ATLANTA _ “I am Georgia through and through!” U.S. Sen. Ralph Warnock (D-Ga) told the Atlanta Press Club this afternoon

By Tamara Banks

He seemed at right at home as he addressed the audience of journalists as part of the Press Club’s Newsmaker Series 2021. And that’s probably because Georgia is the junior senator’s home. Although he spends weekdays in his Washington, D.C. office he still preaches every Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once co-pastored.

The Senator was elected less than a year ago and says his mission and vision have not waned since campaigning in 2020.

Photos courtesy Phil Mistry PHIL FOTO

In addressing the issue of voter suppression, he said, “Everyone has the right to vote but not everyone has access to vote. We have to assure people that when they cast their ballot that it counts. When the people’s voices are heard, we’ll get policies right.”

He said that he supports President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan. “We need to repair crumbling bridges, roads, and expand mass transit. America needs a home improvement project.” He added that robust funding to Georgia and the nation’s infrastructure means job growth.

Photos courtesy Phil Mistry PHIL FOTO

As important as it is to repair streets and highways, Warnock said his top priority is preserving the country’s democracy which has been under attack since the last administration. “We need to repair the infrastructure of democracy. Working across the aisle to address voter suppression. Voting rights are what make it possible to address other issues like infrastructure and the pandemic.”

During the Question and Answer session, I asked Sen. Warnock to address the attack on the press, especially journalists of color. He said the media has a job to do to help make democracy work. “It is absolutely essential that we have a free press,” he said. “We have to make sure journalists have the ability to operate freely and are protected.”

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