Boyd Austin’s family were farmers for generations, and he has been supportive of policies that promote family farms. He has been a leader in the development of water policy in the state, and has provided protection for agriculture in those policies. He chaired the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District during the height of the “Water Wars” with Florida and Alabama, and knows the economic damage that would result from the other states’ demands—particularly in relation to agriculture. He fought the expansion of the “Waters of the United States” rule which would have confiscated private land and imposed strict federal governance over an individual’s property. Boyd Austin promoted the development of the Dallas Farmer’s Market, and is a regular buyer during its season. This, and similar markets, allow local producers to sell their crops and provide healthy alternatives for the consumer. He is a proponent of the “Georgia Grown” brand, and has supported its expansion in the school cafeterias across the state. He has had a long-standing relationship with Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, and is a long-time member of the Georgia Farm Bureau. As Mayor, Boyd Austin partnered with the local Farm Bureau to promote its annual “Farm-City Week” to educate the public about the importance of family farms.
For 49 years, Boyd Austin has been an active member of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. He has taught Sunday School for almost thirty years, beginning with a rowdy group of 14 middle school boys, and presently teaches the Joshua Men’s Class. When the historic church was completely destroyed by fire, the congregation chose him to be one of the co-chairs of the building committee. He fought to keep the church in downtown Dallas, and led the effort to raise the funds to re-build. While the church was meeting in the former Post Office building, Boyd helped develop a community outreach event during Holy Week. Each day of that week, local pastors from other churches and denominations present a devotional message, and the church provides a free lunch to all who attend. More than 100 people attend daily. Boyd is also an ordained deacon, and has served rotating terms on the church’s Executive Committee and its Board of Trustees. When an Anti-Christian group demanded the removal of a Nativity Scene in Downtown Dallas, Boyd stood up to the protestors and won, ensuring the continued display of the scene for everyone to enjoy in the celebration of Christmas.
Boyd Austin served as a mayor for 25 years, and one of his most important responsibilities was the safety and protection of people and property. Dallas has consistently been ranked as one of the “Safest Cities in Georgia,” and, for 2019, was listed as 15th safest out of 538 cities across the state. Many of the cities in that group have larger departments and spend much more per capita. From the first days of his administration, Boyd began to devote more resources to the department. He established a competitive pay scale and an excellent benefit package to help retain quality officers, invested in technology, and implemented modern, effective policing policies to improve outcomes. One of Boyd’s goals will be realized in late 2020, when the Dallas Police Department becomes a state-accredited law enforcement agency.
Boyd Austin is a product of the Paulding County School System, and a strong proponent of public education. Like every other local governing body, he knows that state and federal regulations are cumbersome and costly. He supports the effort to increase teacher pay, and to reduce the number of tests administered. Boyd Austin believes in local control, and that a community is better equipped to set its priorities than Washington or Atlanta.
Cancer is the leading cause of death and disability among firefighters. Boyd Austin helped lead the way to provide comprehensive coverage in a statewide plan, separate from workers’ compensation. The resulting legislation and coverage plan have become a model for the rest of the country. It eliminates red tape, and provides benefits promptly, and allows the firefighter and his/her family to concentrate on treatment.
Boyd Austin has served as a local government official for 25 years. In that time, he witnessed impressive growth, and incredible downturns. When the Great Recession hit, the City of Dallas was prepared. Mayor Austin had created cash reserves for that purpose. Even though the City lost more than one-third of its property tax digest value ($115 million), Dallas was able to make it through the recession without cutting vital services or laying off employees. It took ten years to recover to the pre-recession digest value, but Dallas is in a strong financial position with solid reserves. He will show the same fiscal conservatism in the State Senate.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security website says there are more illegal immigrants in Georgia than even in the border state of Arizona. In this context, Boyd Austin pledges to support legislation that will prevent illegal immigrants from taking jobs from Georgia workers (especially in this time of high unemployment). He supports the state e-verify system for new employees, opposes granting in-state college tuition to illegal aliens (which is currently against state law), and also opposes granting them free health insurance benefits. He supports the 1994 law designating English as Georgia’s official language of government operations (with its common-sense exceptions ranging from business recruitment and tourism to the court system). Boyd Austin is the only candidate who has experience enforcing state immigration law as one of seven appointed members of the Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board.
Governors Perdue, Deal and Kemp appointed and reappointed Boyd Austin to the Board of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA). They knew his keen understanding and appreciation for developing infrastructure in a community. The GEFA Board deals primarily with the funding of water and wastewater infrastructure (lines, meters, treatment plants, modernization) through low-interest loans to communities. In the 11 years he served on the GEFA Board, he was instrumental in approving applications for Haralson, Paulding and Polk Counties, totaling millions of dollars of investment into those communities. Two of the largest were the construction of the Richland Creek Reservoir, its raw water intake, and its treated water distribution system, and the Dallas Wastewater Treatment Plant Phase I, and its expansion in Phase II. He significantly increased the service area for the City of Dallas sewer system, and has built main lines that will serve as collectors for future development.
One of the most serious issues facing our country is the erosion of support and respect for law enforcement personnel. Boyd Austin has worked to improve compensation and benefits for law enforcement officers, and to provide the most modern equipment and policies for police agencies.
Boyd Austin believes that life is a gift from God, and that life begins at conception. He believes in the protection and dignity of life from beginning to end. Some people talk about “family values,” Boyd Austin values families.
Boyd Austin is a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution and the principle of constitutional carry. He is a strict constructionist and rejects revisionist and adaptive theories of interpretation. He will always stand strong and defend our rights to bear arms.
Boyd Austin has a great appreciation for our veterans. His ancestors came to America during the colonial period; several of his direct ancestors fought for our independence in the American Revolution, and they have fought and served to protect our freedom ever since. Boyd has led efforts to honor our veterans at the local level through symbolic means like flying the flags on holidays to honor those who gave their life in service to our country, becoming a “Flag of Remembrance City” honoring Gold Star families, and being recognized as a “Purple Heart City,” honoring those wounded in service to our country. He will work hard in the State Capitol to ensure the Georgia Department of Veterans Service is fully funded to assist veterans and their dependents, and he will fight to cut red tape for those dependent on the Veterans Administration and its medical system.