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Chrysandra Roland

Source: SEIU / SEIU

It’s been a tense few weeks in Georgia, but we can’t let up. The runoff election to re-elect Sen. Raphael Warnock is a reminder that our voting system in Georgia is based on Jim Crow and devalues Black and brown voters. We cannot let this system win, and we need to prove that our communities’ voices and votes matter and cannot be ignored. We need to show up in this runoff for Raphael Warnock. 

The fact that we’re in a runoff again, while disappointing, needs to power us forward. We’ve had a glimpse at what could be possible in Georgia – a more progressive, equal society that recognizes and respects our state’s diversity and empowers us all to live a better future. That future is still in our hands, and we can take another step in that direction by showing up for Raphael Warnock at the polls again. 

Our next steps are simple – show up again and vote. We can’t let this runoff keep us from turning out and ensuring our voices are heard, and our votes are counted. Election day is Dec. 6, and state-wide early voting runs between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2. This incredibly tight timeline overlapped with Thanksgiving and final exams for our students. But we can’t let this keep us from the polls. The least we can give is a morning or afternoon taken out of our day to ensure we get Raphael Warnock re-elected to the Senate.  

It’s not only better wages, affordable housing, safety in our communities, or a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions that are on the ticket this time around. It’s democracy. 

We have seen the power of voting across the country this election season. We are only in a runoff in Georgia because voters have already turned out, despite barriers to voting. And right now, we need to see through all the runoff noise and show up again. 

As a Black woman who has lived in Georgia for over seventy years, I have witnessed segregation and integration. I have seen schools in Georgia evolve from where no child could learn to where every child could thrive. But, above all else, I have seen the importance of voting — especially for Black voters like me, who have the power to determine the outcome of elections.  

We showed the country our power when we elected Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock the first time. Now, it’s time for us to answer the call again and use our power to make the state we all love become a state that recognizes and protects our freedom to vote and to thrive. 

Chrysandra Roland works as a unit secretary in a hospital NICU and is a former member of SEIU-Workers United. A lifelong Atlanta resident, Chrysandra has been voting from the same address since 1966. In 2021, she was mysteriously purged from the voting rolls, but she didn’t let that stop her – she fought to ensure her vote was counted. 


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