By Ramona Houston, PhD, PMP
In November, African-Americans and Latino-Americans/Latina-Americans voted and made an impact! We redirected the course of this country by electing Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President. Our job, however, is not complete.
With two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia at stake, our vote counts more than ever. We must stay intentional and focused on our goal of moving America forward. Our full participation in the January 5th, run-off election is critical.
We must vote for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff for U.S. Senate.
As witnessed during the Obama Administration and throughout the last four years, the Senate holds tremendous power in determining what gets done in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell consistently blocked Obama’s agenda in an attempt to impede his success; and beyond confirming conservative, often-unqualified judges, McConnell has prevented legislation from being passed throughout President Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House that would benefit all Americans—not just the top one percent.
It is high time for a new Senate with new leadership. We need senators who are devoted to public service, not wielding and weaponizing power, and who will support the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to Build Back Better.
That is why the African-American and Latino/a-American communities must exert our power and vote in the Senate run-offs for Warnock and Ossoff. In doing so, we will help to ensure the success of the new administration.
Both candidates are ideal to lead our country. They are both legacies of Atlanta’s own and America’s best: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Congressman John Lewis. Warnock is a graduate of Morehouse College, pastor of Atlanta’s prestigious Ebenezer Baptist Church, and a champion of liberation theology, analogous to Dr. King. Ossoff interned for Lewis as a teenager, learning from the civil rights icon. Both Warnock and Ossoff will build upon the legacies of Dr. King and Congressman Lewis. Like King and Lewis, they believe in servant leadership, progressive policies and improving the lives of everyday people.
Warnock and Ossoff will address issues that are important to and disproportionately affect our communities, including health care, jobs and justice. We are living in a moment when we need lawmakers who are truly concerned about these challenges and will develop solutions. Unlike incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, Warnock and Ossoff will work for the best interest of Georgians and not for their own personal financial interests.
Furthermore, they will use their power and platforms to get something done.
Georgia and America can no longer afford to have representatives in office who fail to legislate. We need lawmakers who understand their role and responsibilities as legislators and who will work to pass laws that improve our everyday lives.
Yes, African-American and Latino/a-Georgians must vote in the Georgia runoff election!
We must vote like our lives depend upon it, because they do! As a state with the least insured and most affected by the coronavirus, Georgians need health care. As a state with higher unemployment rates for Black and Brown workers, Georgians need jobs. As a state with high incarceration rates, Georgians need justice.
We must also vote to end McConnell’s obstructionism. Over the last ten years, he has proven over and over again that the interest of the American people is not his priority.
Since November 7, Republican lawmakers have fiercely fought to deny the election results and invalidate our votes. If left in power, how do you think they will operate in 2021 and beyond?
Lastly, we must vote to ensure that the Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to accomplish their agenda for America to Build Back Better! The best way to do so is to exercise our political power in the run-off election and vote for Warnock and Ossoff.
Our communities cannot afford to be passive or sit out during these important run-off elections. If we want change, we must be a part of that change by voting. We must continue to break voting records. If you know anyone living in Georgia, contact them today to encourage them to vote. Georgians may vote early or on election day.
It is by controlling the U.S. Senate and creating a supportive political environment that we will ensure and benefit from the success of the incoming administration.
Let’s show up and vote for Warnock and Ossoff, so that the Biden-Harris administration can show out!
Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP, is a scholar focusing on African-American and Latino/a history and relations, a social impact strategist, and host of The Empowerment Zone podcast. A native of Texas, Ramona lives in Atlanta. To contact or learn more about Ramona, visit www.ramonahouston.com.
Last updated on January 4, 2021