Op-Ed: Your Atlanta general election cheat sheet

Informative pieces in this article were written in collaboration with Georgia 55 Project. The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the Georgia 55 Project or the Mainline as a whole.

Atlanta protesters in summer 2020 emphasizing the importance of voting in this year\’s election. Photo credit: Brandon Mishawn, 2020.

ATLANTA — Here we are, folks. We are just 19 days away from the general election that will determine the course of history not just for the United States, but especially for Georgia. As with our previous cheat sheets, we are taking a look at the ballots in Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb County through the lens of Black Lives Matter. This perspective is considered under the assumption that between the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others, more and more voters have developed a new bottom-line: Is this candidate going to fight from their position of power for the liberation, dignity, and equity for Black lives?

In this guide, this question is widely considered by looking at candidates’ platforms concerning the issues of health care, climate and environmental justice, policing, immigration, and abortion. 

A quick editor’s note for those still considering revoking their participation or writing in someone else’s name on the ballot in the name of protest: it is with extreme sincerity cultivated through immense internal reflection that I tell you, when it comes to voting, this year is not the year for that — not here in Georgia.

Let’s dive in.

President of the United States

Political drama aside, this is a big year for the presidential race in Georgia. It has been 28 years since Georgia voted Democrat in a presidential election and there’s a viable opportunity for it to flip blue against Trump. Additionally, according to the AJC, Republicans have won every statewide election since 2008, and those margins have since been shrinking. All things considered, this year, Georgia is a battleground state.

While this year’s choice is not an easy pill to swallow for many, with Joe Biden being the Democratic nominee that’s been selected to defeat Trump and get him out of the White House (a perspective Mainline contributor Christopher Luke so eloquently explained in his opinion piece, “Failure to Meet the Moment: a Democratic Socialist’s Reflection on the 2020 Democratic Presidential Ticket”), there’s a sharper reasoning as to why it’s important to flip Georgia blue this year: to break up the consolidation of power that’s occurred between Trump, Georgia governor Brian Kemp, and other Georgia Republicans.

Strategically speaking, if Georgia is able to flip blue this year, it would subsequently give Kemp less power and less edge in his upcoming re-election campaign that’s coming up in 2022. This is extremely important, as we have seen Kemp mirror the very same failures of the Trump administration, and even one-up those failures such as with Georgia’s all-too-speedy reopening in April, in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s clear that Kemp operates more out of political interest rather than those of the people, especially Black and poor people, and Trump has been at the very least both an enabler and motivator in Kemp’s decision making. If we remove Trump, it gives Kemp less power, ease, and support in actions such as cutting millions in health care during a global pandemic, lifting state precautions too soon, suing municipal governments for issuing mask mandates, etc.

I’ve previously written about Kemp’s leadership closer to the beginning of the outbreak this year, speaking more to Kemp’s history and present motivations in terms of political warfare. As the nation braces itself for what appears to be a very difficult winter with COVID-19, with cases once again surging, it’s important for voters to factor this into their decision not only when voting for president, but down the entire ballot. This year is a unique opportunity for Georgia to be freed from the reign of Kemp and his constituents, who utilized multiple and multifaceted means of voter suppression to secure his position in the Governor’s Mansion. This is no secret, but it’s one that’s somehow fallen far from center as we enter the chaos of this year’s election season.

As far as abolitionist and reform movements go, whether that be Black Lives Matter or other iterations, the success of the Democratic party in this election is not its utmost concern, considering the fact that it’s the establishment of the very system that has allowed continued systemic oppression, depression, and suppression of Black and other marginalized communities in the U.S. In mid-August, Professor Cornel West offered a very sobering perspective as to why it is important for progressives to vote for Biden this year, relating it to a matter of “which battle do you want to fight” rather than a construct of choosing between the “lesser of two evils.” The choice is simply between a neofascist or corporate neoliberals. One is a “quick catastrophe” while the other is a “slow disaster,” and it’s easy to gather which is which.

Probably the greatest wisdom West offered is that a vote for the Biden-Harris ticket “isn’t an endorsement.” For those who are exhausted of the two-party system and have seen and experienced its failures more clearly than ever this year, perhaps it’s time to consider the Movement for a People’s Party that is currently being built with the help of West and former Ohio State Senator and Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign’s national co-chair Nina Turner. The movement has made a commitment and decision to establish itself as a formal political party in 2021. Another world is possible.

