interstates that are in place for state roads and highways, according to Woodall’s office.

The current system has lead to trucks driving through school zones, neighborhoods and local businesses districts, sometimes on rural, two-lane roads, according to a joint statement from Woodall and Bishop.

“One of my favorite things about serving in Congress is finding a better way to do things, and this bill does just that by keeping these oftentimes heavier vehicles on the Interstate system, a system that is well-designed to handle their operation,” Woodall said. “Our federal laws should never jeopardize the safety of our communities, but unfortunately we’ve come across that scenario here.”

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Political Notebook appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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