Senator Donzella James, a native of Atlanta, has been a democratic Senator representing Metropolitan Atlanta’s 35th District of Georgia, which includes portions of Fulton and Douglas Counties in 1994, and again in 2009. She is a member of the Education and Youth, Special Judiciary, Economic Development, and State and Local Governmental Operations committees. She has worked to bring progressive change in the area of crime reduction, a safe and clean environment, stronger drunk driving laws and drug trafficking laws, economic development, increased access to affordable healthcare and quality education.
With a reputation as the voice of the voiceless, Sen. James authored and passed the Child Endangerment bill and the Child Sexual Commerce Act of 2001, Teenager Responsibility Act, and habitual drunk-driving law, prohibited the construction of racetracks in residential neighborhoods. In 1994, Sen. James was elected to represent the State of Georgia as a Fleming Fellow for the National Center for Policy Alternatives. She has received several prestigious awards such as the 1999 Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship, the Legislator of the Year in both 1997 and 2000, the 2011 – 2012 National conference of the state Legislator Early Learning Fellow, as well as the “Legislative Service Award” honors, and in 2013, she was the recipient of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Outstanding Black Service award.
As a leader in community affairs, Sen. James has been consistent in promoting the “Green Movement” as a global perspective. She was a member of South Fulton’s Vision 2000; the Atlanta Women’s Political Caucus; the National Political Congress of Black Women; the National, the Association of Negro Business and Professional Women; and the Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Tri-Cities cluster of the Atlanta Project. Between 1994-2002, she served as editor and assistant secretary to the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials (GABEO), and as National Assistant Secretary and Executive Board member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) from 1997 to 2002. She was appointed to Senate Human Trafficking Study Commission in 2012 and declared Woman of the year by Women of Wealth magazine.
Sen. James has traveled the world as an Ambassador for Peace. She has consulted directly with diplomats, kings, Prime Ministers and Presidents of many nations. She received the Nigerian Consulate General Award in 2013. Sen. James currently co-hosts a weekly show called “Radio Haitian Voice International” a multi-lingual community outreach radio and internet program, broadcasted Saturdays and Sundays in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sen. James has been a steadfast advocate for middle-class families, working to help create jobs, expand children’s healthcare benefits and protect Social Security from privatization. She was the 2012 recipient of the Regal Award and the 2013 recipient of the R.I.C.E Award. She is strongly committed to making sure that every citizen of Georgia has the right to vote in fair, accessible and credible elections. She fought the Attorney General to ensure better protection of votes and to ensure every vote is counted “one man one vote”.
Sen. James earned a Bachelor degree in criminal justice and political science from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia and she received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Macon’s Emmanuel Bible College and studied additionally at Georgia State University. Sen. James has a proven record as a successful policymaker and known to be committed to the people, a fiscally responsible professional, and a strong woman of faith. She has been a major force for progressive change, and her commitment to family values and the salvation of Georgia’s children has been exemplary.
The Sen. And the late Elmo James have been married for more than 40 years. They are parents of two sons, Brian James and the late Kerry James; daughter-in-law Cheryl Renee; and three grandchildren, Kerri, Ryan and Bryce.