Get To Know the 24%: Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler
The Economic Stability and Opportunities (ESO) policy initiative is dedicated to providing legislators with the resources that support financial stability for low-and moderate-income working families, individuals, and youth. The ESO Policy Resource Center focuses on the policies that seek to help individuals overcome the economic, social, and policy barriers to achieving financial stability. The ESO Advisory Council was formed in 2013 in an effort to link the ESO work of state legislators with resources provided by Women In Government in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Council is made up of ESO legislative champions from across the country and political spectrum.
In an effort to highlight the work of our ESO Advisory Council, we are proud to feature Council member Representative Dee Dawkins Haigler in our Get to Know the 24% series!
Dee Dawkins-Haigler represents the 91st District of Georgia as a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Rep. Dawkins-Haigler has focused her life to public service in numerous roles. These have included serving as an ordained minister and pastor, a college educator, community activist, and a political strategist. Rep. Dawkins-Haigler serves as Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, Past Chair of the Georgia Women’s Legislative Caucus, and serves on the House Committees for Banks and Banking, Human Relations and Aging, Industry & Labor, and Science & Technology. She is an advocate for youth, especially those who have been touched by poverty.
The following is from an interview with Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler that was completed earlier this year.
1. What are the most pressing ESO issues in your state that you would like to address?
Minimum wage is an important issue for Representative Dawkins-Haigler. Georgia has very low minimum wage and women working cannot take care of their families or themselves on such a low salary. Even those trying to increase their economic status find it extremely hard to do so on a low wage. This is an important issue for Representative Haigler.
Representative Dawkins Haigler also mentioned the importance of addressing equal pay for equal work legislation. Finally Rep. Haigler spoke about her efforts to include minorities into the language of a major transportation bill that was passed in Georgia.
2. What activities are you interested in doing to address these ESO issues?
Representative Haigler actively participates in a variety of events to address ESO issues. She holds townhalls, press conferences, and is focused on the overall goal of educating the public on these topics. Rep. Haigler expressed the importance of education to passing legislation as you rely on public support. You need to effectively show the public why they should care about a certain issue. She is hoping to do a PSA on equal pay for equal work and minimum wage issues.
3. Do you have any other general legislative goals for this session?
There were many issues that Representative Dawkins-Haigler conveyed interest in addressing. These included:
- Reentry and woman: an executive order to “ban the box”
- HIV/AIDS and STI treatment: Georgia has a high rate of these diseases which Rep. Haigler would like to address.
- Human trafficking: Georgia and the Atlanta area is a breading place for human trafficking.
- Domestic violence: is not addressed in an effective manner. Rep. Haigler would like to require a class in high school.
- Helping Homeless Women. Representative Dawkins Haigler along with her daughters have spent their time collective sanitary items and delivering them to the women homeless population in Georgia. This is an area that many do not think of addressing, but nonetheless there is a huge need for these items and Rep. Haigler is attempting to change that.
We were so happy to learn more about Georgia’s specific Economic Stability and Opportunities needs and the work that Rep. Dawkins Haigler is actively engaged in. Her commitment to public service is motivating. For more information about the work that Representative Dee Dawkins-Haigler is doing, visit her website.
Please visit our Economic Stability and Opportunities Policy Resource Center for more information about the Advisory Council.
Morgan Stewart joined Women In Government as a Graduate Policy Fellow for the Economic Stability and Opportunities Resource Center in June 2014. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics from George Mason University and recently completed a Master of Public Policy with an emphasis in Social Policy from the George Mason School of Public Policy. Before joining Women In Government, Morgan completed a policy internship at Child Care Aware ® of America and worked as a legislative intern for Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova.About Future WIG
Women In Government supports women of all ages in leadership roles, and is working hard to ensure that young women are given the resources and mentorship they need in order to achieve their goals. This program takes place at WIG Regional conferences, where WIG asks women state legislators and leaders in the private sector to encourage young women across the country to pursue leadership roles. This program is made possible by Southwest Airlines.