Proceeds from this sweater go towards swinging the Georgia senate race

Dana Veraldi’s latest illustration depicts voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

by Jack Sunnucks
18 December 2020, 12:00pm

Designer Dana Veraldi’s latest drop of T-shirts and sweaters are emblazoned with the smiling face of Stacey Abrams, whose tireless work on voter initiatives had a huge influence in swinging Georgia for Biden this November. Now, the runoff elections in Georgia for the US Senate -- which are held when neither candidate wins a majority -- are set to decide whether the Upper House will be held by the Republicans, or split 50-50 with the Democrats, allowing VP Kamala Harris to cast the deciding vote. 2021’s politics are evidently set to be just as dramatic as the year we prefer not to mention. 

With this in mind, all profits from Dana’s Stacey merch will be split evenly between Stacey Abrams' voting rights organisation Fair Fight, and the election campaigns for Georgia’s Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock. 

Below, Dana tells us about the impetus behind the drop, which you can buy both on her website and via Complexland

Briefly, what's at stake in Georgia and what does it mean for the future of the USA? 
The Georgia senate runoff election is on January 5. Runoff elections are held when no candidate wins the required majority of votes. Reverend Raphael Warnock is challenging Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in one election, and Republican Senator David Perdue is being challenged by Democrat Jon Ossoff. According to Stacey Abrams, "This is a state that is almost evenly divided. The presidential election was decided by fewer than 12k votes. But what's at stake isn't divisive, what's at stake is relief for our communities." 

Stacey has founded the organisation Fair Fight to fight voter suppression and help encourage voter turnout. The outcome of this election is important because it will affect how a massive amount of money is spent on the next coronavirus stimulus bill (which helps struggling businesses and jobless workers); determine fixes to the Affordable Care Act to make healthcare more affordable; increase minimum wage; and aid in Biden's plan to increase spending on climate change, education and affordable housing after the coronavirus crisis is over. Republicans currently have a two-seat advantage, which means they only need to win one of the two Georgia races to retain control of the Senate. 

If Democrats win both seats, the Senate will be split 50-50, with incoming Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote for de facto Democratic control. I believe it is crucial for the Democrats to take control of the Senate by winning this election so that Biden can carry out his ambitions.

What did you want to come through in your drawing of Stacey? 
Stacey is a strong, charismatic and resilient leader. I hope I captured her special spirit in this portrait and that you are as proud to wear it as I am!

Things are slightly grim for our readers in lots of countries right now. Have you got a reason to be hopeful? 
I am hopeful for our future, one small step at a time. There are little things we can all do in our daily routine to care for each other, the earth and our future generations. Personally, I think about my six-month-old niece, Reese, and imagine a world I want her to live in. She gives me a reason to continue to do my best to educate others, remain grateful for what I have and strive for a better future for all. 

Stacey Abrams