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. The presidential race isn’t the only one that voters are contending with when it comes to choosing between less-than-ideal candidates to combat the more obvious threats to real democracy and liberation. This brings us to Georgia’s general election for the U.S. Senate.

[ Related: A guide to this year\’s questions on the ballot in Georgia ]

U.S. Senate: The general election

Georgia is currently hosting two races for Senate seats, which is the first time the nation has seen a “double-barrel” Senate race since 1966. The races are the general election, between Republican incumbent David Perdue, Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Libertarian Shane Hazel, and the special election for former Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat upon his retirement last year. We’ll start with the general election.

Not to completely knock the Libertarians, but the race is really between Perdue and Ossoff, with Hazel pulling in a small number in the polls. This isn’t a major loss; Hazel, while he makes interesting points, has a platform that doesn’t even mention criminal justice reform, climate justice, or racial equity. Additionally, in a recent debate, he seemed to cozy up a bit to Perdue while criticizing Ossoff more than anything.

Here is the conundrum progressives are once again forced to grapple with this year: the selected candidate to take down longtime Republican incumbent Perdue is, simply put, not ideal. When asked by Hazel in the Oct. 12 debate how he could support the Biden-Harris ticket while claiming to prioritize the issues of criminal justice reform and Black lives, seeing that both Biden and Harris are strong contributors to the rise of these very issues, Ossoff simply pointed to his relationship with the recently deceased U.S. House Rep. John Lewis. Progressives’ criticisms of Ossoff, a former Congressional aide and documentary filmmaker, are primarily the fact that he’s received outside money, lacks experience, and ultimately can’t deliver, as was demonstrated in his 2017 loss to represent Georgia’s sixth district in the House. According to the New York Times, Ossoff received significant out-of-state support, bringing in more than $23 million from Democrats across the country, setting a record for the most expensive House race in U.S. history.

It’s not unusual for establishment Democrats to hand-pick, run, and support moderate, centrist, and corporatized candidates against progressive Democrats, like we saw earlier this year in Massachusetts’ primary between U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and contender Joe Kennedy. Ultimately, this diminishes trust between progressives and the party as a whole. However, that’s not the case here in Georgia’s Senate races, which we will dig into a bit further regarding this year’s special election for Isakson’s seat. 

To keep it simple: Ossoff is Georgia voters’ only choice to shun Perdue out of his seat. Rather than focusing on Ossoff’s misgivings and giving Georgia Republicans even more of a megaphone than they already have, let’s take a look at Perdue’s demonstrated actions against marginalized communities in Georgia. The list is long.

Like Kemp, Perdue is a bit of a Trump fan boy who ultimately serves his party over anyone else. Earlier this year, he failed to show up to an NAACP event in response to Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, which was defended by attorneys citing the antiquated, Civil War-era citizens arrest law. Perdue has failed to deliver on COVID economic relief in his time at the Senate throughout the entire pandemic. As hundreds of thousands of Georgians lost their jobs due to the Trump administration’s botched handling of the pandemic, Perdue railed against much-needed economic relief. At the same time, Perdue has been “proud to support” Republicans’ plan to rush through the confirmation of the party’s anti-health care Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a clear contradiction to his opposing stance during the Obama administration’s nomination of Merrick Garland in an election year.

Further, Perdue has not held a single public town hall in his nearly six years in the Senate, repeatedly avoiding the media and his constituents. In the previously mentioned debate, when pressed on his long history of avoiding citizens his entire term, he dismissed the countless Georgians who have tried to speak with their senator as not having “legitimate questions.” 

Nonetheless, Perdue has been highly visible on television through advertising and his stealth campaign launched against Ossoff. The campaign regularly makes shameless proclamations that Ossoff’s “radical Socialist agenda” will “cut taxes and shut down hospitals” — which is a huge driver of disinformation that is fearfully reminiscent of McCarthyism and the Red Scare of the 1950s. For progressives, to see Republicans unabashedly drive disinformation and leverage socialism against candidates who are not at all “radical” and even reject Democratic Socialism tenets by refusing to support universal health care and other measures, this is particularly frustrating. To anyone confused out there reading this: Ossoff is not a radical. He is not progressive. He’s a centrist.

