Monday, June 8, 2009

Poythress addresses Carroll Democrats

Speaking to an audience at the Carroll County Democratic Party’s annual spring picnic on Saturday, Democratic candidate for governor David Poythress said the ultimate healing of the Georgia economy will stem from reform in education, transportation and water.

“All over Georgia and all over the United States of America people are wondering where is next month’s mortgage payment coming from ... what about kids and what about the car and what about health insurance,” Poythress said. “My job will be to reposition Georgia so that we can, as the economy begins to turn, take advantage of that and we can become as prosperous as we were under Democratic leadership in the past.”

To make such a repositioning possible, he said, the state needs to develop a plan to address future water shortages, implement a more accessible statewide transportation system and ensure that students across the state have access to modern technology in the classroom.

Poythress said the state has done a good job allocating funds from the Georgia lottery for early education and the HOPE Scholarship but has failed to use lottery funds to successfully establish a system of education that is rooted in technology. Should he win the governor’s office, Poythress said it would be the “number one priority” of his administration to ensure that every child has access to computers and other avenues of technological learning on a day-to-day basis and beginning at a young age.

In the past, he said, the state’s educational woes have been incorrectly attributed to teachers when the real problem has been that students simply don’t have access to the kind of technology that will propel their education into the 21st century.

“Teachers are not the problem. Teachers are part of the solution,” he said. “Kids grow up today in the electronic world. It’s the world we live in all day, every day. It seems to me that technology pervades all our lives. Why should we not have the latest and greatest and best technology in the classroom where we’re teaching our children to be globally competitive from the standpoint of jobs and to be good citizens of the democracy?”

Poythress was born and raised in Macon, where his father worked for the city water department and his mother was a school teacher. He served four years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate officer, and he volunteered for duty in Vietnam, serving one year as defense counsel and Chief of Military Justice at DaNang Air Base in country. On the state level, Poythress has served as assistant attorney general, deputy state revenue commissioner and secretary of state.

He is one of four Democrats currently in the race for the governorship, with the primary to be in July of next year. The general election will be in November of 2010.

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