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Biden and Harris to visit Georgia, a battleground that paved way for agenda

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“I still feel the relief in the air,” said Mariama Davis, who recorded countless hours as volunteers for President and Vice President Kamala Harris. “We’re actually about to go back to a somewhat normal situation that we were used to before. So, honestly, I’m satisfied.”

Davis is among the voters who not only helped Biden lead Georgia, the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so since 1992, but also helped Democrats gain control of the Senate. Obtaining a majority in the upper house made the Covid-19 relief bill a reality.

For the first time since taking office, Biden and Harris are visiting Georgia on Friday, as part of a series of stops across the country, with the administration convening the “Help is Here” tour. Suddenly, the state has become one of the nation’s most fundamental battlefields, with one of the country’s biggest struggles for voting rights also underway.

Davis said he can feel like this $ 1.9 trillion relief plan is already lifting small businesses and their customers. She runs the hive, a store here in Atlanta.

“Just this week,” Davis said, “we’ve been gloriously overwhelmed by the numbers we’ve had.”

But the White House’s plan to promote Covid’s relief package took a black turn after a murder this week killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent. White House officials ended up canceling a planned night rally to help explain the benefits of the law.

Instead, the president and vice president will meet with Asian American leaders. Still, the White House has stopped saying that shooting is a hate crime, despite calls to do so.

While in Atlanta, Biden and Harris also plan to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meeting with experts the same day the administration says it will achieve its goal of administering 100 million doses of the vaccine. against coronavirus.

“We’re going to win this,” Biden said Thursday. “We’re well ahead of schedule, but we still have a long way to go.”

Biden will also meet with Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams. according to an administration official and an assistant to Abrams.

The White House said the rally, which was to be the first in a series of campaign events promoting the benefits of the law, will be postponed. But it was no coincidence that the location selected was Georgia.

For Biden and Harris, there is no similar state.

In November, Biden defeated President Donald Trump by about 12,000 votes, which were counted again and again during a series of post-election reviews. And in January, that victory became even sweeter for Democrats after Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff swept their second-round races, ending Republican control of the Senate.

“It makes me shudder to think what would have happened if Georgians hadn’t come out on historical figures and invested in the Senate,” said Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group.

Biden’s victory has been accompanied by considerable backlash, with Georgia Republicans trying to pass new laws to make voting difficult. A new and comprehensive voting bill introduced Wednesday would give the state broad powers over local election officials, set limits on weekend early voting and add voter identification requirements for absentee voting.

Ufot said he believes the Biden administration should speak louder about attempts in Georgia and across the country to restrict voting rights. He also hopes Biden will prioritize federal election reviews, which can only happen by eliminating the Senate filibuster.

“I think the president could say clearly and forcefully that neither side is in this debate and that there has been no widespread voting fraud,” Ufot said. “It could also provide coverage to some of the CEOs who are on the fence about whether or not to intervene in this matter.”

Ufot is among the progressive leaders who say they are pleased with the first two months of Biden’s presidency, but are eager to know concrete plans on more of their campaign promises, including a $ 15 federal minimum wage, which was withdrawn from the Covid relief bill.

Asked about the patient she had, she replied, “I have no patience at all. Our people suffer.”

Although a new season arrives here, with trees and flowers already in bloom, some previous courtyards are still dotted with Biden-Harris campaign posters. Two Inman Park neighborhood owners say they leave their blue and blue signs as a sign of support for Biden, who they say has allowed them to exhale after four years of Trump.

“It’s much more peaceful. There’s only one weight lifted,” said Kevin Randolph, a retired professor who supported Biden. “You can see it in the city; everyone is so euphoric.”

It is this euphoria that comes to life in conversations with Biden supporters like Davis, whose business literally benefited Georgia from turning blue.

“We saw an influx of orders from all over the country, because people wanted to support black companies, specifically in Georgia, as a way to give thanks,” said Davis, who runs his sister’s boutique.

He understands the urgency in the minds of some Democrats, who want Biden to start taking more progressive positions. But she said she is willing to spend some time with him.

“Everyone has to relax and be patient. Can we get to 100 days?” Davis said with a laugh as he closed the store one night this week. “Everything doesn’t happen overnight, and people know it. It’s a government we’re talking about and they like to do things very slowly, which makes me nervous, but I’ll be patient.”

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