This strategy is the same being used by the Trump campaign when they lump Biden and Harris along with progressive Democrats like Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, dubbing them the “radical left” who’s going to steal your money, take your health care, and close your hospitals. News alert: Georgia Republicans are already taking your money, your health care, and closing hospitals. Will voting in a centrist in place of Perdue magically solve everything? No. There’s a lot of work ahead. Getting Perdue out of office is only the first step.

TLDR: Vote Ossoff.

[ Related: Know your rights at the polls ]

U.S. Senate: The special election

This year has seen a particularly hectic “jungle primary” to fill former Sen. Isakson’s seat, from which he retired in 2019. Kemp appointed corporate elite Kelly Loeffler to the seat in Dec. 2019, interestingly against the Trump administration’s wishes. So far, and likely surprising no one, Loeffler has failed to do anything except parrot off unquestioned support for Trump and fall right in line with Georgia Republicans’ service for corporations and property over people.

In the Mainline’s most recent report concerning Loeffler and her vote in support of an anti-health care federal lawsuit that’s being charged by 18 GOP-led states, I wrote that it is vital for Georgians to show up to polls to vote Loeffler out of her unelected seat. The things at stake include health care for Georgians, which is currently under attack, abortion rights, immigration rights, and of course, the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To be clear, Loeffler does not support or even care about the working class, Black Georgians, small businesses, immigrants, or women’s right to choose. She was not elected by the people to serve; so the question is, who out of the 19 contending candidates should take her place?

Source: 11 Alive.

The race is really down to three people, according to most recent polls: Loeffler, Republican Doug Collins, and Democrat Raphael Warnock. As of last night, Warnock leads in this race with 30% of a poll conducted by SurveyUSA and as reported by 11 Alive.

Warnock, who has served as Ebenezer Baptist Church’s pastor since 2005, supports Medicaid expansion and the strengthening of the ACA, has focused on the work of environmental justice throughout his time as reverend at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and focuses on “responsibly funding the police” in his platform for criminal justice reform. He’s received a rather impressive stack of endorsements from Democrats across the country, including former House Minority Leader, voting protection champion, and Fair Fight/Fair Count founder Stacey Abrams. 

As I wrote above, it’s difficult for progressives to simply trust whatever candidate the Democratic party throws up. And here in Atlanta, having lived under 40 years of Black leadership with the highest racial wealth inequality gap in the U.S. reported in 2018, we know that simply because a candidate is Black does not mean they will do the work to directly serve impoverished or low-income Black communities. However, Warnock appears to be our guy. He was endorsed by Sanders, although he’s not the most progressive candidate that completely aligns with the Democratic Socialist camp; this endorsement serves more of a reflection of how vital this election actually is. Another endorsement that brings us at ease is that of Attorney Gerald Griggs, the head of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP and someone who has been on the ground organizing for the movement steadily in the wake of George Floyd.

During times when voter apathy is high, this is a race all Georgians can rally to get behind. Loeffler has no place in the Senate, but it’s going to take a record turnout to get her out, in light of her corporate backing and majority Republican support. Dismantling the Senate from the grips of Republicans will actually make a difference when it comes to policy surrounding health care. To be clear, when we talk about health care cuts being led by the state, we should acknowledge that it is poor, rural, Black communities that are first on the chopping block when it comes to hospital closures. We saw this play out directly in Randolph County, which housed one of the world’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks per capita earlier this year in Albany, Ga. If Loeffler and Perdue remain in their seats, we can only expect more of the same as America continues to be floored by the coronavirus pandemic.

TLDR: Vote Warnock.

[ Related: Joyce Barlow returns to fight for the Georgia Representative seat in HD 151 ]

Public Service Commissioner

For starters, let’s touch base on what a public service commissioner actually does.

Public service commissioners are responsible for making regulations covering Georgia’s electric, gas, telecommunications, and intrastate transportation firms. Those in this position must ensure the safety of all natural gas pipelines across the entire state. This is a big deal. (Fun fact: Did you know that every Georgia citizen who uses Georgia Power is paying for the Vogtle nuclear expansion directly through taxes taken out of their bill? You can listen to our podcast concerning this issue here.) 

