Georgia is in the midst of a contentious Gubernatorial election that has the possibility to create history. Stacy Abrams, the Democratic nominee, could be the first black female governor in American history, but it won’t be an easy task considering that no Democrat has won statewide office in Georgia since 2006 and only 11 black women have been elected to national positions.
The Republican nominee, Brian Kemp, stands in stark contrast to Abrams and intends to limit both Medicaid and immigration reform. While Abrams’ campaign has focused on bringing minority voters to the polls– specifically 30% of Georgia voters who are black, Kemp’s policies primarily attract upper and middle-class white voters.
Abrams presents herself as a relatable candidate and makes an effort to be transparent by being open about her debt and her family life. Though some might see this as unprofessional, she said that it “makes [her] a better candidate,” demonstrating that she has invested in her education, is honest and truly understands the financial struggles that much of Georgia faces.
Weber seniors, some of whom are of voting age, have a chance to participate in this monumental election. I spoke to the politically savvy Daniel Stern, who said that though he is not “a huge fan of either [Abrams or Kemp],” he plans on exercising his right to vote. Other Weber students, even those who are not legal adults, are involved in other ways. Nathan Posner, head of Weber’s Young Democrats club, has been involved in the Abrams campaign since February 2018 as an intern, canvassing, organizing events and photographing the process.
In the past few years, politics have been at the forefront of American culture and have been highly accessible to youth. Opportunities for activism, such as the Women’s March and March For Our Lives, have pushed students to develop their political stances.
Many students have clear ideas of what they want from the election. Student Advocacy club leader Cydney Wolchock hopes that “Georgia can elect the candidates that are willing to cross the aisle for the good of everyone in Georgia, regardless of race, class, gender or ethnicity.”
Sophomore and active advocate against gun rights, Hannah Rosenberg, says that she “hopes Georgia can elect a candidate that is willing to fight for the safety of children and allow society not to fear public places,” an unfortunate issue that keeps returning to the main stage of American politics.
The upcoming elections are a great opportunity for students to participate in politics and, to quote Mahatma Gandhi, “be the change [we] wish to see.” Even for students who cannot vote on November 6, there are other ways to be involved like canvassing or simply encouraging those of voting age to hit the polls!