I am Cathy Latham and have been indicted by a Fulton County grand jury being led by DA Fani Willis. While you may know me as an alternate elector and former County GAGOP Chair, I am also a retired public school teacher living on a teacher’s pension. I am asking for your help today to help me cover legal fees during this time.
I don’t like talking about myself, but my daughter wrote this:
The news has been telling you a one-paragraph summary about Cathy Latham. But the Cathy Latham I know is not the one I have been reading about. So, if you are curious, let me introduce you to the Cathy I call Mom.
My mom grew up in the small town in Texas. Cathy was the daughter of Ray, a WWII and Korea war veteran, and Mary Lou, a VA Nurse. Her dad gave her the nickname Cash. She played the flute in the marching band.
When she was 9 years old, she thought she accidentally caused President Richard Nixon to resign. She had written him a letter complaining that the scandals were interrupting reruns of her favorite show, The Brady Bunch. Whether the letter ever made it to The White House, we will never know.
While in college, she married at the young age of 20. My dad was transferred for work a few times before landing in South Georgia where mom got a job teaching English at Coffee High School. My dad was transferred back to Texas, but mom stayed behind with me while finishing up the school year. I was only 5 years old at the time, but I still remember the “for sale” sign in the yard, and proudly telling all of my friends at school on the last day that I was moving to Texas. I was really just excited to be near my grandparents.
But we didn’t move to Texas that year. My parents filed for divorce and my mom knew that the best chance she had to raise me as a single mom would be to stay where she was a tenured teacher, instead of Texas where she would have to start all over. I was heartbroken and didn’t understand at the time the major sacrifice she had made for me.
After school every day, I would ride the bus from my school to Coffee High. I would always catch her last class of the day about 15 minutes before the bell rang. I remember the photos of her students stapled up to the bulletin board and being fascinated by the girls’ prom dresses. I would run up and down the hallways and I would proudly declare I wanted to marry the photography teacher, who just happened to looked like Santa Claus.
Her class was covered in posters proudly showcasing all of her favorite things including “The Big Bang Theory”, Ronald Reagan, “Star Trek”, and various Chuck Norris jokes. She had pictures of me and her family taped to her computer (including one of me in a dress she had sewn for me for a dance). She sold Mary Kay, started a soy candle company, and taught SAT prep classes to help students get into college.
She was not an easy teacher, but she was a very good one. She transitioned from being an English teacher to finally getting to teach her passion, US History and Economics. She even came up with creative things like “Milton Friedman Day” where students celebrated Milton Friedman in whatever way they chose. I remember one student posted flyers all over town saying “Happy Milton Friedman Day.” Needless to say, bystanders were confused.
My mom would wake me up early every Sunday morning to get to church before the early service so she could help cook breakfast for the entire congregation with her best friend, Peggy. Every December, she would volunteer at the local Salvation Army to sort through donated used toys and would deliver them to local kids. We would ring the bell outside of Walmart where I proudly came up with the idea to sing a song if someone donated a dollar. After she retired, to fill her time, she volunteered at the local food bank.
My mom is not a lawyer, politician, or anyone who would find themselves in the national spotlight. Never once did I ever think I would see her on the front page of the “New York Times” or mentioned by my favorite daily news podcast. Honestly, the only thing that comes to mind is the movie “Forrest Gump” where Forrest finds himself on the news time and time again by accident.
My mom has always lived her life with integrity. She has always tried to do what was right, even when people pushed back. When coaches would ask her to change grades, she would offer to work with the player, but the student would have to earn it.
She taught me to be a free thinker. My mom and I have never really seen eye-to-eye on political topics. I voted for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. I even volunteered for Hillary’s campaign in New York City and was at the Javits Center the night of the 2016 election. However, my mom has never stopped being proud of me despite our political differences.
Most importantly, she taught me to stand up and speak out when I know something is wrong, so that is what I am doing right now. I want to speak up for the person who raised me to be who I am, the person I love, and the person I call Mom.