Further, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has the exclusive power to decide what are fair and reasonable rates for services under its jurisdiction; this includes weighing environmental concerns versus costs. This means that the PSC’s decisions affect how much people pay for necessary utilities such as electricity and gas. They also decide who pays for the expansion and clean-up costs of those services.

In Georgia, there are five public service commissioners and all five of them are white Republicans, with four of them being men. This year, two public service commissioners are up for election and there are two candidates worthy of your attention: Robert G. Bryant and Daniel Blackman. Both are Black Democrats.

First up is the race between Bryant and Republican incumbent Jacob Shaw. Bryant is a former educator who “seeks to bring his skills to be a public leader in his quest to advocate for Georgia citizens, placing the person before the price of corporations.” His top three issues are lowering bills, protecting air and water, and green energy and jobs. 

Shaw, is the owner and operator of Shaw Insurance Services, Inc., partner in Morris and Shaw Insurance Agency Inc., president of the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce, trustee of the Valdosta Technical College Foundation, director of the Greater Valdosta United Way, Professional Insurance Agents Association of Georgia, the Georgia Olive Growers Association and the South Regional Joint Development Authority. That’s quite a professional resume to bring into a public service position. Prior to becoming a public service commissioner in 2019, Shaw served in the Georgia House of Representatives, District 176, from 2011 to 2018. With all of Shaw’s ties to private companies alone, especially those of insurance companies, it may be safe to assume who Shaw actually works for.

The second public service commissioner position up for election is between Blackman and Republican incumbent Lauren Bubba McDonald, Jr. In our primary cheat sheet for Atlanta, our attention was drawn to Blackman because of his prioritization to bring high-speed internet to all of Georgia’s 159 counties. This is extremely important and is a major incentive that would actually improve material conditions for thousands of low-income Georgians, especially those in predominantly Black, rural communities. Take Stewart County, for example, which houses one of Georgia’s ICE detention centers that regularly rakes in millions of dollars of profit, but had to close one of their public libraries due to black mold and lack of funding to make the space inhabitable. 

Blackman’s opponent, John Noel, has made no mention of this initiative in his platform. Generally, you can bet that Georgia Republicans don’t give a damn about whether or not impoverished Black Georgians have access to high-speed internet; access to high-speed internet would make it easier to vote, easier to access resources, better education, and more.

TLDR: Vote Bryant and Blackman.

[ Related: If they can\’t census, they won\’t pay us ]

Fulton County Tax Commissioner

Fulton County’s current tax commissioner Arthur Ferdinand is running unopposed, but it’s important to shine a light on this often overlooked position. Tax commissioners are elected by counties every four years and oversee most phases of the taxation process, including billing, collecting, processing, and distributing taxes. They are generally in charge of ad valorem, tag, title, transfer fees taxes on motor vehicles, property taxes, public utility taxes, and solid waste fees. 

Now, Georgia is the only state that still allows county commissioners to legally pocket fees for collecting city taxes in their jurisdictions. Ferdinand has been in his seat for 23 years and reportedly makes $500,000 a year through pocketing the fees that his office charges to collect taxes across six cities within the county, according to reports by the AJC and Georgia News Lab. Based on these findings, no public official has profited more from the fee system than Ferdinand.

Another fun fact: Alabama amended its laws in 1982 to prevent income from being earned off of these same fees. The money is now deposited into counties’ general fund. This could be another way to fund the reimagining of public safety and direct community efforts, rather than seeding a public servant’s personal gain over serving the people — which has unfortunately become the norm in Atlanta. (You can begin that deep dive into Atlanta’s current leadership and governance here.)

Why bring this up when Ferdinand is running unopposed? For those with the imperious urge to showcase an act of rebellion at the polls, why not use this space to let it out and write someone in on the ballot? Get it out of your system! You deserve it!

Fulton and DeKalb County: U.S. Representative from the 5th Congressional District

This race is to fill the former Rep. Lewis’ seat, who passed on July 17, 2020. The Democratic Party of Georgia’s selection process of who was going to run to fill this seat was less than perfect, but that’s mostly due to shoddy Republican legislation that forced Democrats to select their candidate to run for Lewis’ seat in a matter of 24 hours. That’s beyond the scope of this article, but the race is now between Democratic nominee and member of the Georgia State Senate Nikema Williams and Republican candidate Angela Stanton-King.

