Vernon Jones

Vernon Jones

Panelist
Vernon Jones

Rep. Vernon Jones was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and served from 1993-2000, then elected and served two terms as DeKalb County, Georgia’s first Black County Executive in 2000. In 2008 he was unsuccessful in a run-off bid for the US Senate. Jones was re-elected to the Georgia Legislature in 2016. He’s not seeking reelection and his term ends January 2021. In 2009, he founded the Henry Oliver Company which specializes in Government Relations, where he currently serves as CEO.

Under the Jones Administration, DeKalb County earned among a select group of 32 counties of nearly 4,000 in the country, a dual triple AAA bond credit rating from both Moody's and Standard and Poor’s. Between 2001 & 2005, Jones spearheaded a skillful campaign that resulted in the historic countywide passage of four separate bond referenda including three on one ballot totaling $450 million for road improvements, libraries and parks and green space. His environmental record is second to none. He worked to preserved over 3000 acres of land for greenspace. And he is credited for the first public and private partnership in establishing the only Green Energy program in the Southeast. Jones forged a relationship with Georgia Power to use the county’s landfill to capture formerly released methane gas into the air, to be transported and converted into renewable electricity. He also managed one of the largest Police and Fire Departments in the south, and is known for establishing the first local Office of Homeland Security in the country.

Jones’ legislative record at the State Capitol includes his co-sponsorship of Georgia’s land mark children’s health care plans, the Georgia Peach Care Act. Even today, it still insures thousands of uninsured children. During his tenure in the legislature, he held positions on the powerful Appropriations, Budget, Public Utilities, Banking, Health, Insurance, Transportation, and Special Judiciary committees. In this august body, Jones was able to gained the respected of his colleagues by reaching across the aisle and pushed legislation that crossed political, regional, geographical, social and economic lines.

Jones received a certification from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has held membership of the various boards, such as DeKalb Board of Health, the Atlanta Regional Commission, DeKalb Library Board, DeKalb Pension Board, and the Board of Visitors for Emory University and North Carolina Central University. In the private sector, Jones held leadership positions Finance and Information Technology while employed at MCI and BellSouth Cellular. A native of North Carolina, Jones graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., earning a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems.

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