Ahead of the Jan. 5 senatorial runoff, there’s a hunger for change

Before Christmas, there were sightings of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus on the road on both sides of the Flint River. It was likely Commissioner Young and Sherrell Byrd, the co-chairperson of SOWEGA Rising, an Albany-based advocacy group.

Commissioner Young let his already gray beard grow longer, and the duo donned gold-embroidered Santa suits and dispensed candy canes. For added effect, elves distributed voter literature on issues rather than candidates.

Their stops, which were spent listening to community concerns and urging people to vote early, were mainly at housing projects in Black neighborhoods in Blakely and Cairo where they played Black Christmas standards like James Brown’s “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” over a sound system.

“As we rode around we saw there are still folks living pretty much the same way they lived in the early ’60s,” Young says, referring to the time before the passage of the Voting Rights Act and the War on Poverty policies enacted under President Lyndon Johnson.

Read the article on Salon.com