Sunday Solutions – Oct. 23, 2022

Whew! Debate week flew by – matchups included statewide offices and two meetings in two days for Coastal Georgia’s only Congressional representative post. But other things are happening, too, and we’ve got some of those to consider as well. Grab your coffee.

Comparing the messages

The barrage of statewide candidate debates sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club and others came in a wave last week. If you’re on the fence about any of those races, watching them might help. We’ve got them all linked up here if you want to check them out. You can get a feel for the differences between candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary or state, plus labor, agriculture, insurance commissioners in the quick Q&A sessions.

Also on the debate stage for two straight nights: Incumbent Republican Earl L. “Buddy” Carter and Democrat Wade Herring, who are vying for US House District 1 from Georgia, which includes all of Coastal Georgia. The two debates, one 30-minute edition in Atlanta, and and hourlong one in Savannah both are worth your time if you are working to understand the candidates and how they’ll represent you in Washington.

Credit: Kindel Media/Pexels

Finding a place to live

Several recent surveys have dropped regarding home ownership, rent and housing over the past couple of weeks. As Coastal Georgia grows, the long-standing shortage of affordable housing becomes acute, and national and local trends show us we aren’t alone and these stories provide ideas for steps to take.

Fair market rents rise 17% in Coastal Georgia: A story from Eric Curl at Savannah Agenda brings news that might not be actual news to renters right now: A US Housing and Urban Development tracker found most rents are rising 17% for the Savannah metro area, compared to 10% nationally. The survey uses private-sector data for apartments ranging from efficiencies to 4-bedroom units.

Setting rental prices: If you find rental pricing confusing, ProPublica has a new story about how many management companies now use algorithms to set rates. Companies say it helps keep rents affordable and while others say it’s collusion to keep rents higher. It’s a good look inside a business that often seems daunting.

Black homeownership drops to below 1960s levels: Stateline reports that the real estate grabs by institutional investors contribute to the problem, along with redlining, gentrification and the after-effects of the Great Recession. The story looks at the jarring drop and what other communities are doing to find solutions.

Proof in the polls: Housing is a universal concern in Georgia. In two statewide October polls conducted by the University of Georgia for the Georgia News Collaborative, around 1/3 of voters in various groups said the “availability of affordable housing” in their communities was a “Major Problem“. In the statewide poll, the individual “Likely Voter” groups included women, Black voters, people ages 18 to 44, those with some college or a college degree, individuals identifying as liberal, conservative, Democratic and Independent, workers whose annual incomes range from under $25,000 to $49,999 and those who earn $75,000 to $99,000. A separate GNC poll of Likely Voters who are Hispanic tracked nearly the same on the topic of housing with higher spikes of 50% for men, people ages 18 to 29, have a college degree, and those who say they are politically “Moderate.”

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Credit: Unsplash

Covid’s long tail: Children left behind

Last week, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that a caregiver for one in every 215 Georgia children died from COVID-19. That means 12,000 people under the age of 18 lost a parent or grandparent who supported them or lived with them, according to data shared by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. It also means that these children faced trauma that increases the risks of mental health problems and suicidal ideations. Expanded statistics show Black children make up about about 34% of the child population, but they account for 45% of the children who lost a primary or secondary caregiver to COVID. The institute recommends the legislature look to add funding to aid survivors and prepare for the challenges of long Covid in rural areas of the state.

The Current GA’s office at Coastal Heritage Society.

How do you know?

There’s still time to join us for a Current Conversation this week — we’ll be talking this month about disinformation, misinformation and how all that plays through in an election year. Gather with us from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with co-sponsor E. Shaver, booksellers, to talk about how we sort through information and how you can, too. We’ll be outside at our newsroom courtyard — the #805 Southern Railway train car named, “Georgia,” located beside the Savannah Visitor Center Parking Lot (303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) We will be serving light refreshments. Let us know you are coming by registering here. The event is free.

Voting info

We’ve gathered a trove of early voting, candidate, ballot measures and other info for you. Here’s the link. If there’s something we’ve overlooked, please let us know and we’ll add it.

Track early voting. It’s a record.

Credit: Unsplash

Your second cup: When risks meet politics

We’ve had a bit of time now to consider the effects of school closings during the pandemic’s early days, and so have researchers. New studies find that school officials had to navigate a delicate line between health risks and politics to make daily and weekly decisions for schools and safety. If you are weighing what politicians are saying now as they fight for your attention, this research can help sort through the factors you know and may have experienced, including your child’s learning vs. the risks to teachers and staff vs. political rhetoric vs. science. Considering this information now may help us all make wise choices next time.


Miss a 2022 debate? Watch them here.

Updating daily as needed. Coming up Oct. 24: Georgia Senate, Dist. 2. Derek Mallow, Clinton Young. Sponsored by League of Women Voters for Coastal Georgia and WJCL. Info. US House, Georgia Dist. 1, Oct. 19 Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Wade Herring. 7 p.m., sponsored by US House, Georgia Dist. 1, Oct. 18 Earl L. […]

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Second Carter-Herring debate shows stark splits on issues, approaches

The second of two scheduled debates between the candidates for Coastal Georgia’s seat in Congress was combative, pitting Herring against Carter, the seasoned former mayor of Pooler and ex-state legislator.

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Coastal GA House debate sheds light on healthcare costs, personal wealth

US House District 1 candidates debated in Atlanta, where Buddy Carter faced questions about his healthcare votes and personal wealth while Democrat Herring addressed his career as a corporate lawyer.

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Black families fall further behind on homeownership

The persistence of redlining, the Great Recession, gentrification and the increasing number of homes being scooped up by investors all have contributed to a growing Black-White disparity in homeownership, which is larger now than it was in the early 1960s, before the 1968 Fair Housing Act and other civil rights legislation.

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New Georgia poll of likely Hispanic voters finds Abrams and Kemp knotted, Walker leading Warnock

The survey results reveal that the races for U.S. Senate, governor, secretary of state and attorney general are too close to call right now among Hispanic voters.

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October in Georgia: Poll takes new snapshot in election season

While the survey also asked the horse-race questions about the marquee political candidates running for office in November, it went deeper to see what’s motivating the state’s voters and what’s moving the needle — or not.

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Analysts request funds to help nearly 12K Georgia children who lost a caregiver to COVID-19

Institute asks the state legislature to create funds for people impacted by long-term effects of COVID-19, including the nearly 12,000 children who lost a caregiver to the virus.

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More than politics: New studies help explain why some schools reopened while others stayed virtual

Two new studies provide greater insight into districts’ choices during the first full school year of the pandemic about whether to reopen classrooms or continue remote learning — decisions that proved to be as consequential as they were contentious.

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Resources to help Coastal Georgia voters make informed decisions. Page includes links to our nonpartisan election reporting and access to tools that voters can use to conduct your own research.

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This information compiled by and reported by The Current's staff. We use this credit line when information requires aggregation, compilation or organization from various staff and/or official sources.