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Last night, House Bill 289, which now includes the anti-protest and anti-defund language from Senate Bill 171, was placed on the Senate calendar for consideration tomorrow, the final day of the legislative session (Sine Die). We are asking our network to contact the members of Senate leadership today and tomorrow and ask them to vote NO on HB 289. 

HB 289 antagonizes the Black Lives Matter movement and the thousands of Georgian protesters who demonstrated for racial justice and an end to state-sanctioned violence throughout the summer and fall. Audaciously named the “Safe Communities Act of 2021,” HB 289 undercuts community safety and violates the rights guaranteed to Georgia’s citizens in our state and federal constitutions.  

HB 289 will harm communities because it: 

·      Criminalizes lawful protest;  

·      Seeks to bar all local governments from defunding their police departments; 

·      Provides immunity for people who cause harm to protesters; and 

·      Imposes liability on cities and counties who protect lawful speech.  

Please call or email the senators in the list below and tell them to vote NO on HB 289. You can find our script and talking points below. 

Who to Call: Senate Leadership 

Title Name Phone  Email Address 
Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan 404.656.5030   
President Pro-Tempore Butch Miller 404.656.6578 [email protected] 
Majority Leader Mike Dugan 404.656.7872 [email protected]  
Majority Whip Steve Gooch 404.656.9221 [email protected] 
Majority Caucus Chair John Kennedy 404.656.0045 [email protected] 
Majority Caucus Vice-Chair Larry Walker 404.656.0095 [email protected] 
Majority Caucus Secretary Dean Burke 404.656.0040 [email protected] 
Democratic Leader Gloria Butler 404.656.0075 [email protected] 
Democratic Whip Harold Jones 404.656.0036 [email protected]  
Democratic Caucus Chair Elena Parent 404.656.5109 [email protected] 
Democratic Caucus First Vice Chair Lester Jackson 404.463.5261 [email protected] 
Democratic Caucus Secretary Nan Orrock 404.463.8054 [email protected]  
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair for Campaigns and Fundraising Jen Jordan 404.656.6446 [email protected] 

Phone calls are the best way to reach lawmakers right now, but if you aren’t able to call, you can save time and click here to send an email to all members of Senate Leadership. 

What to Say: 

“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] [MENTION IF YOU ARE A CONSTITUENT]. I’m calling with a message for [NAME OF SENATOR]. 

I’m calling to demand that the Senate vote NO on House Bill 289, which criminalizes lawful protest and forces cities and counties to prioritize police funding over more effective community-based initiatives. Georgia already has several laws on the books that criminalize acts of violence while in the presence of at least one other person, making HB 289 unnecessary and possibly unconstitutional. Additionally, this bill is an overreach of state authority- state lawmakers should trust local officials to make budget decisions that will promote public safety.  Please vote NO on this harmful and dangerous piece of legislation. Thank you.” 

Other Talking Points: 

·       HB 289 is an unnecessary and unfunded mandate that forces cities and counties to prioritize police funding over more effective community-based initiatives.    

·       HB 289 is a regressive bill that will further criminalize and stigmatize people with mental health issues and other problems.  

·       HB 289 is completely unnecessary because acts that compromise public safety are already criminalized – for example – Rioting, Inciting a Riot, Obstructing a Highway, and Terroristic Threats and Acts are all already criminalized under Georgia law.  

·       HB 289 criminalizes lawful protest in violation of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions.   

·       HB 289 unfairly imposes civil liability on local governments that comply with the Constitution by protecting the right to protest. 

·       HB 289 frustrates the legislative intent of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).   

·       HB 289 provides immunity for people who cause harm to protestors.