As you have probably heard, there will be runoff election in Georgia on January 5th that will determine both US Senators from the Peach State. But maybe it is new to you there will be a third statewide race on the ballots: Democrat Daniel Blackman will face incumbent Republican Lauren “Bubba” McDonald for one of five seats on the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC is quite powerful in Georgia, as it regulates all telecommunications, electric and natural gas services. So, who is Daniel Blackman?
Born into a military family in Columbus, Georgia, Daniel Blackman is the child of immigrants, the son of an U.S. Army Ranger, and the grandson of an Ambassador to the United Nations from Barbados. A Clark Atlanta University alumni, Blackman has been advocating on behalf of disenfranchised
communities for over 20 years. While working in Atlanta’s burgeoning music scene in the 1990s, his
mentors Rev. Joseph Lowery, Dr. Gerald Durley, Rev. James Orange, and Rev. C.T. Vivian pushed him
into activism. He made good on their faith by:
- Partnering with the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and Power Africa Initiative
- Being appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission co-sponsored by members of the United States Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in disadvantaged communities
- Serving as an advisor to the Congressional Black Caucus and EPA on Environmental Justice issues
- Building a coalition to expand solar opportunities throughout the state of Georgia, resulting in the adoption of 525 megawatts of solar to Georgia’s energy grid.
- Working with Environmental Working Group to advance mandatory GMO labeling legislation that would preempt state labeling laws while creating a national, mandatory GMO labeling standard for all GMO foods
- Serving on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Georgia and as the Senior Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at Capital Fortitude Business Advisors
- Working as Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 State Political Director for Georgia
In 2016, Blackman became the first Black American to run for office in Forsyth County, Georgia. Forsyth, the last of Georgia’s “Sun-Down” counties, wasn’t racially integrated until 1989. Following his run, he has worked to bridge the gap between communities in Forsyth, contributing to the local newspaper and recommending that law enforcement reopen a high profile murder investigation during the height of the George Floyd Protests.
Daniel Blackman is a Netroots Nation alumni, as he was a spekaer in 2017.
In the Public Service Commission, Blackman will concentrate on improving things for consumers, not for companies. His priorities include:
- Bring high-speed internet to all 159 Georgia Counties
- Strengthen Utility Assistance Programs
- Champion cleaner more efficient energy solutions
- A Fearless Voice For Utility Ratepayers
The race for the PSC obviously gets a lot less attention than the Senate races of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. But even if you are interested only in the result of the Senate races, ye shouldn’t totally discount the PSC race. The PSC has direct impact on a lot of basic services, and if you are under threat of losing electricity, that is probably more pressing than balance of power in Washington. In short: Let’s support Daniel Blackman over the next month:
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