Graphic via Morgaine Ford-Workman for COURIER
Graphic via Morgaine Ford-Workman for COURIER

Georgians can accept disagreements on the future of our state and this country, but what we cannot accept are senators like Perdue and Loeffler who ignore our best interests and leave us to suffer while pushing their own agendas in Washington.

We made history this year, Georgia, but the difficult work of progress continues. The two runoff Senate races in January present a new chance for Georgia to speak to its highest values and do what is best for Americans: Elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to the US Senate so they can pass COVID-19 relief and protect our health care. 

While I consider myself an independent politically, I recognize the importance of voting Democratic as our health care is at stake. Even prior to the pandemic, I know I speak for thousands of Georgians when I say I understand the disparities in quality of health care all too well, particularly as a woman of color. When I was 29, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Some years later, another mass was discovered. I was in a different place in my life, and found myself fighting doctors and insurance companies just to get the care I needed. 

Luckily, I had close friends who were able to advise me how to advocate for my own care—so many others are not as fortunate. No one in the United States should be required to have a close relationship with a doctor or lawyer just to advise them while receiving lifesaving treatment.

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We need our representatives protecting us on these issues, yet our Republican senators have done just the opposite. It speaks volumes about Sen. David Perdue that he has spent much of his six years in the Senate trying to strip health care away from 20 million Americans through the elimination of the Affordable Care Act. That is the same healthcare law that helped me fight cancer and debilitating chronic pain. 

In 2017, Sen. Perdue ardently championed the Republican tax bill that was responsible for gutting the individual mandate of the ACA. This year, in the middle of a pandemic, his vote —along with Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s—to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was yet another attack on Americans whose lives and health care depend on him. He knew the Supreme Court hearing on the ACA was soon approaching, and saw the evidence of Justice Barrett’s vocal criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to preserve the ACA. 

Georgians can accept disagreements on the future of our state and this country, but what we cannot accept are senators like Perdue and Loeffler who ignore our best interests and leave us to suffer while pushing their own agendas in Washington.

RELATED: Loeffler and Perdue Want to Act Like Stimulus Heroes. Here Are Their Actual Records.

Following a January 2020 Senate briefing on the COVID-19 virus, Perdue and Loeffler both took actions to place their financial interests over the safety and well-being of Americans through questionable stock transactions instead of warning the people about the frightening reality of COVID-19. Perdue invested vast sums of money into a company that makes personal protective equipment (PPE), and Loeffler, with her husband, dropped millions of dollars in industries likely to be hit hardest by an economic shutdown.

Now, some might think, “Why is it of consequence what Perdue and Loeffler do with their personal finances?” After nine months of hardship and tragedy, the real question we should ponder is why they decided to make personally enriching decisions instead of sounding the alarm on COVID-19. They could have saved so many lives of our parents, siblings, neighbors, colleagues, or friends. The life of my grandfather and family friends I’ve known ever since I was born. Their silence and lack of action is unforgivable. 

Georgians do not value the Washington insider politicking nor the corruption we’ve seen from our current senators. Jon Ossoff, a former investigative journalist turned anti-corruption crusader, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and heir to Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit, espouse the values I want in Washington. I trust them to protect our health care, our planet, and our country from this pandemic, and put Georgians first.

Voting for Ossoff and Warnock is a vote for a forward looking vision for a better Georgia. The eyes of the United States are on us—let’s get to work.

READ MORE: 9 Ways to Get Involved in Georgia’s Runoff Elections if You Call the State Home