Four Democrats vying for their party's 2020 7th District nod participated in Saturday's forum. Carolyn Bourdeaux, the college professor who narrowly lost the 2018 race against outgoing Republican Rep. Rob Woodall; former Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves; activist Nabilah Islam; and entrepreneur Rashid Malik were all there.
They each answered questions about charter schools, income equality and climate change.
On the latter, Bourdeaux, Eaves and Islam all said the federal government should take bold steps, including reentering the Paris Climate Accord. Bourdeaux said the United States should strive to be a net carbon-neutral country by 2050.
Malik said more emphasis should be put on personal responsibility.
“I request you all today to go home, plant a tree or plant a seed, that will protect us,” he said. “Responsibility is on our shoulders.”
US Congress District 7 candidate Rashid Malik (third from left) and other candidates wait before Candidate Forum hosted by Gwinnett Democratic Women at George Pierce Park’s community room in Suwanee on Saturday, September 28, 2019. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
The forum, held in a community room at Suwanee’s George Pierce Park, also included Democratic candidates from more local races, including those for a handful of seats in the Legislature, the Gwinnett County Commission and Gwinnett County sheriff.
But perhaps the most interesting proposal came from the district attorney’s race.
Candidate Wesley Person, a longtime local defense attorney, said that if he were elected he would push the County Commission to pass ordinances decriminalizing marijuana. He said an ounce or less of marijuana should be treated as a civil offense.
“This way you would be able to get people treatment and help without giving them a criminal record,” Person said. “We can be smart on crime.”