Vincent Fort

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Vincent Fort


Vincent D. Fort is a Georgia State Senator. Senator Fort currently is a professor of history and political science at a local college in Atlanta.

Education

Fort received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from American History at Central Connecticut State College and his Masters Degree in African-American History from Atlanta University.

He also has continued his education at Emory University, where he is researching the post-World War II Civil Rights Movement. He also served as assistant director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project.[1]

Political career

Vincent D. Fort was first elected to the State Senate from the 39th District in 1996, representing part of Fulton County. Sen. Fort serves on the Appropriations, Education and Youth, Reapportionment and Redistricting, Retirement and Special Judiciary committees.

In 1998, Senator Fort chaired the Senate Study Committee on Public Education Disciplinary Reform. Moreover, he is the chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Committee on Education.[2]

Endorsed by Our Revolution

Vincent Fort was endorsed by Our Revolution, an organization run by former campaign workers and supporters of former socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[3]

"Hate crimes" legislation

Senator Fort continues to be a highly active member of the General Assembly, pursuing and successfully achieving a number of legislative objectives, most notably the passage of what is commonly known as the Georgia Hate Crimes Law. This legislation is designed to provide for enhanced penalties for defendants who intentionally select their victim due to bias or prejudice such as crimes based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability,and sexual orientation.[4]

Other legislation

The senator is the first author of Georgia’s predatory lending law, which, until recently, was the strongest law in the country. He has been on the forefront for providing a safer Georgia, sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills against prostitution, drug-related nuisances, discrimination against citizens with disabilities, and racial profiling.[5]

Recognition

Senator Fort’s "unwavering commitment to making Georgia a better place to live" has been recognized by several organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Georgia Council on Aging; The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust; the American Association of Retired Persons; the National Association of Consumer Advocates; and the Anti-Defamation League.[6]

DSA connections

Atlanta DSA newsletter, Jan. 2010

On November 28, 2008, Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America held its second annual Douglass-Debs at the IBEW Hall.The event included the presentation of the Douglass-Debs award to Nan Grogan- Orrock by Richard Ray, Georgia State AFL-CIO, to Vincent Fort by Walter Andrews, President, Communication Workers of America 3204 and to Helen Butler by Charlie Flemming, President, Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council AFL-CIO.[7]

On November 7 2009. Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America SA hosted its Third Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner at Paschal's Restaurant. Awards were presented to Bill Brennan and Rev. Tim McDonald. State Senator Vincent Fort listed Bill Brennan's many accomplishments as an advocate for the rights of poor and minority consumers and as a national authority on the sub-prime meltdown and its impact on African American and elderly homeowners.[8]

"Foreclosure Five"

The Foreclosure Five were arrested on August 31 for refusing to leave a Wells Fargo branch office in East Point until a bank official would meet and hear the demands of the Atlanta Fighting Foreclosure Coalition. Those arrested included: Reginald Eaves, Charlie Flemming, State Senator Vincent Fort, Dianne Mathiowetz and Milt Tambor. The case of criminal trespass was moved from East Point to Fulton County after the five defendants continued to enter a "not guilty" plea rather than plead guilty to a lesser charge. The monies raised will go toward the defense provided by "Peoples' Attorney" Brian Spears at the hearing and a possible trial [9]

Atlanta Fighting Foreclosure Coalition

Formed in April 2009 following a community forum at the First Iconium Baptist Church, By late 2010 the Atlanta Fighting Foreclosure Coalition represented 41 member organizations: labor unions; civil rights, civil liberties, human rights and peace and justice groups; homeless shelters; and faith-based organizations.

In late 2010, the Coalition co-chairs were:

Sixth annual Douglass-Debs Dinner

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Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America hosted its sixth annual Douglass-Debs Dinner Saturday, November 10, 2012, at Paschal's Restaurant.

Vincent Fort attended and addressed the event.[10]

Moral Monday education rally

On Feb. 17, 2014 Moral Monday GA, protested at the Georgia State Capitol, against the $7.6 billion reductions in Georgia's education budgets during the past 10 years. The rally was led by a group of educators, parents and teachers, and featured many diverse voices from those groups as well as Georgia NAACP President Rev. Francys Johnson and state senators Donzella James, Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock.[11]

Bernie delegate

In Georgia's 1st congressional district, the co-chair of Bernie Sanders' Georgia delegation, Lisa Ring, is challenging in 2018 Republican incumbent Earl "Buddy" Carter, who won his last election unopposed. "Sen. Sanders taught me that every person has the potential to change the world with the right support. In my district, the conservative incumbent ran unopposed last election. It is time for me to stand up and fight for the people of my district," Ring told me in an interview.

Ring's fellow co-chair of Sanders' Georgia delegation, State Senator Vincent Fort, is running for Mayor of Atlanta this November. [12]

Anti-Trump protest

According to Barbara Joye, January 30, 2017 started with a demonstration of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) that threatens a major water source and sacred sites. A crowd of about 500, including Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America members Dani Atlanta, Barbara Joye, Daniel Hanley and Reid Jenkins, marched from a rally at Piedmont Park to another at the North Ave. MARTA station. Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring reminded us that the Sabal Trail pipeline under construction through our state will take gas from fracking in Alabama to Florida so utilities can compete with solar energy.

Later, several thousand Atlantans massed and chanted for two hours in front of the south terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, protesting Trump's executive order excluding all refugees and banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Many MADSA members took part, dispersed among the crowd.

Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson, State Sens. Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock, State Rep. Stacey Abrams, and Mayor Kasim Reed joined us - though Reed's statement that Atlanta is a "welcoming city" sparked cries from the crowd for a sanctuary city, as advocated by speaker Azadeh Shahshahani, spokesperson for GA-J20, the coalition which presented that demand to Reed's office on Jan. 20 (MADSA is a coalition member).[13]

DSA support for mayoral bid

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January 07, 2017 at 4pm - 6pm, Mammal Gallery, 91 Broad St. NW;

Join Joe Corrado, Tim Franzen, Larry Pellegrini, Jim Skillman, Milton Tambor, Rebecca Waldorff for a reception to learn more about Sen. Fort's historic bid for mayor and how together we can build an Atlanta that works for everyone.

Our Revolution support

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Resisting the Trump/Republican Agenda

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On March 19 2017 the second Democratic Socialist Dialogue of the quarter focused on resistance on many levels: In the electoral arena, with mayoral candidate and long-time friend of Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America Sen. Vincent Fort; against racism and xenophobia, with Adelina Nicholls, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights; Asma Elhuni, Council on American Islamic Relations; and Elise Cohen, Jewish Voice for Peace; and MADSA’s Daniel Hanley sharing his vision for socialism and his experience organizing a workplace campaign to petition the CEO of IBM to leave President Trump’s economic council.[14]

References