Control of the Senate all comes down to two runoff elections in Georgia. Here’s what you can do to help keep the state blue
Though that long and agonizing presidential election has finally come to an end, we’re not putting politics behind us. Getting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House was just one step toward the kind of change this country sorely needs, and there’s still so much work to do. The first step? Focusing all our efforts on Georgia, where control of the Senate hinges on the results of two runoff election races.
In Georgia, state law dictates that a Senate candidate can’t win an election unless he or she nets at least 50 percent of the total vote. For both Senate seats that were up for election in the state this year, that didn’t happen. That means the top two candidates — a Republican and a Democrat for each seat — will face a special runoff election in January. The winners in those runoffs will take their Senate seats, and if Democrats manage to win both, they’ll officially control the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate.
This is a big deal, because it will put an end to years of deadlock in the U.S. government that’s blocked crucial legislation from getting through. But what’s even more important right now is the ideals of the candidates who are fighting for those Georgia seats. The WNBA, who have dedicated their entire season to fighting for racial justice, are mobilizing for one candidate in particular: Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Warnock is running against the incumbent Republican, Senator Kelly Loeffler, who also happens to be a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. When players in the WNBA were advancing justice initiatives by wearing Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName shirts, Loeffler spoke out against those moves.
“The truth is, we need less — not more politics in sports,” she said, as if any of these issues are about politics. She added that supporting a “particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion.”
Warnock, on the other hand, knows that these issues aren’t political — they’re about protecting and saving the lives of Black Americans and other marginalized groups.
“Rev. Warnock is somebody who supports everything that we support and just happens to be running in that seat,” Dream forward Elizabeth Williams told ESPN. “It just worked out really well.”
Knowing just that, supporting Warnock in this runoff should be a no-brainer. But in order to secure the Senate seats needed to be able to advance progressive changes in the government, Democrat Jon Ossoff needs to win his seat, too.
Even if you don’t live in Georgia, you can help. You can donate to Raphael Warnock or Jon Ossof via their campaign websites. You can also donate to organizations that are fighting voter suppression in the state, which is a major reason Georgia has remained under Republican control for so long. Some good options are the Black Voters Matter Fund, the ACLU of Georgia, the New Georgia Project, and FairFight. If you don’t have the money to donate, consider giving some of your time. You can send postcards or text or phone bank, either for a specific candidate, or simply to urge residents of the state to register to vote (they have until Dec. 7) and make their voices heard.
The most important election of our lives still isn’t over. The WNBA is still fighting — you can, too.