Stanton-King is a Trump ally who believes in baseless QAnon sex-trafficking conspiracy theories and is working to help Trump win Black voters in Georgia. According to the Guardian’s report, she used her social media platform to push false theories linked to the far right, antisemetic conspiracy theory, and even suggested that the Black Lives Matter movement is “a major cover up for PEDOPHILIA and HUMAN TRAFFICKING.” Don’t get anything twisted: people are showing up at the polls and casting absentee ballots for this woman. That’s why your vote is important.

Williams has a very credible and solid platform, including universal health care and Medicare for All. It is rare for a Georgia Democrat to vocally announce their support of this policy, and isn’t something voters should take lightly. Her platform also includes issues for voting rights (Williams seeks to end precinct closures, exact match laws, board voter purges, and other voter suppression tactics), environmental justice, social justice, access to education, and more.

TLDR: Vote Williams.

DeKalb County: U.S. Representative from the 4th Congressional District

This year, DeKalb County voters are choosing between Democratic incumbent Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., and Republican contender Johsie Cruz Ezammudeen.

Since taking office in 2007, Johnson has worked to help secure more than $61 million for constituents seeking help with federal agencies, has been a staunch supporter of DACA and TPS, voted to cut off Justice Department funds for the ongoing GOP-led anti-Affordable Health Care lawsuit, and unveiled new legislation to build on the ACA to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. Additionally, Johnson visited the detention center in Irwin County, calling for the facility to be shut down following whistleblower Dawn Wooten provided accounts of a high number of hysterectomies. His platform and track record are laid out in more detail on his official website.

Meanwhile, Ezammudeen’s website proclaims that “more than 20 years of democratic-socialism at Georgia’s 4th Congressional District must end at this election.” She’s pro-life and wants the First Beat Law to be established at the federal level, screams “America First!!!!”, is “100% with the Wall, ICE, and Border Patrol” and vows to vote to increase their budgets, is against any immigration amnesty, and is a staunch supporter of the second amendment, stating that Johnson and other “socialist politicians” are working to “prevent lawful citizens from protecting themselves.”

Ezammudeen’s claim against Johnson is simply disinformation paired with McCarthyism rhetoric to condemn socialist policies and ignite patriotism. Johnson has co-sponsored a resolution on gun violence in an effort to repeal “stand-your-ground” laws and voted yes to require background checks for every firearm sale and transfer. You can find more on his voting record here.

TLDR: Vote Johnson.

DeKalb County: U.S. Representative from the 6th Congressional District

The seat in the U.S. House in the sixth district is up in DeKalb County in the race between Democrat incumbent Lucy McBath and Republican contender Karen Handel. 

McBath won the 2018 election against Handel by a razor-thin margin against Handel by one percentage point. Prior to her win, the sixth district had been one of the strongest Republican areas in Georgia, but has shifted in recent years towards Democrats, according to the AJC.

Is McBath a progressive candidate? No. While she supports the expansion of affordable health care, her platform does not support universal health care, as does Handel’s. However, what may be a deciding factor for bottom-line voters is Handel’s outspoken stance “in support of local police”. On her site, Handel states: “We’ve watched in horror as rioters and looters have hijacked peaceful protests. It hit too close to home when rioters took over the streets in metro Atlanta, destroying businesses, terrorizing neighborhoods, and, sadly, even killing an innocent little girl. Democrats say that the answer is to defund the police.”

Again, this is disinformation. No Democrats want to defund the police. Just looking at Atlanta, Democratic and Black mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms vetoed the 8 Can’t Wait legislation earlier this year and tanked a bill that would have reallocated funds from the General Fund to reimagine public safety. In Handel’s statement, she is referring to the shooting and death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, but fails to provide any meaningful context to her death, which we covered more in-depth here.

In the context of voting through the lens of Black Lives Matter, this alone is enough for us to call it.

TLDR: Vote McBath.

Cobb County: U.S. Representative from the 11th Congressional District

This race isn’t too much different from the other ones: Republican incumbent Barry Loudermilk is a staunch Trump supporter serving his party over the people, while Democrat contender Dana Barrett vies for his seat in hopes of flipping Georgia blue.

