The home stretch: Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff make a campaign stop in Stonecrest
December 28, 2020. It's the last Monday of what is an "interesting" year; when it comes to the 2020 elections, they are truly interesting as there's still some unfinished business given the runoff election of US Senate (in the state of Georgia).
The tandem of Raphael Warnock (click HERE to visit his website) and Jon Ossoff (click HERE to visit his website) consistently canvas the state to share their platforms. From 2-4:30pm (or so), both candidates come together in Stonecrest at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, but in doing so, continue to bring together multiple segments of the greater community to engage, learn more, and of course, encourage all who are eligible and registered to vote to do so.
Pastor Jamal Bryant (of New Birth) opens the rally with words of encouragement along with reminders of how the platforms of Warnock and Ossoff align with larger community areas of concern, along with the advocacy and policy building to better address them (click HERE to view). Deputy City Manager of Stonecrest Ples Joyner (speaking on behalf of Mayor Jason Larry, who undergoes surgery earlier in the day) echoes similar sentiments, including support for small businesses and related factors (click HERE to view).
Reminders are provided to return, stroll, and simply make sure to vote during the runoff election. DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond stresses the importance of voting, especially given an expectation that only 20% of those who are eligible to vote are going to vote in the state's runoff (click HERE to view his message). With at least 13 early voting locations and 30 drop off ballot areas, making plans to "stroll to the polls" is an added point of emphasis along with local elections (click HERE to find out more), along with words from from Daniel Blackman (candidate for Georgia Public Service Commission) as there's work that needs to be done, especially since the rates Georgia residents pay for utilities is up to three times as much as the national average among other areas of concern (click HERE to watch).
Ossoff's address speaks to the growth experienced, but by the same token, noting that many (if not all eyes) are on the state of Georgia as there is still work to do. Given current challenges related to the pandemic, questionable activity by the incumbent senators (who they are running against), he makes it imperative for people to use their voice and vote to address health, jobs, and justice (among other issues).
Warnock's conversation with the audience speaks to similar themes. Providing a look at his family upbringing to community building and engagement of multiple demographics provides a level of connectivity. Given the divisive climate of the outgoing executive at 1600 PA Ave along with the rhetoric of his opposition, a focus on the issues at hand and team (make that nation building) provide improved awareness and understanding of platform.
Shelly FKA DRAM closes out the rally with a performance. As with all of the artists, his concluding song "Cha Cha", while providing a festive way to wind-down and close out the event, still delivers an important message.
Your voice needs to be heard. Get out and vote.
All photos and video captured by Andrew Snorton
First row (top): The candidates are ready.
Second row (from the top): Reginae Carter goes over some items with the staff (left); New Birth EBC pastor Jamal Bryant welcomes the audience.
Third row: Deputy City Manager of Stonecrest (GA) Ples Joyner (left) and a snapshot of those in attendance.
Fourth row: Keeping the audience engaged (left) and DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond remind the audience there's still time for early voting.
Fifth row: Random audience photos, as it's a blend of younger and "advanced" adults in attendance.
Sixth row: Additional audience and others as "strolling to the polls" is a key theme during the rally.
Seventh row: Audience and others stressing the importance of voting.
Eight row: The drive-in style rally gets the audience connected in a safer and socially distant manner, and all artists keep the voting theme ever-present.
Ninth row: Artist and speaker snapshots, along with the steady reminders to vote early or on election day (January 5, 2021).
Tenth row: Daniel Blackman (left) and Jon Ossoff speak with the audience.
Eleventh row: Jon Ossof (left) takes time to speak with staff, and Raphael Warnock shares his platform.
Twelfth row (second from the bottom): Warnock delivers a message; as they say, write or record the vision (or platform) and make it plain (and accessible).
Thirteenth row (bottom): A diverse audience (left); Ossoff takes time to chat with Shelly FKA DRAM.