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Georgia Senate Runoffs: why they matter + how you can help

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It’s been a long month since the General Election on November 3. So, like many of you, I was feeling burnt out, exhausted and relieved. But, we aren’t done yet. The Georgia Senate Runoffs are just around the corner and the stakes are incredibly high. Friends, it’s time to get back to work and elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

“We lose every election we don’t participate in.” Just because we’ve voted and our states are finished, we cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. The polls are tight in Georgia and we know a Democrat can win. Joe Biden just did! So much is on the line that it’s worth putting in the time to earn every vote. Let’s go!

What’s At Stake in the Georgia Runoffs?

The balance of power of the United States Senate is at stake. So, simply put: just about every damn thing is on the line.

There are currently 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans slated to serve in the Senate for the next two years. If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their elections, there will be a 50 Senators from each party in the Senate. When there is a tie in the Senate, the Vice President is the decided vote – and as of January 20, 2021 that will be Democrat Kamala Harris. So, the leader of the Vice President’s party (currently Chuck Schumer) would likely be recognized as Senate Majority Leader, as has been past practice.

According the US Senate website, the Majority Leader “schedules business on the floor by calling bills from the calendar and keeps members of his party advised about the daily legislative program.” This means the majority leader literally decides what gets a vote in the Senate and what doesn’t.

The current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a lot of power and he’s not afraid to use it for evil. He has earned the nickname the “Grim Reaper” because bills pass the House only to sit in a legislative graveyard upon reaching the Senate. There are currently hundreds of bills, including universal background checks, voting rights legislation, CARES Act to provide COVID relief, and on and on, sitting on McConnell’s desk. Rather than prioritizing the American people, he has prioritized voting to confirm conservative judges to lifetime positions.

All of the progressive issues we voted for in November when we elected Joe Biden are on the line. No matter what Biden prioritizes or the House passes, none of it will become law without McConnell’s approval. So we need to make sure he’s no longer the majority leader.

Meet the Runoff Candidates

The good news is there are two really strong Democratic candidates running to replace two terrible Republican incumbents.

Jon Ossoff is a “Georgia native, media executive, investigative journalist, and small business owner.” His priorities include expanding the Affordable Care Act with a Public Option, investing in clean energy, defending Roe v. Wade, lower taxes for families and small businesses, criminal justice reform and getting rid of dark money in politics. He’s a strong candidate who will fight for the people of Georgia.

Fifteen years ago, Reverend Raphael Warnock “was chosen to serve as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the youngest pastor selected to serve in that leadership role at the historic church.” As a Senator, Reverend Warnock will prioritize the needs of struggling Georgia families. He will fight for equality, affordable health care, and a livable minimum wage. Plus, he has arguably the best political ad ever.

And, like I said, the incumbents are corrupt Trump loyalists who do not deserve to return to the Senate.

What You Can Do to Help Flip the Senate

With a voter registration deadline just days away and the election just around the corner, the turnaround for most of these action items is very quick. Like, let’s get to work this weekend!

  • Call eligible voters. Vote Save America is partnering with New Georgia Project and Center for Popular Democracy Action to make sure eligible voters are registered before the December 7 deadline.
  • Join the SaturDAY of Action. Register to join Moms Demand volunteers to help elect these gun sense candidates.
  • Write postcards to encourage vote by mail. Postcards to Voters is sending cards to remind voters to request an absentee ballot. The deadline to send cards is December 6.
  • Send letters to voters. Vote Forward organizes letter writing campaign to reach out to historically underrepresented communities to encourage them to vote early. The letters are primarily pre-written and you only have to add a few sentences about why it’s important to vote. Couldn’t be easier!
  • Write postcards about making a plan to vote. Postcards to Swing States focuses on voting in person on January 5 so the mailing deadline is a bit later, between Dec 26 and 28.
  • Make calls with the Georgia Ballot Rescue Team. As a Ballot Rescue phone caller, you’ll be in direct contact with Georgia voters to help them fix issues they face when trying to cast their vote, including with their registration, absentee ballot requests, absentee ballots, and provisional ballots.
  • Be a Digital Volunteer. Sign up with the Georgia Democrats to help mobilize voters, amplify voting information for the Senate Runoff and Georgia specific events.
  • In-person volunteer opportunities. If you are able to volunteer in person in Georgia, there are a number of important opportunities to talk to voters, cure ballots, and observe the polls.
  • Donate to the Fair Fight Georgia Senate Fund. Donations are split between Jon Ossoff, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight.

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