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Hands That Once Picked Cotton Can Now Pick A President…
And Two Senators


"Hands that once picked cotton can now pick a president." The first time I heard Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. say those words was during his run for President of the United States in 1988 as we traveled through the South in an effort to win Super Tuesday. The candidate with the least money was the least likely to win Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia. Jackson tied with Al Gore winning five states. What Jackson’s campaign lacked in money we made up in long hours and little sleep.
 
His victories in 1988 paved the way for Democrats and Black candidates to win in 1990 and 1992. Doug Wilder became the first African American to serve as governor of a U.S. state since Reconstruction and the first ever elected in Virginia. David Dinkins, who recently died, became the first African American mayor of New York City. Bill Clinton defeated an incumbent Republican president.
 
Jackson’s presidential campaigns showed that if Democrats were willing to put in the work to register and engage Black voters, they could turn a red state blue. 
 
That same belief and hard work is what former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams of Fair Fight and Black Voters Matter Fund Co-founder, LaTosha Brown, did for the 2020 General Election. They went to where voters live, work, pray, shop and play to relate how voting matters to their quality of life. The organizers didn’t stop at registering voters; they also took the extra step to make sure they got to the polls.
 
Two years ago, Brown was guest speaker at the Ida’s Legacy second Black Women’s Economic and Political Power Breakfast. She shared with us how her big black bus went to rural Georgia and Alabama to find residents who have been ignored by the regular Democratic Party for too long. Brown talked about how residents in Republican led states would have to travel up to 100 miles to the nearest hospital because their governors refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Brown talked about the many ways the votes of Black residents were being suppressed. 
 
Abrams, Brown and others have been working tirelessly to increase Black voter turnout since 2016, especially in Georgia. Four years later, the fruits of their labor are evident. Georgia voted for the Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since electing Clinton in 1992.
 
The importance of the Black vote in Georgia has never been more relevant. The state is the epicenter of the 2020 General Election. Its two senate runoffs between GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock and Republican David Perdue defending his seat against Jon Ossoff will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate. If Democrats win both seats, the Senate will be divided evenly. 
 
A 50/50 split makes Kamala Harris even more important. As vice president, she is the tiebreaking vote.
 
The biggest obstacle for Democrats is getting Black voters back to the polls for the Jan. 5, 2021, runoff election. An education campaign has to be part of the Get Out the Vote effort. A drop in turnout will mean Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell will do everything in his power to obstruct a Biden administration.
 
Black voters make up 29% of the Georgia electorate, and 88% voted for Biden. Black women cast 92% of votes in Georgia. 
 
New voters can register for the runoff until Dec. 7, and early voting will start Dec. 14. In the meantime, we can help turn out the vote in Georgia by volunteering to phone bank or make a donation. 
 
The Republicans are going to throw everything they have at these two runoff races to win. They know what they’re fighting for—the right to carry guns, to stop a woman’s right to choose, to continue to gut the Affordable Car Act and to appoint more conservative judges for starters. We have to be equally focused to advance the issues important to us—expanding the Affordable Care Act, passing an Infrastructure Bill, increased funding for education at all grade levels, protecting our environment and workforce preparedness for future “green” jobs to name a few.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, Georgia
Click on the link below to volunteer.
https://secure.warnockforgeorgia.com/page/s/website_vol
Jon Ossoff, Georgia
Click on the link below to volunteer.
https://www.mobilize.us/electjon/event/363598/
Donate
Your donation of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 or more to Ida’s Legacy will ensure more progressive African-American women candidates run for local and state offices.
 
Thank you,
 
Delmarie Cobb
Ida’s Legacy Committee

Paid for and authorized by Ida's Legacy Committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois. Contributions and gifts are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes. 
The Ida B. Wells Legacy Committee is not affiliated with the Ida B. Wells family or any other endeavor bearing her name.

 
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