ATLANTA - Congressman-elect Kwanza Hall said he is eager to get to Washington and complete the term of the late Congressman John Lewis--a man whose activism inspired Hall's career in politics and public service.
"I'm truly humbled by the privilege, that we earned the privilege to serve for a brief period, but a very critical period in our country's history. He was a friend of the family, and he and my father worked together during the civil rights movement with Dr. King," Hall said Wednesday.
The former Atlanta city councilman said he's been doing his homework for a flurry of votes and issues that will likely come up in the 30, or so, days he will serve before former State Senator Nikema Williams is sworn to serve a full two-year term.
"Votes on the decriminalization of cannabis, votes on the coronavirus package and the relief package with a trillion dollars on the table. Then, you've got the Continued Resolution to avoid a government shutdown. We've also got unemployment benefits coming up closer to the end of the year. There's a lot of work to do and I'm grateful to Congressman Lewis' staff and others who have worked closely with me to prepare for this," said Hall, who was first elected to serve Atlanta's Second District in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. "The next six weeks really do matter and really, the next six days when Congress will be taking significant votes," he added.
The Georgia Secretary of State must verify the election results to the Clerk of Congress before Hall is sworn in, but Hall believes that could happen as early as Thursday. Hall said it's possible he could be officially sworn into office in the next several days.
"I'm not in to the big fanfare and the ceremony. That's great but, really people need relief. We need the checks to hit the street. We need a deal between the Republicans and the Democrats. We don't the fighting because people are suffering right now," said Hall, a life-long Democrat.
Hall battled COVID-19 in July and said he still deals with some lingering effects, which is why he insists any measure related to coronavirus relief will be his top priority during his month-long stint as a congressman.
"We've got to protect the lives of all the older individuals and all those who have compromised immune systems. We've got to be very thoughtful about that not only to communicate about that but also to provide the relief necessary," Hall said from his Atlanta home a day after beating former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin.
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