Closer Look: Georgia Black Constructors Association; Gender and Racial Pay Gaps; And More

Trina Merritt and Joey Michael with the Georgia Black Constructors Association talk about the group's mission.
Trina Merritt and Joey Michael with the Georgia Black Constructors Association talk about the group's mission.
Credit Emilia Brock / WABE

Monday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how, with midterm elections 50 days away, it’s not clear how Georgia voters will cast their ballots — electronic or paper. A federal judge in Atlanta could make a decision today. It’s all about Georgia’s electronic voting machines and the risk of outside interference and voters having a paper confirmation. On the other side, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp says switching to paper ballots this late could cause chaos. United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Amy Totenberg could issue a ruling any time.
  • In other news, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says if more time is needed for city council members and the public to better understand the benefits of the $1.75 billion redevelopment deal regarding the Gulch, then so be it. In a statement, Mayor Bottoms said the deal “would make tens of millions in significant investments in other parts of our city related to affordability, equity, and opportunity.” The mayor said this would be the largest development deal in our city’s history.  The Gulch is just about 40 acres of land under Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. In order for the deal to even happen, the city, state, county and Atlanta Public Schools would have to agree to give up some future tax revenue.
  • 2:54: Women face a pay gap from the minute they enter the workforce, and that gap grows exponentially throughout their careers. It exists in nearly every profession, for hourly and salaried employees, and in every region of the country. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released updated data on the gender and racial pay gaps workers face. The latest data offers further proof that the gap is even more significant for black women and Latinas. We speak with Deborah Vagins, senior vice president of public policy and research for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), about the new data and how her organization is attempting to close the gaps.
  • 23:52: The Georgia Black Constructors Association (GBCA) was founded in 2005.  The group’s mission is to provide education and advocacy for the utilization of black-owned firms during any form of construction requiring qualifying constructors in Georgia and throughout the country. Over the weekend, the group hosted the 10th Anniversary Business Symposium & Construction Expo in Lithonia. We hear more about the event and the GBCA’s efforts from Joey Michael, business development manager for the GBCA, and Trina Merritt, vice president of operations and co-owner of Earth 1st Construction.
  • 45:20: A ruling is expected soon in the federal court case centered on Georgia’s election security. Last year, a lawsuit was filed by several Georgia residents, and election integrity advocates, against Secretary of State Brian Kemp and a number of state elections officials. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg heard oral arguments in the case known as Curling v. Kemp. We revisit a conversation, on the potential national importance of the case, with Candice Hoke. She’s the founding co-director of the Center for Cybersecurity & Privacy Protection at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Emilia Brock.