Bend the Arc on Georgia runoff wins: “We refused to give in to fear and division”

Bend the Arc on Georgia runoff wins: “We refused to give in to fear and division”

January 06, 2021

Wednesday, January 6
Contact: Logan Smith
[email protected]

Bend the Arc on Georgia runoff wins: “We refused to give in to fear and division”

ATLANTA – Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statements on Wednesday in response to Raphael Warnock's election and Jon Ossoff's apparent victory in their runoff elections for U.S. Senate in Georgia:  

From Annie Fortnow of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Atlanta

“Georgia has shown once again that when we stand up for each other with kindness and decency, no matter our religion, our race, or our zipcode, we can make history. 

In November, our people power helped flip our state blue for the first time in almost 30 years. And now that shift appears to be complete, with the election of our state’s first Black U.S Senator and first Jewish U.S. Senator. We refused to give in to fear and division, and we worked to elect two leaders who represent the best of Georgia: big hearts, grace under fire, who will fight for every person in our state. 

Now that the voters have spoken, our new senators can take on the issues that really matter to us – tackling the COVID crisis responsibly, protecting our democracy, and making sure we all have what we need to thrive in this country no matter our background. Our job isn’t over. We elected these new leaders, and now we will hold them accountable to the moral urgency of this moment.”

From Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

“In 2020, voters all over the country joined together to reject Donald Trump’s politics of division and fear. And this week, Georgia voters once again reached out across lines of race, religion, and geography to reject antisemitism and white nationalism and their champions at the ballot box: David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

In this race, Republicans deliberately placed barriers to keep people from voting while spreading lies. Instead of bringing Georgia together, the Perdue and Loeffler campaigns generated fear and division which leads directly to violence against Jewish people, immigrants, Muslim people, people of color, and too many others. But we won’t let selfish and self-interested politicians keep us divided and afraid.

Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff campaigned on the promise that this can be a country for all of us — where all of us can thrive, no matter what we look like, how we pray, or where we come from. In Georgia and across the country we’ve won something even bigger than the historic elections of 2020 and 2021 — we’ve won the chance to renew our democracy and build a new future together. We’ll show up for each other every time one of us is targeted for our differences. And every day we will work to create a country that’s truly for all of us, no exceptions.”

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action played a major role in highlighting David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler’s use of antisemitism and embrace of white nationalists including Loeffler’s photo with a former KKK leader, Perdue’s ad digitally enlarging Jon Ossoff’s nose, Loeffler’s history of associating with white nationalist figures, and her offensive attempts to exploit Jewish voters to attack her opponent.

Bend the Arc’s campaign work in the runoffs included a phonebank/textbank program similar to our Vote Out Fear effort in 2020 strategically targeting Jewish voters in Georgia. Bend the Arc volunteers made over 110,000 contact attempts during the runoff period, and filled over 200 volunteer shifts. Bend the Arc also ran a relational turnout program in Georgia to strengthen our relationships in the local Jewish community, with members tapping into their own family and friend networks to spread positive messages encouraging Jewish voters to vote for Warnock and Ossoff.

Bend the Arc also produced a digital ad featuring Jewish leaders in Georgia speaking about their support for Warnock and Ossoff, building on a successful “Jews for Warnock” effort launched in the primary to consolidate Jewish support for Warnock.

Additionally, Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC endorsed Warnock and Ossoff in the general election and raised $65,000 in grassroots donations for their campaigns in the runoffs, holding a virtual event with both candidates on December 21, 2020. 

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the United States.