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About Rebecca Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Phone – 706-206-7275 Hometown – Aiken, S.C., lived in Athens for decades Birthday – October 12 Hey, I'm the editor of Athens Patch. I live in Five Points with my family. You can often find me on the Milledge bus, heading downtown. Before coming to Patch, I was a freelance writer and editor, specializing in website renovation. I worked as a staff writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and for other newspapers. I've written for local, state and national magazines. And I worked at the University of Georgia. Like most people who choose to live in Athens, I'm interested in most everything in town, from the public and private schools to UGA. I also pay attention to and enjoy music and cultural offerings, churches, employment opportunities, the transportation network and the environment. Nothing like a summer cookout with friends and family at Sandy Creek. I have twin daughters who will be in second grade at Barrow this coming school year. I enjoy yoga, especially classes at 5 Points Yoga, because I can walk there. I hope to hear from folks I've known a long time and to meet new people through Patch. Whoever you are, I want to hear what concerns you in our town. Your Beliefs At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. We hope that the knowledge that our beliefs are on the record will cause us to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know. Politics How would you describe your political beliefs? Are you registered with a certain party? I'm progressive, with a dose of skeptic. I've voted in primaries for both Republicans and Democrats. Religion How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious) If we are in town on Sunday, as we usually are, my girls and I attend Emmanuel Episcopal. My church family means a lot to me. Local Hot-Button Issues What do you think are the most important issues facing the community? Where do you stand on each of these issues? I think people are worried about jobs, schools and access to health care. State cutbacks seem to hit the most vulnerable---little children, the elderly and the poor. An end to Community Development Block Grants will cripple many non-profits and their work in Athens. Reducing the hours children spend in free Pre-K classes could mean those children, especially ones from low income families, will not be as prepared for kindergarten and elementary school. Reducing Medicaid payments will overburden our crowded hospital waiting rooms. Athens depends on the university for so many things: a continual influx of newcomers who bring new ideas and attitudes. Jobs and a comfortable living for many. Cultural amenities and organizations available for all to enjoy. Students who participate in community events and who spend money freely. How will reductions in state funding for education change the university and the town? Already the university has let vacant jobs remain vacant. Will there be staff reductions, or the elimination of entire academic departments to cope with new budget cuts? I believe education, on all levels, should be protected. Georgia has spent years trying to build a better public school system that will attract high-tech companies. And a university system as well. Athens is trying many innovative programs in its public schools, trying to keep students engaged and challenged. I want these measures to be successful, so that Athens produces more high school graduates and so that my children can find jobs here when they finish college. With the price of gasoline rising, I am disappointed we don't have a more extensive, safer cycling network in Athens. We could save money and get healthier. In Athens, we are trying to balance quality of life with attracting industries and creating jobs. Which is not always easy.