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Why the stakes are high in this year’s elections

Antoine M. Thompson

We are a few days away from one of the biggest elections in our communities and country. After the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, low turnout and apathy led to many Democratic candidates losing the 2010 midterm elections which ushered in and legitimized 12 years of grievance politics and radical hate. Black communities and all fair-minded Americans are still reeling from ramifications of those elections.

There are many parallels between our current election season and 2010. In 2010 President Obama and Democratic leaders were besieged by Tea Party candidates at a time when communities of color were just beginning to see glimmers of hope. The Tea Party candidates claimed they wanted to take back their country and stop Obama Care. They were successful at taking control of key federal and state offices, which in turn derailed much of President Obama’s agenda.

In 2022, many Democratic officials are fighting against candidates that deny the fact that President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election.  Many of these candidates want to eliminate women’s reproductive rights, affirmative action, civil rights, and laws that protect the environment and consumers. This is all happening at a time when there are more minority and women candidates running as firsts in major offices across the county. In Maryland there is Wes Moore for governor, Kathy Hochul for governor of New York, Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia, and Karen Bass for mayor of Los Angeles.

The risk is too great if you don’t vote in 2022. Student loan debt forgiveness is at risk, increasing the number of Black federal and state judges is unlikely as many won’t get confirmed. Civil rights, fair housing, minority business programs, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, environmental justice, as well as funding for schools and health care will all be under attack.

We have seen this movie before but this time we have the power to change its ending. Furthermore, this election is setting the groundwork for the remainder of the Biden-Harris administration and the future of local, state and federal priorities for the next five to 10 years. We must all vote in 2022. The future of our families, communities and the country are at stake!

Antoine M. Thompson is a guest writer and a former NYS Senator. He is a partner in Creative PMO, LLC a speaker, author and real estate agent.

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