Black activists deserve credit for Biden’s election.
Portland organizer Demetria Hester prioritized early voting and Rev. Gregory Drumwright organized a march to the polls in Graham, North Carolina on November 1.
Voting rights activist, a former state lawmaker and governor candidate Stacey Abrams, has worked on voting-related rights issues for a decade. After narrowly losing her bid for governor partly due to Black voter suppression, she crafted “a strong legal demand” to reform Georgia’s election systems (Ibid). She then launched Fair Fight which encourages voter participation, fights suppression, and has registered 800 000 first-time voters since 2018. (NBC News). Black voters broadcasted Biden’s campaign in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, nine out of ten Black American voting Democrat (Ibid).
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted how deserving Abrams is to be credited for what Ex-Chief of Staff for Rep. John Lewis, Michael Collins called “the Democratic voter turnout” (Ibid). However, Abrams shifted the attention to the voters, activists’ and organizations that helped create “this new Georgia” (Ibid). Her upcoming campaign is striving for Ossoff and Warnock’s January 2021 election, calling on Georgia fundraisers and voters to fight for access to jobs, health care, and justice (Ibid).
On October 24, Portland activists marched through one of the city’s whitest and richest neighbourhoods chanting “Black Lives Matter” (Vox). On October 25, 100 people called by Moms United for Black Lives assembled at Rossman Park in the “86 percent white” Lake Oswego (Ibid).
Moms United for Black Lives has been building “a strong mutual aid network to support” Portland’s most vulnerable through their community group, the reparations team, the kid’s team, and the protest and evacuation teams (Ibid). The organization is pushing for Portland activist and founder of Don’t Shoot PDX Teressa Raiford’s election as mayor.
Louisville and Philadelphia activists are keeping up the momentum following Breonna Taylor and Walter Wallace Jr.’s deaths throughout Biden’s term. As Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott states, “Black folks are going to run for office in numbers […] larger than […] ever […] before; […] working on advocacy and public policy” (Ibid).
Hester demands Biden hold himself accountable for his 1994 law contributing to Black and brown folks incarceration, and that he let those imprisoned out. Along with countless other Black activists, Hester is fighting to defund the police.
The Louisville Urban League has already created “A Path Forward for Louisville” highlighting steps to divest from the Louisville Police Department and send resources to first responders “equipped to answer mental health crisis calls” (Ibid). President Sadiqa Reynolds is striving for elected officials to make decisions based on the job training, the achievement gap, homelessness, and housing.
Scott, Kentucky’s only Black female legislator and activist, led the no-knock warrants ban movement following Taylor’s death. Her team is working towards 2022 elections as Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw’s (who signed off the “death warrants” leading to Taylor’s death) judicial seat will be up for election.
The Black Lives Matter Movement, notably Black female-identifying activists are fostering historic mobilization that will positively impact future elections.