Before, during and after the Nov. 8 midterm election in Georgia, Capital B Atlanta will be speaking with Black voters to hear your thoughts and share your stories. From the campaign trail to local events, “What Black Voters Are Saying” wants to document the issues most important to you. Want to share your story? Hit up politics reporter Chauncey Alcorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s rights in Georgia and the nation have been at the forefront of political discussion this midterm election season.
Landmark decisions such as the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade — which led to Gov. Brian Kemp enacting one of the most stringent abortion laws in the country — and Wellstar closing Atlanta Medical Center could have dire implications for Black women in the metro area.
Capital B Atlanta has been talking to Black female voters across metro Atlanta to learn about their biggest concerns this upcoming midterm election season. What we have found is that key issues extend beyond reproductive rights, and include housing, Medicaid expansion, and cost of living.
Here’s what they had to say.
Jasmine Clark, 28, entrepreneur, south Atlanta
“It’s so hard being a Black woman right now in this state and knowing that we are considered second-class citizens. I know women who have had abortions, and no matter what their reasoning was, a common thread was that the decision was made for the betterment of their predicament which led to better outcomes in their life.
“Abortion care is more than just a woman’s issue, and that’s the problem right there with a decision like this. No one considered how this would trickle down to all members of the community. I already know who I’m voting for this election season, and I hope that they will work every day to reverse the damage already done by the decision to limit abortion care for Georgia’s women.”
Donielle Curtis, 42, accountant, Buckhead
“My biggest concern is definitely the cost of living. … I just want a governor who recognizes that us working-class Georgians are struggling right now. We need higher pay wages, affordable housing, affordable food, and a government that can find ways to support that in a long-term plan … not just because they need our votes right now.”
Jackie, 50, retail, East Point
“On the local level, my biggest concern is legacy Black homeowners facing threats of eviction, and new Black homeowners never having the opportunity to purchase because of the gap that is being created. I read in the news recently that interest rates on homeowners are the highest they have ever been. If the housing market is unaffordable for the average white person … just imagine what that means for Black people.”
Ann Mae Daniels, 70, retired, West End
“I’m worried about Medicaid and access to affordable health care. When you live to be my age, you just want to know that you are secure. … You have worked on a job day in and day out for a lifetime, and the last thing you want is to be worried about what happens to you if you can’t afford to go to the doctor for a checkup because the government has rescinded your coverage benefits.”
“It takes a village, and people don’t understand that a village should be available through all stages of life. We need lawmakers who understand the value in that and what it takes to maintain that village.”
Athena Powell, 50, corporate manager, College Park
“Our fundamental rights as Black women are not protected here in Georgia. We are underpaid and fed up. They don’t protect us in the workplace, the health care system, the law system, or any system created in this state’s government that is supposed to be equal and serve all its people. We need politicians who are willing to help, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
“We are second-class citizens, and they say we are ‘the city that is too busy to hate,’ but that’s far from the truth. It seems like to me, we are the city too busy to care about all of its people.”
Margaret Steele, 52, homemaker, north Atlanta
“I’m concerned about the hospital closures, because when a hospital closes, the first person who is affected is the Black person. I live in a neighborhood where we have access to three world-class hospitals. Yet, there are predominantly Black neighborhoods inside and outside of Atlanta that don’t have access to one single hospital within a 10-minute driving radius.”
“That means that the community doesn’t have easy access to emergency services, general or specialized care, and as a city and state, we have decided that is OK.”