Dorothy Barnes Pelote

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Dorothy Barnes Pelote (December 30, 1929 – January 18, 2015) was a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives.

Early background[edit]

Born December 30, 1929, Lancaster, South Carolina; daughter of Abraham Barnes and Ethel Green; married Maceo R (deceased); children: Deborah Pelote Allen & Miriam Pelote HeywardPrior to entering politics, Barnes Pelote, who has African-American heritage and is African Methodist Episcopalian, was a school teacher. She died on January 18, 2015 surrounded by her family at her Savannah, Georgia home at the age of 85.[1]

Political career[edit]

A Democrat, she then served as Chatham County Commissioner. In 1992, she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives for a two-year term and was re-elected four times.[2] She represented the Savannah-based 149th Representative District.[3]

Barnes Pelote was noted for her efforts to promote public awareness of the dangers of ovarian cancer, as well as for proposing more unusual legislative proposals. She introduced a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to answer the door naked.[4][5]

"Former Savannah Georgia, legislator Dorothy Pelote became a fierce advocate for black Florida and Georgia residents whose communities were visited by swarms of disease-carrying mosquitoes released by the CIA during the 1950s and 1960s. CIA documents suggest that scientists in the MK-ULTRA Project experimented with such biological exposures in black communities in order to determine whether such releases would be effective against foreign enemies." Reference-Medical Apartheid, by Harriet A. Washington, 2006.


In 2006, the Georgia Legislature passed a resolution[6] to designate the Dorothy Barnes Pelote Bridge to honor her.

Carver Heights (Savannah, GA) Community Service Award, 1981-82; Rep Roy Allen Award, 1982; Minority Women of the Year, Zeta Phi Beta, 1984; Dorothy Pelote Day City Savannah & Chatham County,1985.

Special Achievements: First Female elected County Commissioner Chairman Pro Tem; one of the first Black females to be elected to the Chatham County Commission; State Board Postsecondary Vocational Educator by appointment of the Governor GA selected Vice President Black Caucus Asn County Commission GA; Testimonial Banquet by Constituents of Eighth Comn District


  1. ^ Dorothy Barnes Pelote-obituary
  2. ^ Charles S. Bullock, III, The Georgia Political Almanac, The General Assembly 1993–94
  3. ^ Representative Dorothy Pelote (D-149), Georgia House of Representatives
  4. ^ Dave Williams, "Knock, knock. Who's there? No nakedness", Online Atlanta, January 15, 2002.
  5. ^ 2002 Golden Sleaze Awards, Michael Wall, April 17, 2002.
  6. ^ House Resolution 1195 – Designate Dorothy Barnes Pelote Bridge; Chatham County, Georgia General Assembly, February 2, 2006.

See also[edit]

Georgia House of Representatives
Preceded by
Roy Allen (D)
Georgia State Representative from 149th district
Succeeded by