The fate of the U.S.A. rests on the Georgia Senate Runoffs on January 5, 2021. Whether we flip the senate blue or not, will deeply affect our country.
As a person of color who grew up in a marginalized community in the Bronx to immigrant parents, this is beyond personal. The outcome is critical to my community and me who are deeply affected and often limited by U.S. policy and history.
Not being “political” is simply not an option for our civil rights, our prosperity, and survival. Further, you shouldn’t have to be directly hurt/affected so personally to care about others, but if you need an individualistic-based reason here it is: the country as a whole cannot grow forward in a sustainable/long-term manner if chunks of it are suffering due to a brutal history and unjust policies imposed against it. Selfish and short-sighted policies may only lead to short-term returns and/or spikes of wealth for a small percentage while the damage continues to compound as it has been for centuries.
That is why we, although I do not blindly support the Democratic Party and will continue to critique it, for the sake of sustainable, just, and progressive reform that helps us all as a whole move forward, we must work to flip the Senate blue.
Understanding How the U.S. Government Works – A Quick Summary
Here is an easy explanation of how the U.S. government works to better contextualize the importance of this race.
First, it’s important to remember that the U.S. federal government’s power is divided into three branches:
- Executive: the president
- Legislative: Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives)
- Judicial: the Supreme Court (and lower courts)
Legislative (The Senate)
American voters elect 2 Senators per state for a total of 100.
The Senate is crucial in elections because the Senate “majority party leader” can block and limit the President’s power greatly.
- Example 1: The Senate blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court justice nomination in 2016
- Example 2: The Senate has repeatedly blocked progressive bills passed by the House of Representatives such as the 2nd Stimulus Package to the point that the current Republican-led Senate has been nicknamed a “graveyard” for bills. Only 1% of 15,000 bills have been passed by the Senate in the last year!
Senate can also choose to FIRE (or not to fire) a president via impeachment passed by the House like when the republican-led Senate acquitted President Trump of impeachment charges (found him not guilty).
Legislative (The House)
American voters also elect their House of Representatives (congressmen). There are a total of 435 congressmen/representatives; a number which is determined per state by population.
This is why it’s so important to fill out the census so your community’s needs are represented in the government! And this is also why some states will have one congressman while others like California have 53!
Judicial (The Supreme Court + lower courts)
The Supreme Court is comprised of nine justices nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They can rule on civil rights/liberties for healthcare, workers, students, property, marriage, privacy, women, minorities, and much more.
Having the Senate majority is how President Trump got to elect THREE of the nine Supreme Course Justices. And why President Obama couldn’t elect Merrick Garland.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Georgia Runoff 2021
Why is There a Senate Runoff in Georgia if the Elections are Over?
Georgia had two senate seats up for election in November. But neither candidate got over 50% votes, so the top contenders must go on a runoff election in January.
Who are the Candidates to Vote For?
Jon Ossoff (Democrat) who is running against David Purdue (Republican).
Raphael Warnock (Democrat) who is running against Kelly Kelly Loeffler (Republican).
Why Does this Runoff Election Matter?
If Republicans lose both of these seats, Mitch McConnell (the Senate majority leader) will lose control of the Senate. That’s because these two last seats could swing our Senate majority blue (Democratic) or red (Republican).
If blue, we could begin to undo President Trump’s policies and pass progressive reform towards civil rights, a second stimulus package, climate change, healthcare, etc.
How to Help in the Georgia Senate Runoff 2021
If you can’t afford to donate but have time to help. Please considering volunteer with:
- The Georgia 2020 Victory Campaign. Sign up here in the Georgia Runoff Involvement Google Form.
- Registering young voters and people of color with the New Georgia Project.
- Stacey Abram’s organization: Fair Fight.
- Black Voters Matter by texting “WeMatter” to 797979.
- Helping call Georgia voters via phone banking here.
- The Warnock campaign. Sign up to get involved.
- The Ossoff campaign here.
- Vote Save America.
- Writing letters to encourage unlikely voters to vote at Vote Forward (you need a printer for this).
- Writing postcards to Georgia voters at Postcards to Swing States.
- Sign up to send over 350,000 voter registration postcards with Lift Every Vote.
If you don’t have time to volunteer but have money to spare please consider donating to:
- Stacey Abram’s Fair Fight
- Black Voters Matter
- New Georgia Project
- Raphael Warnock (Democratic candidate)
- Jon Ossoff (Democratic candidate)
- Georgia Democratic Party
I trust the first three the most because that will lead to continuous efforts to register more voters which will help flip the state blue. But if you have extra money to spare, it doesn’t hurt to keep going down the list of organizations/people to donate to!
- Stay informed on the related events happening near you via Mobilize’s page for Georgia Democrats.
- Georgians who want to vote can register until Monday, December 7. And anyone turning 18 by the runoff election date (January 5, 2021) can also register! Request a new ballot now or early vote in person starting December 14, 2020.
- Watch the Netflix documentary: Whose Vote Counts, Explained to see understand the history of voter suppression in Georgia. As AOC noted, “Georgia is not a swing state. It’s a voter suppression state”.
Spread the Word
- Share this post on social media or with your friends so that we can spread awareness and get more people on board to volunteer and/or donate.