By Tia Lynn Ivey
Revered Raphael Warnock, born in 1959, holds the pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, Ebenzer Baptist in Atlanta. Warnock grew up in Savannah, along with 12 siblings and is the son of a military veteran, preacher and small business man. He is a graduate of Morehouse College.
According to Warnock, he threw his hat in the race for U.S. Senate, to fight on behalf of “the least of these,” a biblical term for society’s most vulnerable, oppressed and exploited.
Warnock supports a federal minimum wage of at least $15 per hour. He advocates for higher wages for the working class and equitable employment practices.
Like Ossoff, Warnock wants every American to have healthcare regardless of financial status. Warnock is pro-choice, but wants to reduce abortion through free access to birth control, enhanced sex education programs for teenagers, and pursuing sustainable economic opportunities for women to raise their children.
He supports same-sex marriage, and wants greater gun safety regulations. Warnock wants to beef up efforts tackling sex and labor trafficking.
Warnock support “compassionate” immigration reform, calling the current system “broken.”
He opposes the construction of a border wall. Warnock hopes to shift the Opioid and Meth crises to a public health issue instead of a criminal justice issue.
He supports “restorative justice” policies, to bring “healing” to communities adversely affected by the war on drugs. He supports robust funding for unemployment and wants greater transparency around the Paycheck Protection Program . On criminal justice reform, Warnock supports funding the police but wants a higher standard of police accountability and transparency. He is against private prisons and supports “expunging arrest records for those arrested but not convicted of a crime to support their upward social mobility”. On education, Warnock proposes more funding for teachers and schools, reducing education costs and implementing student loan forgiveness programs. He also supports fully funded Pell grants, expanded Pre-K access and nutritional programs for students. Warnock is for revoking tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs abroad, supports made-in-America incentives and supports policies that benefit Georgia farmers. On climate change, Warnock wants environmental regulations to ensure “clean water and air for all Georgians.”
He is in favor of rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. He wants accountability for polluters. Warnock is in favor of large-scale infrastructure projects and investing in renewable and clean energy. He wants to connect Metro-Atlanta and South Georgia by constructing high-speed railways and expanding public transportation.
Warnock critics accuse him of being “anti-police,” “anti-military” and “divisive” based on snippets of sermons he’s delivered.
Warnock denies those accusations, arguing the clips are taken out of context and points to his efforts to work together with law enforcement officials to achieve criminal justice reform and community healing. He claims his politics are centered around ordinary, everyday working Americans.