CONYERS -- State Rep. Pam Dickerson said her commitment to her constituents made her first term in office a success, and she pledges to continue to focus on their needs if elected to a second term.
Dickerson, D-Conyers, had represented District 95, but due to redistricting, she is now seeking re-election to what is now the 113th District, that includes the eastern portion of Rockdale County and the western portion of Newton County. She will face Covington resident Sharon Sawyer and Toney Collins of Porterdale in the July 31 primary election. No Republican candidates qualified for this race.
"Both the bills I sponsored came from needs from my constituents," Dickerson said. "I think that's important because I listen to the people, that's why my motto is 'Pam for the People' because it's all about the people. It's not about me. It's about what my constituents are telling me they would like to see and what they want to see."
Dickerson sponsored House Bill 681 that would relieve certain food establishments from additional regulations if providing food for nonprofit organizations.
Dickerson said even though the bill did not make it out of the Senate Rules Committee she was pleased that it passed out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support and was supported by the departments of health and agriculture.
"I was the only freshman Democrat to have a bill passed out of the House and I was chosen by the Speaker of the House to attend the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Leadership Institute. That was quite humbling to me to be chosen by the Speaker of the House, who recognized my ability to work with everyone in the House of Representatives," Dickerson said.
Her signature legislation, though, is one dealing with cyber bullying. She sponsored HB 680 that would make it a misdemeanor when an unknowing person is identified in an obscene depiction. This bill was prompted by Newton County resident Randy Upton, whose teenage daughter was the victim of a person who digitally altered her image to appear as pornography online.
That bill did not make it out of committee this session, so Dickerson said she plans to reintroduce it next year. In the meantime, she said she plans to hold anti-bullying rallies at local schools this fall similar to one she hosted at Newton High School last year.
"I look forward to doing that so kids know they have options," Dickerson said. "It's not enough that kids have other issues that they face, but to have to be bullied through the Internet, YouTube or other social media sites, a lot of children don't know they have options."
She said her first term in office was a learning experience, and one that she said will make her an even stronger representative in the future.
"All candidates have ideas of what they want to do and what they think they can do, but when you get there, you see there are stumbling blocks," she said. "But I didn't let them be stumbling blocks. They were stepping stones for me."
Dickerson has worked for Delta Airlines for 38 years as a flight attendant. She lives in Conyers and is active in the local community, serving on the United Way Advisory Board, on the Brentwood Homeowner's Association, and with the Beulah Homeless Street Ministry. Dickerson is a member of the Rotary Club, Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and as a licensed Realtor, the Georgia Association of Realtors.
Dickerson said her involvement with these organizations makes her a more responsive representative.
"I stay connected with the local leadership in both Rockdale and Newton counties, and by that, I mean the school board, the county commissioners, the chambers of commerce," she said. "This race is not even about anyone else. I stay focused on my constituents and I will fight for the priorities for the district."