Some may be familiar with Loudermilk from the Brett Kavanaugh proceedings ahead of his Supreme Court confirmation, in which Loudermilk was very clear and adamant of his support of the hearings and ultimate confirmation. Serving in the U.S. House from the 11th district since 2015, Loudermilk has recently voted “no” on a resolution that sought to carry out approved wetlands conservation projects, “no” on the passage of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, “no” on a resolution to condemn QAnon and reject the conspiracy theories it promotes, among other things. You can look at his entire voting record here.

While Loudermilk supports the update of current immigration law that allows families to stay together rather than being separated, he does support full funding for the construction of the border wall, an increase in border patrol agents, increase in aerial reconnaissance, and increase in security technology.

Barrett, on the other hand, identifies as a “socially liberal, fiscally responsible Democrat.” (Since time is of the essence, I will simply redirect you here for more thoughts on that stance, which is essentially a weak appeal to moderate voters while ignoring the direct and undeniable relationship between economics and social justice.) However, Barrett’s platform on her website does state she will fight for universal health care. Everything else is really slim. There’s no mention of anything regarding the environment, criminal justice reform, or immigration. Nonetheless, she has received endorsements from Ossoff and Johnson, among others.

In the interest of flipping Georgia blue in the House and the Senate, let’s kick Loudermilk to the curb.

TLDR: Vote Barrett.

There’s a slew of State Senate and State House races on the Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb County ballots. The positions in the State Senator and State Representative races are for seats in the Georgia General Assembly. The assembly is the legislating body of the state of Georgia, which could be considered the state’s own “Congress.” Like the U.S. Congress, the assembly is also made up of two houses: the Georgia Senate and the Georgia House of Representatives. State Senators and State Representatives are members of the Georgia General Assembly, and each member serves a two-year term and is directly elected by constituents of their district. 

Georgia’s constitution gives the state legislature power to make state laws, restrict land for environmental and natural resource preservation, form a state militia under the command of the Governor of Georgia, condemn property, zone property, participate in tourism, and control and regulate outdoor advertising. The things to consider when choosing a candidate for these positions are unemployment benefits, teachers’ pay, paid parental leave, liquor delivery, and the list goes on; basically, a lot of things that affect Georgia citizens’ day-to-day lives and their communities.

On this year’s ballot, many candidates are running unopposed, and others are races between a Republican and Democrat. Now, we’re getting into some territory where it should be blatantly obvious the need to vote Democrat down the ballot. However, we can’t emphasize this enough: “vote blue no matter who” is not the paradigm we should continue to operate under moving forward. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve ended up in these dire straits that is the 2020 election in the first place. For more about this, please read Mainline contributor Katherine Paist’s opinion article and deep dive into centrist ideology, “Centrism, the politics of insufferability”.

Ultimately, it is a lack of voter education and inclusivity that has laid the sturdy foundation to host the ascension of classism, gentrification and displacement (read: prioritization of property and development over quality of human life and affordable housing), racial inequity, and even Black elitism, which are all contributing factors that not only allowed Trump to enter the White House, but have allowed him to stay there. The truth is, if voters are unhappy with their choices now when it comes to state and local races, they missed their chance in the primary and the time leading up to it. If voters want a more appealing ballot in 2021, 2022, and 2024, the time to organize is now.

While it seems in every election cycle the choices get narrower and narrower in the fight for liberation, the people and working class citizens can claim their power back through greater efforts beyond showing up to vote in the general election every four years. Get to know your candidates and people running in your communities to represent those communities before we are 19 days out from Election Day. Get to know organizers and activists in your communities who are doing more than voting to create a better system and future; and ultimately, do what you can to put them in office to make decisions.

There are a lot of local races that will begin starting in 2021, including Atlanta’s mayor and seats in Atlanta City Council, and Gov. Kemp is up for re-election in 2022. Don’t let up or sink into defeatism once 2020 is over, because there is a long way to go. And remember, your vote is a “yes, and”. Voting will not magically fix the system we are being forced to participate in; but here in Georgia, the goal is to get Republicans out so we can diminish their power on a national level. For once, for the sake of Georgia to pull out ahead in this pivotal and crucial election year, we are here to say, “Vote blue no matter who” — but let’s do what we can to make sure this is the last time we’re forced to.

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