In 2019, I lost my business partner, my best friend, my world, Diaz Allen to kidney failure. During his three-year battle, I got to witness firsthand the failures of the healthcare system in Georgia. I vividly recall spending nights in the hospital with him for two weeks straight, because I didn’t trust the caregivers to actually give care. After he was discharged, we received a bill for over $100 thousand dollars! After that, his dialysis treatments were over $100 thousand dollars monthly. Thankfully, he had health insurance, However, many Georgians aren’t so lucky. According to a study in 2019, Georgia ranks #3 in the country for the highest number of residents with no health insurance. Additionally, our state ranks 42nd for state health care performance.
Georgia is 5th in the United States for highest car insurance premiums. Our drivers pay an average of almost $2,000 a month for full coverage and almost $1,000 for minimum coverage. Our rates are steadily climbing, and there is no relief in sight. What’s even worse is that Black people often pay higher car and homeowners insurance rates than their non-Black counterparts. They are often told that it’s due to more accidents and or crime in their neighborhoods. We all know that is not the full story.
When I attended the 2018 Democratic Convention, John Lewis, who was known for creating “good trouble”, gave a soul-stirring speech. He said that the Democratic Party needed some fresh blood, and it was time to pass the torch. I felt like he was talking directly to me. It was at that moment I decided that I was going to run for office. I was going to become the change I wanted to see in our state.
I am uniquely qualified to be Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner. I am a business owner, philanthropist, author, mentor, family man and friend. I have been in the insurance industry for almost two continuous decades and started my insurance career as a front desk receptionist for a small agency. I worked in many other capacities and one of my proudest moments was opening and owning my own agency for six years. During the last five years, I have been in a leadership position for a national insurance carrier and I have been recruiting, hiring, training and developing budding insurance agency owners.
I will use my industry expertise and relationships to advocate for reasonable insurance rates. I will use these relationships and will also work with our lawmakers to ensure that our Black brothers and sisters no longer experience redlining, and that they will pay rates aligned with their non-Black counterparts. I will fight diligently to ensure that the citizens of our great state don’t have to choose between feeding their families and going to the doctor. Healthcare is a right, and every Georgian, regardless of if you’re in the city of Atlanta, or in the Blue Ridge mountains, deserves to be covered.
You’ve heard the saying, you can’t do the same things and expect to get different results. The system is broken, and it is time to try something new. I am not just running because I’ll make history as the first Black Insurance Commissioner in Georgia. I am running for Diaz. I am running for the countless numbers of Georgians with no health insurance. I am running for those who are tired of their car insurance costing more than their car payments. I am running because I will be the catalyst for insurance reform. Georgia, I am running for you!
Join our movement by donating, volunteering, sharing a post, or however you choose to get involved. Georgia deserves an authentic, fearless, experienced leader and with your support, I will become Georgia’s next Insurance Commissioner. I AM THE CHANGE THAT GEORGIA DESERVES.