Georgia’s On Our Mind

I took a journey to knock on doors in Atlanta, Georgia, along with dozens of people from across the country. And I wanted to share a few things.

Voter suppression is alive and well. I saw its ugly head show up in almost every neighborhood and community I went to. Ranging from a confusing provisional ballot process to out of the way polling places that were in different locations than the last election. When I spoke to voters about their voter plan, we had to talk about work schedules, how much vacation leave to take to vote, transportation and exact polling location.

Voting in Georgia wasn’t an item on a to do list; it was a hurdle. Voting isn’t a right over there, it is a privilege if you are able.

I also got to work with SEIU Local 1199, known for being a union which worked alongside Martin Luther King on civil and labor rights. I spoke to the president and leaders of that local. We talked about barriers to voting, and the fight for the dream continues. We spoke about how the South and the country are going through a third Reconstruction, the first being after the Civil War. 

We play a part in this Reconstruction to create a more just and equitable community. First is to cherish and protect our voting process here in Oregon. Second is to get involved in upcoming elections — one is coming up in May. Third, support passing laws to get large donors out of our elections. 

Austin Folnagy