Atlanta Needs to Swipe Right on Jon Ossoff

With all that’s going on in our country, a feeling of helplessness among progressive or in-need communities can wash in like the tide. And yet, like the tides, this feeling recedes and it becomes incredibly clear what must be done: Vote our informed hearts out. That’s just what Jon Ossoff, the democrat running for the House of Representatives seat in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, wants us to do.

Jon Ossoff, a millennial in his early thirties, has already raised $3 million dollars through grassroots efforts towards his campaign by early March and comes equipped with a highly applicable resume. He was born and raised in and around Georgia’s sixth district and spent time interning for Georgia’s 5th District Representative and civil rights legend, John Lewis (who recently, officially endorsed Ossoff). Ossoff worked as a national security staffer and aide to Rep. Hank Johnson for 5 years until most recently becoming managing partner and CEO of Insight TWI, a business which produces investigative films targeting corruption and organized crime.

Georgia’s sixth district includes many northern Atlanta suburbs—parts of eastern Cobb County, northern Fulton County and Northern Dekalb County. This district touches all or some portion of the cities of Johns Creek, Tucker, Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, and Dunwoody. I spoke with two Ossoff campaign volunteers, Michael and Shola, about what makes this campaign different.

Shola laid out the context for Ossoff’s campaign: “Tom Price won this seat most recently by more than 20 points. He had been the incumbent for a while, and before [Price], this district had been represented by GOP members since the [party switch]. Newt Gingrich was the representative for a long time before Price, if that gives you a sense of this district’s values. So there was never really an option for a democratic to win before, but Trump only won this district by 1 point. There is clearly a shift in demographics and ideals in this district and there hasn’t been this opportunity in decades. The Ossoff campaign has identified with this shift.”

The Ossoff campaign, which seems to have the momentum necessary to be a viable campaign in this special election, also seems more than capable of fending off attacks from the right. “Jon Ossoff is in his early 30s, he’s a millennial and he might be the first democrat in Georgia’s 6th in 30 odd years. When you first meet him, you can kind of see that he’s aware of how young he is,” Michael explained. He continued, saying that “[Ossoff] is working really hard to overcome that gap in confidence because he’s younger.”

Ossoff’s platform is built on bipartisanship, rational approaches to national security, bringing jobs to his district, and being the antithesis of Trump’s GOP. He is, according to Shola, “a consummate politician” who also has the grit, drive, and progressivism that she feels embodies the millennial generation.