Georgia's Senate runoff race has never been more important. Incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face off against Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock. Jon Ossoff's first stop on the #HealthJobsJustice Bus Tour was in my town of Madison, Georgia. He was met by a diverse crowd of supporters at Town Park where he was introduced by local leaders, gave a speech, answered questions, and then stayed for a meet and greet with supporters.
Ossoff started out strong by pointing out that Perdue and Loeffler are the "Bonnie and Clyde of corruption in politics", a reference to the fact that both Perdue and Loeffler are currently under investigation for insider trading after profiting off advanced knowledge of the severity of SARS Covid-19 while downplaying its severity to constituents.
Ossoff further pointed out that David Perdue lives on a private island, hasn't held a town hall meeting for the citizens he represents in six years, sells meetings to corporate PACs, opposed stimulus payments to Georgians, refuses to attend debates, and supports ending health coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Ossoff, on the other hand, has a platform based on Health, Jobs, and Justice. He broke down each one.
Ossoff's health platform is that he supports making healthcare affordable for all with free premiums for the poor and affordable premiums for everyone else. He cited how insurance and drug companies in the United States overcharge purely for profit. He stated,
"Health care is a human right and not just a privilege for those who can afford it."
He further shared his intention to protect healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions.
Ossoff explained that he supports increasing the minimum wage as well as ending big business bailouts while small businesses close. He further explained that he supports stimulus support to Americans during the ongoing pandemic. He also talked about wanting to strengthen domestic production and job growth.
When taking questions, Ossoff spoke about making college affordable by extending the coverage of the Pell grant, a move that Perdue has stated he is against. He spoke about eliminating or reducing student loan debt to help stimulate the economy.
Ossoff referenced Ahmaud Arbery who was gunned down in the streets in Georgia while running. He spoke about the need to make sure that justice is applied equally to every citizen, including DACA recipients. He spoke of the need for a new Civil Rights Act to better protect our citizens. He also advocated ending prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses and treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.
When a passing car shouted "Boo" from the window, Ossoff paused in taking questions long enough to point out that this person is demonstrating our freedom of speech. He calmly continued answering questions without disparaging the heckler. After his speech, he took the time to meet and speak with each guest in attendance who stayed behind for a photo.
Georgians have begun voting, and Jon Ossoff makes a persuasive case for showing up to cast your vote in his favor.
Do we want to vote for those who profited from the pandemic while playing down its severity and being one of the first states to reopen businesses without enforcing safety precautions? Or do we want to elect Jon Ossoff to the United States Senate, a candidate who speaks with eloquence and empathy about the struggles of the people of Georgia and how he will work to make our lives better rather than putting party before the people or corporations before compassion?
Voting began on December 14th and will last through January 5th. To find your polling location or for information about absentee voting, visit this website.