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Georgia voters are standing for change

Rev. Raphael Warnock (Photo provided)

Sitting in a Birmingham, Alabama, jail on April 16, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reflected on the interrelatedness of all communities. He claimed a connectedness across boundaries, race and religion. As president of the SCLC, he had come from Atlanta to Birmingham to fight against injustice. He wrote that he was not afraid and challenged those who said it was not the right time. They called him an outsider and an agitator, but he did not stand alone. He was part of a larger vision for change whose fullness has yet to be realized.

In this year of great challenges, reflection, and transition, many felt motivated by a call for action that echoed much of King’s words. Citizens took to the streets in cities from NYC to Seattle, to demand social justice, police reform, and health care and economic equity. On Nov. 2, voters across the country stood together to send a strong message of unity. Using the ballot to deflect the bullets that have ripped our communities apart, state after state joined the blue wave. A clear mandate for change was voiced even as some would try to derail the democratic process.

Now, all eyes are focused on a heated run-off election in Georgia that will take place on Jan. 5, 2021. Challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of King, faces Trump ally Kelly Loeffler, while Jon Ossoff is pitted against incumbent David Perdue. These seats can tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate in favor of the Democrats. Georgians will directly impact the power of incoming President Joe Biden’s administration by lessening obstructive politics. Across the country, phones are ringing, mailings are dropping, donations are surging, and celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to LeBron James are lending their voices to keep the momentum going.

Georgia saw an unprecedented swell in its voting numbers in this election due in part to the automatic voter registration process instituted in 2016. However, much credit is given to the massive campaign led by Stacey Abrams’ national voting organization Fair Fight (fairfight.com), along with grassroots organizations such as the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, in making the difference. For many first-time voters this was an opportunity to have their voices heard. It has been an inspirational lesson in civic action witnessed by the entire world. This is the place that gave birth to a dreamer fed by the sacrifice of many, in a country that he loved despite its many challenges. It is the work directed by Congressman John Lewis, who charged us to keep getting into good trouble. Now Georgians must mobilize to do it again and ensure every vote is counted!

Suggested next steps …

Plan to vote early, if possible. Call your family and friends and hold each other accountable.

Contact your senior neighbors and ask if they need a ride to the poll or help requesting an absentee ballot.

Keep the discussion going in your homes, schools, organizations, and places of worship.

We must all work together to get out the vote.

Need a ride to the poll?

Want to volunteer or donate?
These organizations
are helping to mobilize:
www.ncbcp.org
www.naacp/ga.org
www.BlackGeorgiaVote.com
www.newgeorgiaproject.org
www.georgiastandup.org
www.glahr.org

Important Dates to Remember:

Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 – Early Voting Begins
Go to the Secretary of State My Voter Page to get up to date information about your polling site, request an absentee ballot or check your voting status. Absentee ballots can be requested online. Absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day.
Visit: www.mvp.sos.ga.gov
If you have questions, you can also call the Voter Hotline: 470-312-2635

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020 – Early Voting In-Person Ends

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 – Run-off Election Day
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you are in line before closing, you have the right to vote. Do not leave.
If you have any problems call the Election Protection Hotline: 866-697-8683