Photos by Charlie Lederer
Text by Liz Hensler
Over the past few months (years?), the US elections have dominated news cycles and public consciousness – as folks felt that the fight between Democrats and Republicans personified a fight for the soul of the country and the survival of the democratic system on which the country was founded. With a Biden/Harris win, Democrats felt that the foundation for change can be reestablished – that, although these were imperfect candidates and an imperfect platform for progressive causes, there is more to work with than with the Trump administration, which had spent four years harming middle and low-income people, people of color, women, LGBTQ+ communities, the environment, and spreading misinformation and flirting with fascism and white supremacy.
With a huge thank you to Brooklyn-based photographer Charlie Lederer for donating his work, we are thrilled to share some of the joy and weirdness that followed the election results.
For progressives, this new administration is only a start. Biden and Harris have been described as establishment Democrats, who are likely to rebuild much of the infrastructure dismantled by the Trump administration. As the executive branch, they are unlikely to successfully fulfill much of their platform without a Democratic Senate.
In Georgia, the two senatorial races were too close to call, with no candidate garnering more than 50% of the vote, meaning that we are gearing up for two runoff elections. As it stands, the Senate is comprised of 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans. In order to pass key Democrat-led legislation and decrease the power of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democrats need a majority or a tie in the Senate (VP Harris will have the deciding votes in all ties along party lines). The runoff elections in Georgia will be the deciding factor in how successful a Democratic agenda will be.
Georgia, traditionally a “red state” (due as much to voter suppression, gerrymandering, and disenfranchisement of Black voters, as it is to a large number of conservative residents), surprised many by going “blue” in a tightly and hotly contested race. Credit for high turnout of Black Democrats in this election has rightfully been attributed to expertly led organizing by a number of grassroots organizations.
As we prepare for the runoffs on January 5th, here are some organizations to support and actions to take:
- Fair Fight
About: After Stacey Abrams’s gubernatorial run, she founded Fair Fight to encourage voter turnout and fight voter suppression. Fair Fight registers voters, promotes ballot access, and ensures ballots are counted.
- New Georgia Project
About: Led by Nsé Ufot, the New Georgia Project has registered nearly 425,000 Georgians to vote. Their focus is on using technology to register and civically engage new voters across Georgia.
About: ProGeorgia is a collaborative of more than thirty non-profit organizations working together for civic engagement across progressive issue organizing and voter engagement.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
About: AAAJ-Atlanta protects the civil and human rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in Georgia and the Southeast. They focus on policy advocacy, organizing and civic engagement, impact litigation, and legal services.
About: The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials works to increase civic engagement and political leadership among the Latino community of Georgia.
- Black Voters Matter
About: BVM is a national organization empowering Black voters in key states, including Georgia, through registration, policy advocacy, and organizing training.
- Georgia Stand-Up
About: A self-described think and act tank, Georgia Stand-Up is an alliance of community leaders across sectors organizing and educating about issues related to economic development. Their initiative, Stand-Up & Vote, specifically focuses on ensuring residents are engaged in elections in all levels of government.
*These are just a few examples of the great organizing work happening in Georgia – for more, check out this article by Anoa Changa about the organizers.
You can also contribute and volunteer for the Democratic candidates’ campaigns:
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Runoff Election Day
Charlie Lederer (he/him/his) is a Brooklyn based photographer and artist. He is passionate about documenting life in NYC including displays of activism and protest. You can find more of his work at www.charlielederer.com
Liz Hensler, MPA (she/her/hers) is the founder of Do Good, Better. She works in philanthropy in the humanitarian aid sector and has a background in NGO program management, corporate and community engagement, volunteer management, and communications. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.