Tuesday night saw three spectacular victories for progressive politics in Athens, Georgia, and for Athens for Everyone. Democrats Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace, both of whom are Athens for Everyone members, flipped formerly Republican State House seats in districts 117 and 119.
Clarke County also voted 3-to-1 for TSPLOST, a 1% sales tax that will fund much needed transportation projects. Athens for Everyone campaigned for both candidates and the TSPLOST, both online and in the streets, with our members putting in hundreds of hours phone banking and going door to door. We could not be more proud of our members’ hard work and our donors’ vital support.
Athens votes for TSPLOST in a landslide
Transit has been a core issue for Athens for Everyone since our inception. Three Athens for Everyone members served on the TSPLOST committee, deliberating for months on the details of the initiative and advocating that it include the maximum number of progressive projects. By winning in a stunning landslide, TSPLOST proves we choose to be a bikeable, walkable city, with transportation choices that empower us all. Athens won sidewalks, bike lanes, and the project A4E’s called for most passionately: a bus route up US-29, serving the DMV, the VA clinic, and the largely Latinx community of Pinewoods.
Bold, Progressive Platforms Win in Districts 117 and 119.
From the beginning, Athens for Everyone encouraged and supported Gonzalez and Wallace in adopting their final progressive platforms. With their support of Medicare-for-all, $15 an hour minimum wage, marijuana legalization and ending mass incarceration, and protecting immigrants from right-wing attacks, Gonzalez and Wallace showed us that candidates win when they stand up for bold progressive policies.
Grassroots Beats GOP Cash in Gonzalez Victory
Deep-pocketed Trump supporters and our city’s technically Democratic (though now removed from the county committee) mayor, Nancy Denson, united to back Gonzales’ opponent Houston Gaines. But despite a massively expensive campaign, these conservative forces were soundly defeated by a passionate grassroots Get Out The Vote effort. Athens for Everyone campaigned for and promoted Gonzalez tirelessly. Our members committed hundreds of hours engaging voters on foot and on the phone.
Stunning Upset by Wallace
In a district where Trump beat Clinton by 8 points last Fall, we were proud to deploy our resources to help achieve a decisive victory in House District 119 where many hoped for a runoff at best. Jonathan Wallace’s campaign also had several Athens for Everyone members in leadership roles. His campaign, like the other two, proves what can be achieved with progressive vision, dedicated organization, and hard work. At his victory celebration, Wallace thanked Athens for Everyone, saying “they had a ton of canvassers out working for us!”
This is Your Win.
Your donations helped make our contribution to this victory possible. Not only do they provide for resources such as office space, they also enable us to work with state-of-the-art and up-to-date data on the Athens Clarke-County electorate, which is essential to making the most of our efforts. Money alone cannot buy progressive change, though – as a volunteer-run organization, by far the most important contribution Athens for Everyone makes to our local political contests is the vision, dedication, and tireless work of our members.
Often politics feels like a force of nature, as if it were physics or the weather that pushes elections blue or red. At Athens for Everyone, we know that victory is built one dedicated activist at a time. The conservatism in Athens politics, long out of step with our proudly progressive residents, is on its way out. Bold progressivism will triumph. Athens for Everyone is proud of the supporting role we played in Tuesday’s ecstatic victories. We now look toward our local elections in May and the possibility of a truly progressive local government.
Want to become part of a movement?