Georgia is ground zero in the battle for the balance of power in Washington, D.C., as control of the U.S. Senate now hinges on the outcome of the two Senate runoff races in the Peach State. With the Senate majority leadership within his reach, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently declared, “Now we take Georgia, and then we change America.” Stacey Abrams is working overtime to make Schumer’s goal a reality. The failed gubernatorial candidate teamed up with a slew of pop and Broadway singers including Justin Timberlake, John Legend, and Audra McDonald for a livestream concert on Thursday to raise money for her left-wing Georgia voting initiative.
The end goal of the Georgia runoffs is to “change America,” Abrams reportedly said. Her words echo those of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has also said that the runoffs are about changing America. “Now we take Georgia, and then we change America,” he said.
“Rock the Runoff,” hosted by Scandal star Kerry Washington, served as a fundraiser for Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight PAC, whose stated goal is to “mitigate voter suppression” and to make sure “every American has a voice in our election system.” Abrams has blamed voter suppression on her electoral loss of Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in 2018, though she has never formally conceded.
The official invitation states: “COVID-19 has fundamentally altered the way Americans work, live, and vote. Ahead of the January 5 runoff election, we have been fighting to ensure that Georgians will be able to cast their ballot and have the resources they need to vote.”
Kerry Washington reportedly helped kick off the concert by alleging that voting rights have “been historically withheld from minority groups,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Proceeds will help mitigate voter suppression & mobilize Georgians for the election on Jan. 5
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) December 2, 2020
Stacey Abrams later took the spotlight to claim victory in the presidential election. “Here in Georgia, we got it done on November 3rd,” she reportedly crowed. But she added that much work remains to be done. “We need your help to protect voting rights and elect progressive leaders,” she said, adding that the runoff elections remain critical. “We can and must come together to decisively elect these candidates.”
Abrams also said her goal is to “change America” with the runoff elections. “Every voice matters and every voice counts,” she reportedly said. “This concert, this moment, is about you.”
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) December 4, 2020
Democrat challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are aiming to unseat Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Among the performers on Thursday was five-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, who reportedly sang “Georgia on My Mind.” Justin Timberlake teamed up with Ant Clemons to perform their new song, “Better Days” while Legend performed “Never Break,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Other singers who appeared in the livestream include Michael Stipe, Common, as well as Broadway stars Ben Platt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Billy Porter, and Idina Menzel.