Atlanta’s Black-owned restaurants are partnering to encourage Georgians to vote while offering discounted meals and raising funds for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dec. 18 through Jan. 5, the Vote for the Soul of Georgia initiative serves as a win-win for all involved. On those dates, anyone who cast their ballot in the Jan. 5 runoff election (early or on Election Day) can go to a participating Black-owned restaurant and receive food and drink specials and discounts only offered to voters who show their "I'm a Georgia voter" sticker.
Also, those who vote via absentee ballot can help the campaign through an online tip jar which provides essential workers and restaurant employees with additional funds for the holidays. The restaurant and hospitality industries have been among businesses hit the hardest by the pandemic.
The campaign was inspired by longtime District 5 U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, a civil rights icon who died in July.
“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble,” Lewis said. “Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.”
Chef Todd Richards is serving as Vote for the Soul of Georgia’s spokesman.
“Our communities work best when we all vote – for change and for each other,” he said in a news release. “The support we have all shown each other during the last nine months of crisis must carry into the new year with this (runoff election) and beyond. Our restaurant wouldn’t be standing without our community. I encourage everyone to do their civic duty and then go support their favorite Black-owned restaurant.”
For more information or to view a list of participating restaurants, visit www.soulofga.com.