Karla is the first openly LGBTQ member of the Georgia State House and Deep South
When Rep. Karla Drenner was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2000, she became the first Georgia State Representative to serve while openly gay—and in fact is the first openly gay state legislator in the Deep South. She currently represents the 85th district of the Georgia House of Representatives, serving the residents of DeKalb County, which is located in Metro Atlanta.
Rep. Drenner was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives on November 7, 2000, and was officially sworn in on January 8, 2001. Rep. Drenner ran an issues-driven campaign concentrating on education reform, environmental concerns, and improving local neighborhoods. Rep. Drenner went right to work on those issues, passing HB 393, which encourages citizens to practice carpooling by protecting carpool databases from public disclosure. As a result of the bill, which signed into law, and the efforts if the Clean Air campaign, Georgia saw a 100 percent increase in the 1-87-RIDEFIND database.
Karla is a member of several professional associations, including the Health Physics Society, the Air and Waste Management association, and the National Safety Council. She hopes to utilize that experience to provide a voice for sensible and responsible environmental, management within her role as a member of the House Natural Resources and Environment, Transportation, Industrial Relations, and Health and Ecology committees. In 2003, Dr. Drenner was appointed as Subcommittee Chair of Waste Management Subcommittee of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee and Subcommittee Chair of Workplace Safety Inspection, Industrial Relations Committee.
In addition to environmental issues, Karla is also an advocate of poverty, education, and human rights.