Ashley Munson is THAT girl. She’s anointed, educated and well-informed concerning the political agenda of our nation. By day, Ashley works as the Senior Manager of advocacy at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and as Executive Director of the Illinois Black Collective INC. Ashley finds her purpose in being a lobbyist and activist, and talks with Real Times Media about the midterm election results, the Walker/Warnock runoff and “45”s decision to re-run for presidency in 2024.
Real Times Media: Ashley, there’s so much happening in the world politically. What is your current take on the midterm election results and what tone do you think it will set for our country moving forward?
Ashley Munson: You’re right, there is so much going on. Midterms, nationwide, set us up for a rocky ride into 2024. On a federal note, Republicans didn’t ride the wave as much as they hoped. Democrats showed up stronger than they imagined. Though there were wins for both democrats and republicans both parties should work diligently to secure votes as we enter into the presidential race. The tone that was set was unprecedented which emphasizes the need for both parties to work to build up better agendas and appeal to voters’ needs.
Now more than ever, it is important that we use our platform to encourage people to vote. That said, there is a runoff coming between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock. What is the most valuable piece of information you believe is important for our audience to know concerning this runoff?
The national climate has favored republicans – Georgia was a direct reflection of that. The country can swing in either way when thinking about the next set of elections. Georgia can be one example of what both parties should analyze and focus on; Black political power. It’s important to note both Black men and Black women showed up to vote despite all efforts to suppress the black vote. I would offer that this is an important election because of the political and demographic makeup of Georgia.
There was immense success found in young voter turnout this election. What can we share with young voters in hopes of not losing the momentum regarding the Walker/Warnock runoff?
I would encourage younger votes to know that they have the power to shape national agendas. Because of Georgia’s history, the run-off will draw conservatives to the polls. However, campaigns like Warnock are diverse and are appealing to a plethora of voters. This is an opportunity to elect someone who is progressive and supports a demographic that has been overlooked. Don’t lose hope in this historic election because there is still so much more to be done.
Then this happened, “45” announced his plans to run for presidency again in 2024. With this unfortunate announcement it has left many millennial African-American voters with mixed emotions on whether or not he will win their vote. How do you feel his run will affect those in under-resourced communities the most?
I think this may be an opportunity for under-resourced communities to vocalize their demands. Trump’s announcement will follow turmoil within the Republican Party. This may offer democrats the opportunity to mobilize these communities by providing concrete answers on how they will address communities needs. His announcement highlights the urgency of now and the importance of implementing a strategy to cultivate new and informed voters.
Lastly, now more than ever it is important that African-American voters pay attention to those running to win our vote. These elections not only affect us but those we are connected to. What should voters listen for?
Voters should look for political candidates that understand and highlight the needs of Black voters. Voters have to ask hard questions that get to the root of why candidates are actually running for office. It’s important to host town halls, visit offices and collaborate with like minded organizations that have the ability to showcase opportunities black people need. Additionally, Black voters have to, specifically locally and statewide, rally together to hold elected officials accountable. Voters should take the power they hold to create a black agenda that forces politicians to listen.
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