Thanks to Diana Eckles, Candidate for State House District 41 (Cobb), for responding to our request! Diana is seeking the Democratic nomination for HD 41, along with Justin O’Dell and Michael Smith.
This post does not constitutes an endorsement of this candidate on the part of this site or any authors. The Democratic voters of HD 41 will choose the best candidate to represent them against Republican Phil Daniell in November.
If you would like more information about Diana, or to make a contribution to her campaign, please visit www.ecklesforcobb.com.
Q: Why are you running for State Representative?
A: I believe the people in this district deserve an active and engaged Representative who will work to solve the problems we face.
I’ve lived in the district for almost 16 years. Like many of our voters, I have children in our underfunded public schools. I drive by the same boarded up buildings as they do, and I have family, friends, and neighbors who are struggling in this economy. Despite having insurance, my family has been directly impacted by the challenges of getting the healthcare that we need. I want to be the State Representative to make a difference because these issues matter not just to me, but to this community.
Q: Much is being made of Votebuilder profiles in this race. What is your Votebuilder profile?
A: SD—Strong Democrat. I am a lifelong Democrat, and I am the only candidate in the race that has been an active member of the Cobb County Democratic Committee and the Cobb Democratic Women. I’ve never pulled a Republican ballot, even though it means I gave up the chance to influence the outcome of races on the Republican ballot. For example, the County Commission Chairman race is being decided in the Republican primary this year. To me it was always more important to stay focused on the Democrats we did have in the races. I also am proud to say that I voted for and volunteered for President Obama when he was running in 2008. Many people think it is legitimate to ask why someone who has never voted in a Democratic primary wants to run as a Democrat.
Q: So, does that mean that you’ll always vote unquestionably on party lines?
A: Obviously my Democratic values will influence my decisions, particularly as I evaluate how proposed legislation will impact the people of both my district and the state. Bills should stand on their own merit, and a good bill is a good bill regardless of which side introduces it. For example, in this past session, Republican Representative Sharon Cooper introduced a bill to further protect the elderly and disabled from unlicensed caregivers (HB1110). That bill passed with tremendous support from both sides of the aisle because it was good policy that protected a very vulnerable portion of our population, not because it was a Republican or a Democratic bill. Many bills fall into this category.
Q: Maybe we should have asked you this first, but what are those Democratic values and ideals that you are referring to?
A: Top values for me are Inclusion, Community, and Common (Public) Good.
Inclusion is that “big tent” description that you often hear when people describe the Democratic Party. Democrats welcome all to this big tent, and I think that everyone has a place here. Even though our differences make us work a little harder to understand each other, in the end our diversity strengthens us and leads to better outcomes for all.
Community means that we are all in this together, and that we are better together than we are alone. Our concept of democracy is based on the belief that we look out for each other as citizens, that we are responsible to each other in addition to being responsible for ourselves. We have individual liberties and freedoms, but overall we are part of the same team, whether that is defined as our district, county, state, or country.
Common Good is the belief that government has a role to play in our society, and that only a government interested in the common good, not in profit, can adequately provide certain services. Our citizens need to be protected. Our public resources (air, water, etc.) and infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) need to be protected, maintained, and shared. The playing field needs to be level (all have access to a quality, basic public education).
So, everyone is included, we work together, and we work towards outcomes that benefit everyone. Easier said than done, but I will be using those ideals as a guide as I decide how to cast my vote.
Please visit www.ecklesforcobb.com