Last week, while the country faced one of the darkest days in recent memory – a surge on the U.S. Capitol and outright attack on our democracy at the hands of domestic terrorists and white supremacists prompted by the President of the United States – voters in Georgia made history by electing two new U. S. Senators who are both “First” – Rev. Raphael Warnock, a native Savannahian and Georgia’s first African American Senator, and Jon Ossoff, Georgia’s first Jewish Senator who will also be the youngest serving in the Senate. The election of these two principled public servants, whose elections were called the same day that white supremacists stormed capitol buildings in Washington, DC, will fundamentally alter the political landscape for President-elect Biden’s administration, and offer hope that we have leaders who believe in and will work toward a better future for all Americans.
Daniel Blackman, candidate for Public Service Commissioner, who would have been the first African American Democrat to serve on a longtime Republican controlled Commission, had a very close finish, losing to incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald in the Runoff Election.
Chatham County was one of the major counties in Georgia where voter turnout helped determine the outcome statewide. There were many non-profit/ non-partisan organizations, with strategic boots-on-theground strategies coupled with creative Get Out The Vote events in Savannah and surrounding areas, who were key to a larger-than-expected historic runoff voter turnout. Among those groups was a coalition of Savannah organizations working under the umbrella of Black Voters Matter which included the Savannah A Philip Randolph Institute; St. Philip AME Church on the Boulevard; S2S Facts – Sistahs to Sisters; Through It All-Savannah, GA; Savannah Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Save Our Youth; Young Souls for the Polls; and Diversified Dance.
Other Non-Partisan organizations that were instrumental with Get Out The Vote strategies in Savannah/
Chatham County included, but are not limited to, the League of Women Voters Coastal Georgia’s sponsorship of Secure Drop Boxes throughout the city, as well as work by 9 to 5 (Savannah); Planned Parenthood Southeast, The NAACP; Fair Fight; Savannah (GA) Chapter of The Links, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter; Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (Savannah Chapter); and Woke Vote-Savannah. This cooperative work among a coalition of members from the various organizations who were focused, committed and enthusiastic about efforts to Get Out The Vote materialized into a Historical Victory for Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff and for citizens in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia and the entire country. Savannah/Chatham County voters proved that “There is power in each Vote.”