Last week, Leader Stacey Abrams and Senator Raphael Warnock visited Georgia State University as a part of their campaign tour. The people who fought to get them there wasn’t the school’s administration. It was a bunch of students.
Students in pressed suits and members of the campaigns, but students nonetheless. Both events were hosted by the Young Democrats at Georgia State. They are a Democratic organization focused on the amplification of Democratic ideals and candidates to GSU’s student
body. Others working for the Warnock and Abrams campaign also helped out with running the events.
Warnock’s speech was on October 17, with students packed into the Speaker’s Auditorium as they listened to the senator’s words echo off the walls.
An overarching theme in Warnock’s speech was student loan debt forgiveness. The senator went to Morehouse College on what he called a “full faith scholarship.” Through financial aid, he was able to graduate.
While Warnock did push the president to cancel $10,000 of debt, even he admitted that the amount was a temporary solution to a greater issue.
“For decades, this has been a problem with the cost of college far outpacing the rest of the economy,” said Warnock.
He proposed to lower the cost of college as a whole and to increase the amount of Pell grants given. A pell grant is a financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid to the federal government.
Warnock stepped into office as the political climate around Georgia was changing. By a slim margin, Georgia voted in two Democrats into the Senate, which hadn’t been seen since 2000. Warnock urged his crowd to repeat those results this year. He wanted them to take to the polls, and to do so as early as possible.
Something that both Abrams and Warnock emphasized was the power of young voters.
“All of the great movements in the history of our country, have always been fueled by the passion and the idealism… of young people,” said Warnock.
Abrams had those young voters shouting her name as she stepped out of the black van. They swarmed her, parading down the Greenspace as they filed into the Speaker’s Auditorium.
Before Abrams’ speech, Makita Hemingway, the Democratic candidate for the Commissioner of Agriculture, talked about the Democratic candidates as a whole. The Commissioner of Agriculture governs over marketing and production of food.
To Hemingway, it wasn’t just about her getting elected, but about voting Democratic up and down the ballot.
Democratic Secretary of State candidate Bee Nguyen criticized the Republican-supported bill SB 202, and how it set barriers for the voting process. The bill criminalized giving water to voters and removed the “secure drop boxes” that voters used extensively during the pandemic.
“They understand that voting is the most powerful non-violent tool that we have,” said Nguyen. Abrams’ speech was only thirteen minutes long. The promises that she delivered to the audience were extensive.
Abrams openly attacked her candidate, governor Brian Kemp, accusing him of not using taxpayer funds to expand aid to Georgians. Georgia.gov said that Kemp’s tax cut, issued on April 26, will cut taxes from 5.75% to 4.99% in seven years. They say that a billion dollars went back into the hands of Georgians. Abrams claimed that the billion mostly touched the hands of Georgia’s wealthiest.