November 9, 2020

 

Dear friends and family,

 

I have been inspired by your excitement and desire to support, and have been thinking about how to best capitalize on this moment.

 

One thing white folks (and perhaps all of us affected by white supremacist culture) love to do is CONSUME. Not just material items, but also information and knowledge that we didn’t necessarily work for or earn, but are able to use our white privilege to access. As I share my thoughts and story and  information with you, please take your time, read, breathe, feel your body, and engage with it at your own pace. This is just one white woman’s story in Georgia, and I have only been here for 9 years! Please continue to center the voices and experiences of Black women as you seek out ways to help and contribute to the inspiring change going on around us.

 

Three concurrent and related thoughts have been running through my head since last week.

 

First, many people are living in very tough conditions, both urban and rural, throughout Georgia. How will the Senate race outcomes tangibly affect the lives of the people who already turned Georgia blue, people who will be targeted by Get Out the Vote (for Warnock/Ossoff) efforts? More importantly, do THEY think it will? To what extent are we asking folks to put in the work around elections just so more privileged folk like me will feel better about not having Trump/racists in power? While folks in this group all feel the excitement and urgency of elections and political potential, so much of that doesn’t translate across the board...for understandable reasons...

 

I drove to S. Georgia to help cure ballots late last week. When I picked up the literature from my canvass captain in Albany she said “don’t forget about me, I need you!” She’s isolated and needs help. Once every 4 or 12 years won’t do it.

 

Second, what does equity look like in this moment? Is it spending a ridiculous amount of money on two runoffs? Or is it expanding the grassroots, long-term community capacity that is truly already there, but not resourced? I believe the answer is both, and I am asking my community to join me in focusing on long-term community capacity, as I believe this will not get the focus it needs and which is more likely to improve people’s quality of life and KEEP Georgia blue for many years to come.

 

Lastly, white friends and those closest to white privilege, how can we reflect on our knee-jerk reactions in this moment? What are we doing that could potentially drive us closer to the status-quo, which we know is white supremacy? How can we continue to open up to liberate ourselves and others from oppression?? We are desperate to take back the Senate to have “full power” to basically do what Trump/Republicans have been doing to us 2017-2018 and to some degree even since 2018. How does this end? What would we need to center in this most pressing of moments right now in order to envision a different future? How might our short-term focus inadvertently harm the most historically marginalized? How might we instead learn from their resilience? How might we move away from our solutions and move toward continuing to dismantle our own power?

 

With all of this in mind, I have 4 goals I am focused on right now:

  • Elect Daniel Blackman to the Georgia Public Service Commission via runoff December 1st, 2020.

  • Flip the US Senate by electing Ossoff and Warnock in their runoffs January 5th, 2021.

  • Build long-term out-of-state support for in-state grassroots organizing and people power in Georgia.

  • Connect the intensity of this moment to our ongoing liberation from the oppression of white supremacy.

So here is my ask to you, my dear community!

 

  1. (Everyone) Make a sizeable donation to Daniel Blackman’s campaign. I believe the maximum you can donate as an individual is $4,100. Blackman is in a runoff on December 1 here in Georgia (yes, there are TWO statewide runoffs - more complexity to make it hard to understand voting…), and is running for Public Service Commission, a 5-member commission that regulates utilities in all of Georgia. A Black person has never been elected to the PSC, in its 98 year history…  There are 469 public service commissioners in the US, and 18 (4%) are Black. Blackman spoke live on a Zoom call today, and shared that the moratorium on evictions and power shutoff ended. Georgia Power is shutting off power during a pandemic, when so many have lost their incomes! “Georgia Power shut-off electricity to just over 40,000 customers from mid-July through August, say company reports. August’s number was about 25% higher than for a typical month.” (AJC) Blackman advocates for low and moderate income communities and would move to extend the moratorium on shut offs during the pandemic. His other big issue is wireless - he intends to bring high-speed internet to all 159 counties in Georgia. It’s pretty tough to vote when you can’t find information about candidates or voting!

  2. (Everyone) SPREAD THE WORD that Georgia has 2 runoffs! Everyone is so hype about January 5th Senate race runoffs, but Blackman’s on December 1  is equally important for GEORGIANS. If you are excited about the potential we have in Georgia to flip the Senate, please also get excited about the potential we have to HELP GEORGIANS. Don’t talk about Jan 5th without also talking about Dec 1st. It’s in 3 weeks! The more people we talk to about the PSC runoff, the more people will also vote Jan 5th. 

  3. (Georgians) Vote for Daniel Blackman on December 1 runoff. Take 3 friends with you. Early voting will be available, but not sure when it starts since the election results still need to be certified. The LAST day of early voting will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 27th.

 

Yahoo! That’s part 1! Now onto some more fun stuff:

4.  Make a big donation now, then sign up to donate on a monthly basis to several of 

     these grassroots organizations:

 

  • Fair Fight Action

  • New Georgia Project

  • ProGeorgia

  • Georgia WAND c4

  • Georgia Conservation Voters

  • S Fulton County Dems

  • Democratic Party of Georgia

  • Common Cause

  • ACLU Georgia

  • NAACP Georgia.

  • SNaP - Solutions not Punishments

  • Sister Song

  • SONG

  • Project South

  • Georgia Stand Up

  • Planned Parenthood Southeast

 

5.  Sign up for the newsletters of several of those organizations, and begin to attend

     meetings, get involved, and support grassroots efforts to remove barriers to

     political participation in Georgia.

6. Send me your successes!!! Did you do it? What all did you do, and how are you   

    doing? 

 

Xoxox

maddy

Madeleine Frey Consulting, LLC