Millennial civil rights group establishes voice at state Capitol on environmental issue
By David Pendered
In a subtle gesture, Atlanta Democratic Sen. Donzella James has helped establish the voice of the Millennial Civil Rights Campaign at the Georgia Capitol. James gave the organization a seat at the table to discuss her proposed statewide ban on plastic grocery store bags.
James presented Taos Wynn, the organization’s president, to a Senate committee as a valued leader of a significant organization.
Wynn spoke as the president of a group that was formed in the summer of 2019 to champion concerns of the rising generation of civil rights advocates. Wynn is not a registered lobbyist.
In addition, the opportunity provided Wynn a platform to extend the Millennial Civil Rights Campaign’s concerns to encompass sustainability and the environment. The group’s initial legislative issue involves another proposal by James – a proposed apology from the State of Georgia for slavery and Jim Crow, Senate Resolution 537.
No formal action was taken on the plastic bags’ legislation. The Feb. 12 event was a hearing for the purpose of gathering comments on a proposal that’s viewed as facing an uphill battle to become law – in part because major retailers, including Kroger, already have announced plans to stop distributing plastic grocery story bags by 2025. The market shift lessens the need for government intervention, some members indicated.
But the bill did get a hearing before the Senate Economic and Tourism Committee. Longtime Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring thanked committee Chairman Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) for responding to Herring’s request for a hearing.
At the hearing, James brought Wynn to sit beside her to deliver remarks in support of the plastic bags’ legislation, Senate Bill 280. After bringing him to the table, James said:
- “This is Taos Wynn, with the Millennial Group. They are one of the ones who came to me and talked to me about this bill, and wanted me to put it in. … I would like for him to make a statement because he has a large group of millennials who are supporting this bill.”
And with that, Wynn began a three-minute presentation. Wynn said:
- “We see this bill on its face as a method and means to creating a cleaner Georgia. A Georgia that is more sustainable. A Georgia that is more willing to take necessary actions to protect its bodies of water and wildlife. We see this bill as a step, very much, in the right direction.”
The Millennial Civil Rights Campaign states on its website that it’s, “an intergenerational effort led by Millennial leaders to drive change on a local and national level in the areas of race relations, gun violence, student debt, and the promotion of human rights.”
The organization is embraced by notables of the present and original civil and human rights movement.
Statements of support are listed in the following order: John Lewis; Andrew Young; U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Lithonia); state Sen. Donzella James; state Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta); Atlanta City Councilmember Antonio Brown; state Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia, and minority chief deputy whip); and state Rep. William Boddie (D-East Point, and minority whip).
Note to readers: Millennial Civil Rights Campaign has scheduled a “Free Democracy Tour” Feb. 29 at Emory University. Speakers are to include U.S. Senate Candidate – Jon Ossoff; NAACP GA-State President – James Woodall; and Millennial Civil Rights President – Taos Wynn.