Ashley Munson this is THAT girl. She is experienced, educated and well informed about our nation’s political agenda. By day, Ashley works as the Senior Advocacy Manager at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Executive Director of the Illinois Black Collective INC. Ashley finds her purpose in being a lobbyist and activist and talks to Real Times Media about the midterm elections. the results, the Walker/Warnock run-off and the decision by “45” to run for president again in 2024.

Real Times Media: Ashley, there is so much going on in the world politically. How do you feel about the results of the midterm elections and what tone do you think they will set for our country going forward?

Ashley Munson: You’re right, there’s so much going on. Midterm elections across the country have set us up for a rough ride in 2024. On a federal note, Republicans haven’t been riding the wave as much as they’d hoped. The Democrats turned out to be stronger than they imagined. While there have been wins for both Democrats and Republicans, both parties must work hard to win votes as we enter the presidential race. The tone that was set was unprecedented, underscoring the need for both parties to work to create better programs and address the needs of voters.

Now more than ever, it’s important that we use our platform to encourage people to vote. However, there is a runoff between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock. What is the most valuable piece of information that you feel is important to our audience regarding this second round?

The national climate favored the Republicans – Georgia was a direct reflection of this. The country can turn in one direction or another, thinking about the next election. Georgia may be one example that both parties should analyze and focus on; Black political power. It is important to note that both black men and black women came out to vote despite all attempts to suppress the black vote. I would say that this is an important election because of the political and demographic makeup of Georgia.

The turnout of young voters in these elections was a huge success. What can we share with young voters in the hope of not losing momentum for a Walker/Warnock runoff?

I would urge young voters to know that they have the power to shape national agendas. Because of Georgia’s history, the runoff will draw conservatives to the polls. However, campaigns like Warnock’s are diverse and appeal to a wide range of voters. It’s an opportunity to elect someone who is progressive and supports a demographic that has been overlooked. Do not lose hope in this historic election because there is still much to do.

Then it happened, “45” announced his plans to run for president again in 2024. The unfortunate announcement left many African-American millennial voters with mixed emotions about whether or not he would win their votes. How do you think his escape will have the greatest impact on those living in under-resourced communities?

I think this could be an opportunity for under-resourced communities to voice their demands. Trump’s announcement comes after upheaval in the Republican Party. This can give Democrats an opportunity to mobilize these communities by providing concrete answers to how they will address the needs of the communities. His announcement underscores the urgency of the moment and the importance of implementing a strategy to educate new and informed voters.

Finally, now more than ever, it is important that African American voters pay attention to those who are fighting to win our vote. This election affects not only us, but also those with whom we are connected. What should voters listen to?

Voters should look for political candidates who understand and emphasize the needs of black voters. Voters have to ask tough questions that get to the heart of why candidates are actually running for office. It’s important to hold town halls, visit offices, and partner with like-minded people who have the ability to demonstrate the opportunities black people need. Additionally, black voters, particularly locally and statewide, must rally together to hold elected officials accountable. Voters must take the power they have to create a black agenda that makes politicians listen.

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