For Immediate Release
March 8, 2023
New Georgia Project Action Fund
Contact: (470) 485-7333, [email protected]
(Atlanta, GA) — In just one week, New Georgia Project Action Fund (NGPAF) and our affiliate, New Georgia Project (NGP), crossed the 10,000-voter-registration threshold, rallied for reparations in front of the Supreme Court, and helped stop a new attack on voting rights in Georgia. We at NGPAF are flexing our organizing muscle, putting the power of Georgians on full display, and proving that an odd year is far from an off year.
Last week started out with 45 revved up and committed Black student loan borrowers boarding a bus from Atlanta to D.C. with NGP’s C.L.E.A.R. Campaign (Cancel Loans for Education and Reparations). Georgia was in full force at the People’s Rally for Student Debt Cancellation on Capitol Hill as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the future of the President’s student loan forgiveness plan. “Georgia PULLED UP to D.C.,” said Maggie Bell, C.L.E.A.R. Campaign Lead Organizer. “We were so proud to stand with our national partners to remind SCOTUS that canceling student loan debt is a racial justice issue. Black borrowers take out 85 percent more in student loans than our white counterparts, and canceling student loan debt would be a form of reparations in a society still intent on holding Black folks back.” The NGP crew brought a fervent Southern energy and conviction to our nation’s capital, which landed them well-deserved national recognition, from the LA Times and USA Today to NBC Nightly News.
One day later, NGPAF’s policy team, which has been laser-focused on the Georgia legislative session since January, sounded the alarm about SB 221—a dangerous omnibus voting rights bill that was making its way through the GA State Senate. “My team and I are constantly monitoring what happens under the Gold Dome during session,” said Stepanie Jackson Ali, NGPAF Policy Director. “Because we stay ready, we were able to work with our grassroots partners and collectively activate rapid-response opposition to this bill to help stop it from moving forward.” With three weeks of legislative session remaining, NGPAF will apply this same vigilance and activation should any of our vote-suppressing elected officials attach the harmful provisions of this bill to other moving elections legislation.
By the end of the week, NGP celebrated another win: 10,000 voter registration forms collected since our 2023 VR program launched on MLK Day, less than seven weeks prior. Today, that number stands at 11,582. “It’s just mind blowing what my team has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” said Sean Mims, NGP Deputy Field Director for Voter Registration. “We are out in these streets every day registering voters and making sure folks know that your participation in our democracy doesn’t have to wait until an even-numbered election year.” Just over 80 percent of the people who have registered with NGP in 2023 identify as Black, and more than half are young Georgians, age 18-25—a result of our efforts to register eligible students at 75 high schools across the state, from Columbus to Savannah and Athens to Atlanta.
NGP and NGPAF’s organizing, field, and advocacy work never stops. Our accomplishments last week were extraordinary, but not exceptional. This is what we do. Day in and day out, we organize around relevant issues—from affordable healthcare to fair wages—and civically engage Georgians of all ages—from college students to their grandparents. Our work has garnered thousands of petition signatures and hundreds of in-person and online conversations with Georgians just this year. And it’s only March. NGP and NGPAF are revolutionizing “off-year” organizing and making clear that the work to ensure an engaged electorate in 2024 has already begun. We ready.