Connecting with the Clayton County Community: Jon Ossoff's and Raphael Warnock's community rally
The campaign trail can take its share of twists and turns. However, when a rally is more along the lines of a fireside chat and a talk with the community instead of at them, it takes on a more encompassing feel.
With the runoff elections for GA's next senators, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock make a stop in Clayton County (GA). With Divine Faith Ministries (in Jonesboro, GA) serving as the host location, the outdoor setting is more reminiscent of a community outreach event compared to the traditional campaign.
A slate of speakers from the county, including (but not limited to) Bishop Donald E. Battle (the pastor of the church) and Sykari Scott-Johnson (chair of the Clayton County Democratic Committee), take time to speak with and keep the audience engaged and energized. Consistent reminders are provided around the day Georgia voters can request absentee ballots (November 18, 2020), the deadline to register to vote (December 7, 2020), the start of early voting for the runoff election (December 14, 2020), and Election Day (January 5, 2021).
The county serves a key role in Georgia "turning blue" and securing a win for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris (a 10% voter increase compared to the 2018 midterm election), and with a county whose population is majority-minority (nearly 85% of all county residents are of a minority demographic), as Bishop Battle notes, "It's time to do more". Even with the increase in voter participation, nearly 48% of county residents who are eligible to vote did not do so in the elections that concluded just 2 weeks ago, so continued voter and community engagement are key themes covered in some way, shape, and form by all of the speakers.
During his remarks with the audience, candidate Raphael Warnock speaks via the underlying message of the people using their voice and utilizing their vote. Speaking to platform themes of affordable and accessible healthcare and essential wages for essential workers, he seamlessly connects the larger challenges related to voting (from the 1935 efforts of Martin Luther King, Sr, to the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr.) to the needed community engagement to speak to the issues and enhancing their efforts in making our democracy better. With his call to bend the arc towards justice, his focus is on amplifying the people's voice to better engage and problem-solve key national issues.
Jon Ossoff's appeal for the public votes centers on key platform concepts relates to accessible healthcare, affordable housing, and equal justice under the law. He follows up on the concerns of the leadership of their opponents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, whose questionable decisions related to the handling of the pandemic to a form of leadership disconnected from ordinary people and citizens may be part of the reasons for 2 million Georgia residents without healthcare to infant mortality rates being among the highest in the country. In a similar call for the community to use their voice and vote, his message of "we the people" reinforces the notion of representatives working on the people's behalf compared to individual benefit.
While January 5, 2021 sounds like it's a far off date, it clearly is coming sooner than anyone realizes. In assertively speaking with the audiences and focusing on issues that impact everyday people, both candidates display a presence and measure of sensibility and composure, making them more than viable candidates for the US Senate.
Connecting with Clayton County and connecting with the larger community; these are hallmarks of the campaigns of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock (to catch all video, visit the playlist labelled November 19, 2020 rally with Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on the YouTube channel for Creative Community Solutions).
All photos and videos credited to Andrew Snorton.
Candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock (Democratic Party for US Senate for the State of Georgia) visit Clayton County (GA) to connect with the community.
Clayton County residents prepare for the rally.
Clayton County plays a key role in the presidential election for the state of Georgia; now it's time to do more for the upcoming runoff election (January 5, 2021).
Clayton County Democratic Party chair Sykari Scott-Johnson is among the speakers for the rally.
One of the speakers sharing her Maya Angelou/And Still I Rise inspired piece "I Vote".
Bishop Donald E. Battle of Divine Faith Ministries (Jonesboro, GA) takes time to welcome the audience. The church is the host venue for the rally.
One of a number of the speakers for the day.
Another of the speakers to remind the audience of the importance to vote again.
Finding your voice and using your vote is a key theme emphasized by all of the rally speakers.
Candidate Raphael Warnock prepares to speak with the audience.
Focusing on themes of essential wagers for essential workers and a call for bending the arc towards justice, Warnock's message is warmly received by the audience.
Jon Ossoff prepares for his time to speak with those in attendance.
Candidate Jon Ossoff greets those in attendance.
Calling for equal justice under the law and affordable housing, Ossoff speaks to his platform in asking for the people's vote.
Candidate Rafael Warnock reflects on his talk with the people; emphasizing "we the people" and related community-centered themes, he is still in the running for one of the US Senate seats (for the state of Georgia).
Candidate Jon Ossoff takes time to be with the people.