Athens attorney Deborah Gonzalez is running for State House District 117 Representative. Gonzalez says she decided to run to give a voice to the Athens community. “We need representatives who will actually represent the people,” Gonzalez said. “I want to bring that voice of the people back to the legislature.” Photo courtesy of Deborah Gonzalez.
Athens attorney Deborah Gonzalez is running for District 117 Representative for the Georgia House of Representatives in a special election held Nov. 7. Gonzalez sat down for an interview with Co-Editor-in-Chief Lucia Bermudez.
Attorney Deborah Gonzalez was born and raised in Puerto Rico by a military family. Her father was a veteran of the Vietnam War and her family traveled frequently during her youth. As she came into her 20’s, she worked in a Tyvek factory in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. A single mother, Gonzalez worked to support her two daughters — Vivian Lee and Angelica Gonzalez — but wanted a more sustaining job. Moving to New York in 1988, she took interest in law and went to law school during the evenings at the Metropolitan College of New York, later attending New York Law School. Gonzalez went on to pursue a career as an attorney and later moved to Athens, where she is now an attorney in the areas of media and entertainment, social media and technology.
Gonzalez is a practicing attorney in Athens. Her area of focus is media and entertainment, social media and technology. This entails protecting citizen’s work and personal information. She published “Managing Online Risk: Apps, Mobile, and Social Media Security” in 2015 and also works to protect children and families from cyberbullying.
Reason for running
According to Gonzalez, she is running for District 117 Representative because she wants to give community member a vice. She believes government and citizens should be connected, and she can be the liaison between her community and Georgia state representatives. Deborah also aims to be an example and role model for young women and minorities, showing that it is possible for all people to run for such a position.
Though Gonzalez holds left-leaning views in support of various topics from criminal justice reform to immigration and DACA, she intends to focus on four main domains: health, education, jobs and children. Gonzalez supports women’s reproductive rights as well as the maintaining of Medicare and Medicaid. She also hopes to develop “effective, affordable, quality education” throughout the state and discuss and implement statewide policies regarding education. Gonzalez also aims to repair and maintain job infrastructure, ensure resource availability to small and family-owned business, as well as ensure training in skills that are needed in higher level jobs is accessible. Lastly, Gonzalez hopes to hone her expertise in Internet privacy by preventing children from the various harms of the Internet, from cyberbullying to identity theft. She hopes to implement measures to protect kids as well as to protect citizens’ privacy from hackers and companies that may private data for their own commercial purposes.