What To Know About Our Network's Power-Building in Georgia - Voices For Power

What to Know About Our Network's Power-Building In Georgia

Georgia voters turned out in record numbers in the General Elections and the runoffs, with some reports saying that even more people voted in the runoffs than the general elections!

This increase in civic engagement is due to BIPOC-led collectives organizing and mobilizing across the state. ProGeorgia, a State Table in our network, and their partners have been key in this push.

If you turn on any news station, at some point you'll hear people talking about Georgia. Georgia plays a huge role in the fight for a healthy democracy, and had record-breaking voter turnout this past election season. Over three million votes were cast, and 118,000 people who didn’t vote in the General Elections voted early in the runoffs!

This increase in civic engagement is largely due to the grassroots, on-the-ground organizing and mobilizing work of BIPOC-led organizations and collectives across the state. And this work doesn’t start or stop at elections. It’s year-round.

ProGeorgia, a State Table in the State Voices network, and their partners have been key in building foundations to advocate for the wellbeing of oppressed communities in Georgia. State Voices is proud to have invested in this work for years, and to continue investing in it for years to come.

“Behind the scenes, State Voices has provided critical investment in long-term local infrastructure and BIPOC leadership to ensure our work can continue through the elections and beyond,” says Tamieka Atkins, Executive Director of ProGeorgia.

“State Voices has contributed valuable staff time, expanded voter registration and data and tech tools, communications support, policy research and advocacy, and direct funding for our network. Investing in local power-building works, and the turnout in the elections is an example of that.”

2020 was State Voices’ most successful year of fundraising ever. We regranted over $600k to ProGeorgia.

Our regrants support with GOTV, voter registration, and to support shifting organizing strategies due to the pandemic. This included helping canvassers get tech packs, like computers, tablets, phones, and hotspots.

ProGeorgia was able to use this investment to successfully get out the vote while building capacity for the long-term fight for a healthy democracy.

State Voices' data and civic engagement teams helped build and manage new voter registration and voter contact programs for ProGeorgia.

ProGeorgia and their partners made over 17 million contacts to voters for the runoff elections! That includes hundreds of thousands of phone calls, millions of texts and mailers, and thousands of pledges. They reached out to every registered voter of color at least three times!

Staff at other State Tables in the network came out in droves to support ProGeorgia with sending texts and making calls. The impact of this teamwork and collaboration can't be overstated!

State Voices policy team was a lead coordinator in the Election Protection coalition, helping State Tables like ProGeorgia manage issues that voters encountered when casting their ballot.

The Georgia Election Protection hotline responded to over 14,000 calls throughout the elections to support voters. Whether voters encountered voter suppression at the ballot box, or had questions about making sure their mail-in ballots would be reviewed and counted, Election Protection was there.

Several State Voices staff members, like Mishara Davis (pictured in the featured photo and below) volunteered with Georgia-based organizations.

Mishara volunteered with Social Change to assemble PPE materials to make sure organizers and voters could stay safe through the pandemic. Community safety is a core component of integrated civic engagement. Social Change's effort is a shining example of a truism: we can keep us safe!

Social Change advocates and volunteers in Georgia. Mishara Davis is second from the left!
Social Change advocates and volunteers in Georgia. Mishara Davis is second from the left!

ProGeorgia partners like Black Voters MatterLatino Community Fund, Georgia Stand Up, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, Women Engaged, and so many more did the work for the elections, but we’re not stopping there.

Georgia’s legislative session begins soon, and partners will be focused on making sure Black and brown people, especially working-class and poor families, are able to access safety and support through the pandemic and beyond.

“The elections were just a part of the broader fight for political power for Black and brown people in Georgia,” Tamieka Atkins says. “With the brilliance of our partners and with State Voices support, we know we’ll be able to get the safety, wellbeing, and support Georgia communities need and deserve.”

Check out some news coverage about ProGeorgia and their partners here.

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