Let's explain why the elections are so important - from the Black press's perspective

The upcoming 2022 Midterm elections seems to have candidates fighting on the playground in a sandbox, while the public watches in awe

By Black Headline News

Between the election ads broadcasting all day long on local TV, the internet, or election ads on billboards and buses, the significance of this year’s midterm election is a quaint storm on the bend, as the grunting elephant in the room is about to roar come this November 8, 2022, the day of the general elections nationwide.

So why is the midterm election such a big deal?

Most people worldwide are familiar with the U.S. presidential elections that happen every four years. But what happens in the midterm elections — so called because they come nearly two years into a president’s term — can have just as big an impact on the direction of the country.

Whoever controls the House or the Senate controls the agenda,” says Gary Nordlinger, a professor of politics at George Washington University.

The majority party determines who leads important congressional committees. A president’s ability to accomplish his agenda has everything to do with whether his party controls the two houses of Congress, says Nordlinger.

Most of the attention of midterm elections is focused on the two chambers of Congress: the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of the House are elected for two-year terms. Senators are elected to staggered six-year terms. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.

Thirty-nine state and territorial gubernatorial elections, as well as numerous other state and local elections, will be contested. The results will determine the 118th United States Congress. This will also be the first election affected by the redistricting which occurred after the 2020 census process.

Publishers nationwide have their input regarding this year’s midterm election:

California: By ONME News publisher, Julia Dudley Najieb

The California economy is still burdened with the high cost of living, to now extremely high gas prices—residents do not want another gas tax added this time. Instead, they are looking for ways to better than survive in an inequitable society of “haves” and “have nots.” Unfortunately, the divide is too wide between these two groups, and organizations like YIMBY and the local unions are speaking out about these matters that seem to constantly plague the California economy.

As these are just a few of the problems under the jurisdiction of elected officials, incumbent superintendent of public instruction, Tony Thurmond, will have to wrestle through the weeds to stay seated, as he explains to the public why the school system in California is barely holding up after the COVID-19 pandemic—they are still having a hard time getting these students back to school, especially the minority children.

Meanwhile, several contentious propositions have made their way to the ballot, propositions 26 and 27 has voters picking between an allegiance to the Native American casinos versus the post-benefits of online gambling, where funds could help local municipalities and schools.

And somehow, proposition 29 has made its way back to the election ballot, where kidney dialysis patients are on the brink of losing valuable benefits due to a bureaucratic fight that simply has them in the middle, unfortunately.

That’s why your vote truly matters this election …

Illinois: By Danielle Sanders, Managing Editor – Chicago News Weekly (

The United States has seen radical changes as it relates to civil rights and liberties. With new Supreme Court appointments, the nation's highest court now leans conservative. As a result, America has seen abortion bans, more restrictive voting laws, redistricting, and a renewed interest on limiting access to information as it pertains to what is taught in our nation's public schools. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, immigration rights, voting rights and the right to certain individual privacy laws have all been topics of great discourse and debate by the courts and government.

In addition, the continued effects of the COVID 19 pandemic have seen inflation numbers at their highest level in years. Black Americans are disproportionately affected when the country faces economic downturns.

There is much at stake in the November midterm elections with 35 Senate seats and every House of Representative seats up for grabs and Congress combined with 36 governorships and races in individual states. The midterm elections could shape the future of key issues, such as civil rights, voting rights, health care access, and more. The midterm results could also affect the 2024 presidential election, as the midterm elections could be a referendum on the Biden administration, and where Americans see the future of this country.

National/Youth: By Felicia Palmer -

While the artist Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, dominates the news cycle after his latest rant that has been called antisemitic, one of the most important elections of our time is in progress nationwide and most of his 18.4 million IG followers will not be counted. That’s because the hip-hop community is virtually absent from the conversation.

Aside from the ATL rap-activist Killer Mike, who just dropped a song with a brief reference to politics and a borderline NSFW PSA with trans-rapper Saucy Santana, discussions in the Hip-Hop community around the importance and impact of the midterm elections have been muted. This poses an urgent problem for democratic candidates that have historically been supported by the black community and hip-hop artists including Jay-Z, Beyonce and Chance The Rapper.

This year’s midterm elections see tight races across the country. All eyes are on Atlanta – the gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams(D) and Gov Brian Kemp(R) and the senatorial race between Raphael Warnock(D) and Herschel Walker(R) are favoring Republican or a toss-up.

