Member Highlights: Scott Saddlewhite

How long a member?

I've been along for the entire ride. As a founding member, I was a part of the formation discussions that from my perspective began in 2014, but actually started well before that. It was in 2015

, of course, when the group was incorporated and hired Meg Robinson, the first Executive Director.


What compels you to support this work?

The motivating forces have changed some for me as the landscape has shifted over the years, or at least as my perception of that landscape has shifted. It began for me as a quest for better state policies as they affected the poor and under-resourced in our state. Since then, I've become more immersed and have benefitted from having met people more experienced and thoughtful in the progressive movement than myself. Also, the last several years have laid bare the truth of the forces underlying these policy failings as essentially racially motivated. I now view support for this work as a necessity in perpetuating this ongoing experiment in democracy itself.

Coalition accomplishments?

One of the goals at the beginning was an assessment of the movement's capacity to organize and motivate people that would benefit from more progressive government in the state to register, become educated on issues, and to vote. At that time, the assessment was pretty bleak. Since then, we've created a C4 table and affiliated it with America Votes, we've created a candidate recruitment and training hub, and we're now bootstrapping a new communications hub to benefit the entire ecosystem of organizing groups that work to empower people in communities. It is this gap filling over the past six years that I'm most proud of. These are investments that last and provide leveraged benefit cycle to cycle.

How about the upcoming mid-terms?

It's human nature to overweight the importance of the present moment, and so even with respect to that truth, I think these upcoming mid-terms are of critical importance to Georgians, for the South, and for the nation as a whole. The civic/political environment is rancorous in the extreme, which is to be expected at turning points. It will last well past 2022, but I think these elections in Georgia will reveal a tipping point in the South that will gain momentum over time. We have to push it all out on the table now. Can't hold back or leave anything on the field.