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Sustained Efforts from Georgia Organizers Changed the Course of Georgia Politics to Deliver a Diverse Electorate

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A recording of the call is available here.

 

Earlier today, Georgia organizers discussed their efforts that led to record-breaking voter turnout from BIPOC communities, which delivered the control of the Senate to the Democratic party with the historic wins of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Senate. Organizers’ efforts to register and turnout hundreds of voters produced a strong unified front in the face of racism, voter suppression, Republican extremism, and various other long-standing obstacles aimed at disenfranchising millions of Americans across the country. 

The triumphant victories of grassroots campaigns in Georgia, both in the Presidential election and the Senate race, demonstrate a growing need for American politics and policy to properly represent America’s multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational population. Sustained organizing changed the course of Georgia politics by pushing back on America’s systematic and systemic voter suppression and by forging political representation that better reflects all Americans, regardless of background and birthplace.

Jess Morales Rocketto, Executive Director, Care in Action, said, “The election results proved that our political power is strongest when we organize together and for each other. Delivering two historic flips — turning Georgia blue and ushering in a Democratic Senate — doesn’t happen without Black, Latino, and AAPI organizers and voters, who helped turn out our communities in record numbers. We know what issues are important to us, we’re decisive in elections, and we’re determined to elect leaders who govern with care and who are committed to fighting for a caring economy, keeping families together, COVID-relief and more.” 

YT Bell, Georgia GOTV Director, Care in Action, said, “In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, ‘nobody’s free until everybody’s free.’ Together, Black, Brown, and AAPI women made history, and together, we’re putting forth a vision for the future that allows all women of color, immigrant communities, domestic workers, and caregivers to live in safety and work with dignity.”

Gwen Mills, Secretary-Treasurer, UNITE HERE, said, “UNITE HERE has for decades invested and organized in the Sunbelt states of Nevada and Arizona, and in our largely immigrant membership out West to turn those states blue. Today, we are proud to have been part of an unprecedented ground game that knocked on over 10 million doors in a few short weeks. UNITE HERE canvassers knocked 1.5 million doors and spoke with over 350,000 people to overcome the core challenge of this runoff: maintaining enthusiasm among the Democratic base and revving up voter turnout. The long-term investment and organization does not stop here, at electoral victory. Our members and voters in Georgia are desperate for immediate COVID relief and so much more. We will put our energy to keep the pressure on by insisting that Congress and the President deliver on jobs, healthcare, and equity for all.”

Semir Said, leader of the UNITE HERE Get Out the African Vote Initiative, said, “I’m proud that our union, UNITE HERE, has fought for the rights of immigrants for decades. As an immigrant from Ethiopia and resident of Atlanta, I can see that having an African Canvassing Team made up of immigrants, refugees, and first generation African Americans representing a wide variety of countries has made a huge difference in the Clarkston Community, knocking on the doors of over 31,000 African immigrants. Our team’s key ability to connect with potential voters culturally and linguistically was and will continue to remain essential in mobilizing voters. At a time when immigrant communities have been left behind and told that they do not belong, our union has continued and will continue to push us to the forefront.”

Linh Nguyen, AAPI Coalition Director, Georgia Democrats, said, “Organizers have always known that winning Georgia would come down to specific, targeted outreach to the Black, brown, and AAPI voters who make up our strong and diverse coalition. We’ve never had this kind of investment in AAPI outreach before, and with it we were able to organize our communities in the way they deserve — with focused, targeted outreach grounded in community, with culture-specific engagement, and with great respect and love for how we are special. That matters. When we do the work to truly earn our community’s votes, we make the difference and win elections.”

Tania Unzueta, Political Director, Mijente, said, “This historic Senate win was delivered by those with the most to lose, namely Black and Brown grassroots leaders who have been working—relentlessly—for years to educate, recruit, and organize our communities. There is huge electoral power in the Latino voting bloc; when we turn out in record numbers, we can expand the decisive margins that turned this election on its head. We didn’t vote as a favor to Democrats in power. Our communities voted hoping to materially improve our own lives. Now we expect President-elect Biden and Majority Leader Schumer to hold up their end of the bargain, and deliver ambitious legislation that centers people of color, workers, and immigrants. There is huge electoral power in the Latino voting bloc; when we turn out in record numbers, we can expand the decisive margins that turned this election on its head.”