On the issues, inflation, abortion and crime are key topics nationwide. President Biden has declared that he will federally protect abortion if his Democratic party controls the senate, a major carrot for reproductive rights activists.

Minnesota: By Charles Hallman, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

We informally spoke to Blacks, seeking if they are going to the polls or not – if they are what issues are important to them. If not, why not.

In no particular order, tired of rising crime, rising gas and food prices and empty promises often came up as Black Minnesotans’ top issues. Unfortunately we also learned that some Blacks see the midterms as a waste of time. Especially among some young Blacks who don’t think anything will ever change, two years after George Floyd.

Others are suffering from “Big Lie” fatigue, the lingering false belief that the 2020 election was fraudulent and the Nov. 8 will be just another ‘stolen’ election. Some candidates running as yet to publicly accept the results, especially if they lose.

A recent Minnesota Public Radio’s “Minnesota Now” midday program, host Cathy Werzer spoke to Duluth NAACP President Classie Dudley and Adair Mosley of the nonprofit Pillsbury United Communities, who produced a free voter guide online and in print. The main subject – what are top issues for Black Minnesotans and how they, if any, differ from other communities.

“There’s hot topic issues and single voter issues that we’ve always had in our community,” noted Dudley.

Mosley added, “Most of our communities are really strongly looking for public safety efforts – increasing access to jobs and employment for Black Minnesotans, supporting reentry efforts.”

“We know the issues. We know the statistics. We know the data. We can see it affecting our community,” surmised Dudley. “But what is the solution? And I haven’t seen a lot of candidates or a lot of rhetoric around that.”

Rising crime, especially in the Twin Cities, poor test scores by Black students in public schools since the COVID shutdown, is a concern as well as an apparent low police presence in Minneapolis neighborhoods. But who’s the blame?

Here in Minnesota, one political party points fingers in campaign mailings, outdoor billboards and broadcast debates at the other political party incumbents. Add to this the flood of negative advertising on television, paid for by outside groups supporting the extreme candidate, using lies and scare tactics as arguments for change, and little in the way of real solutions.

The main offices up for election Nov. 8 include: governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, U.S. Congress, state senate, state house, county attorney and school board. All judges this year who are incumbents are all running unopposed.

But seemingly this isn’t enough to convince a mad rush to the polls.

“Why should we vote?,” Barbershop Talk live streamed show host Andre Crockett reportedly asked Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the state’s first Black AG. Said Ellison, whose office brought charges and convictions of the four police officers involved with Floyd’s death, the first time this happened to police officers involved with a Black person’s death, “Somebody is going to be elected and you want whoever that person is to take your feelings, your hopes, your dreams into consideration. You want to elect people and have people elected whose value system reflects your value system.”

This election, just like all previous ones, has consequences good and bad. This election, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, has Democracy on the ballot as much as Democrats keeping the majority in the U.S. House and Senate, and as much as moving forward and away from extreme individuals who seem hellbent on power rather than legislating for the people they claim they want to represent.

According to Minnesota Compass, the Wilder Foundation’s data center broke down Minnesota into three geographic groups: the Twin Cities, the seven-county Twin Cities metro suburbs, and Greater Minnesota. Each group is solidly red or blue and doesn’t look to flip one way or another, no matter the issue.

According to the Minnesota State Demographer office, state residents of color between 2010 and 2018 have increased five times, especially in the metro area. POCs also make up 20 percent of the stare’s population.

If this is true, then one might think Nov. 8 is hugely important for so many reasons. But Crockett is among some Blacks who don’t see voter turnout to be very high.

If not for lack of information – the MSR recently published a four-part “Elections Under Attack” series that examined threats to our elections because of the Big Lie, with special emphasis on Minnesota. There are several POCs on the ballot either as incumbents (Ellison, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar as two examples) whose opponents are running on Big Lie theories or basically spending gobs of money spreading lies and misinformation. There is the GOP candidate for governor who won’t say they will accept the results if they lose. There is a GOP secretary of state candidate who brags that they are “the election denial in chief.”

Non partisan voter guides, such as the one produced by Pillsbury United Communities and are available both online and in print have been available since the August primaries for voters to get information in order to make informed choices before they vote. Early voting and absentee voting also has been available as well.

Voting is important. Maybe more so now than ever.