Despite the 2018 midterm results; liberals in the south should rejoice.
There was so much trepidation around the gubernatorial races in Florida and Georgia; that Democrats and liberals were quick to embrace defeat even before all of the ballots had been counted. Even though Abrams and Gillum ultimately lost their respective races, the closeness alone will likely draw attention for races in 2020 and beyond. In the meantime, there is plenty for people like you and me to do in preparation.
As a previous resident of both Florida and Georgia; I've been able to witness the dignity and resilience of southern liberals in the shadow of some of the most institutional oppression known to this country. The nations HBCU's, Churches, and even the southern gay communities' intricate pageant system demonstrate the sense of pride that exists in minorities in the south from Daytona Beach, FL to Waycross, GA
Below are three reasons to embrace the election results so we can maintain momentum and keep moving forward.
1. It's always been about more than the Governor's Office Just like kids we are all attracted to shiny things. The governorship, just like the presidency is one of those shiny objects. We have to start paying more attention to the less glamorous government positions. A major take away for me was the importance of the 40 something secretary of state offices across the country. (They could definitely come up with a less confusing title.) This officeholder also often serves as the chief election official in their state, administering state elections and maintaining official election results. Many people believe that Brian Kemp used his secretary of state position to suppress votes and cost Stacey Abrams the election.
2. Both Candidates Have Vowed Not To Go Anywhere.
Abrams took the opportunity to launch her Fair Fight Georgia ; a new pac aimed at combating voter suppression. Gillum similarly assured voters that he would not be faded into the background the latter is still a sitting official as mayor of Florida's capital Tallahassee.
3. Intersectionality needs to be explored at a greater level.
People in and with connections to Florida and Georgia have to do a better job at reaching out to non politically active people in their social circles about the policies and candidates that they support. LGBT Americans, women, and people of color have a lot at stake from health care to basic human rights. If you have influence over friends who don't check any of those boxes, engage them.
What would you add to the list? Get the convo started below.