I love georgia. When the Joe Biden-Donald Trump race came to an end, I told my editors that if we could have traveled, I would have gone to Georgia. But we couldn’t, so I didn’t, and I had to watch the great excitement of the state, which I had repeatedly watched as it came close – for Jon Ossoff in the Sixth Congressional District of Georgia in 2017; for Stacey Abrams for Governor in 2018 – for Joe Biden from afar.
Now we have an historic two-Democrat runoff for the US Senate. One candidate is black –A candidate’s election campaigns in Georgia were fabricated to disqualifyRev. Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church – and the other, investigative journalist Ossoff, is white and Jewish. It’s the combination that the late Dr. King and Rep. John Lewis saw the creation of the beloved Georgia community, a combination Warnock recently described as “wonderful.” Their opponents, incumbent Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, are cajillionaires (I don’t know how much money they really have so I made up a word) who both traded stocks after receiving information about the pandemic. And they will not vote for pandemic aid.
Democrats can really take both seats, but it will be difficult. The Georgia Democrats are going to need a lot of help. But what they don’t need is you or me to go there (unless by “down there” you mean from Habersham County or roughly to Atlanta).
My daughter worked for Ossoff in 2017, from the first race (which he narrowly lost) to the runoff in that election (which he also lost quite closely). She and her team were grateful for the volunteers from around the country who showed up in the suburbs of Atlanta – but at one point they didn’t know what to do with them. I cannot imagine this nationwide chaos during a pandemic.
I wrote to a few friends who work down there just to make sure. There is a consensus: neither of them want you to come down to knock on doors or anything else. As the great Stacey Abrams put it, “Help us mobilize voters and get the resources we need from your location.” They are carefully considering how to do door knocking and personal campaign events (yes, many are concerned that Democrats’ failure to get to doors this summer and fall in the fall will hurt candidates).
Georgia has enough people to turn Georgia blue. You did it. It works out. Georgia only needs the resources given what Republicans are going to put into this race. People who say give straight to the Warnock and Ossoff campaigns. Give Abrams’ fair fight action. Report to the Abrams organization which was founded in 2013. in this amazing interview by Rebecca Traister, she explains, began as a group of navigators to help Georgians figure out the Affordable Care Act – the New Georgia Project, led by the inspirational Nse Ufot. Enter LaTosha Brown’s Black Voters Matter. Or give it to a whole bunch of local organizers Link to the Movement Voters Fund.
I’ll try to follow the Georgia elections from the north by phone and online. I’ve got to know a lot of people over the past three years. I think it can be done. If I have to, I’ll go there because that’s my job. It is not your job. Stay at home. Research Georgia groups that do a good job that you personally trust (my list may not be your list). Give to these groups. If they do text messaging or phone banking, join them. Just stay at home. Protect Georgia. Make Georgia Blue. Both are within reach.