December Newsletter

Volume 3.3
December 17, 2020

On Monday, December 14, 2020, what should have been an ordinary event gave me a remarkable sense of hope.  At 8:30 a.m., I went to an early voting site and cast my vote in the Senate runoff election for the State of Georgia.  This civic action signaled for me that our horrific 2020 national election season would soon be officially over.  After I submitted my ballot, I felt like others who were in line before me, one of whom raised her arms in obvious joy and shouted for the rest of us, “Hallelujah! ! ! !”  I shared her relief. 

That same day, a second event deepened my sense that, quite soon, some rationality might just be returning to our lives.  December 14th was also Electoral College Day—an occasion in previous Presidential elections that has gone by with little fanfare.  For the 2020 election, however, deep and outrageously divisive politics surrounded this year’s process, and the work of the electors received almost play by play attention in the media.  In the end, both the counting of electoral votes and the official announcement of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as President-Elect and Kamala D. Harris as Vice President-Elect of the United States of America became, quite clearly, moments important to witness.  With this extraordinary witnessing of an ordinary American democratic process, I felt that my audible sigh of relief joined in with a nationwide chorus.  The effort to overthrow an election, including my very own votes, had failed.  A duly elected President and Vice President of the United States were finally and officially named. 

The third event was, in effect, the dramatic highpoint of this unusual configuration.  Unfortunately, it is not news to say that, since the beginning of 2020, we have experienced unspeakable suffering across our land and indeed around the world because of the insidious impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 virus.  On December 14th, we crossed a stunning threshold—over 300,000 of our fellow citizens have died during this pandemic.  On this day, however, an African American nurse in New York City, as a critical first responder, became presumably the very first person in the country to receive the newly FDA approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as an emergency protocol.  Moreover, this first injection was administered by a medical doctor who happened to be an African American woman.  The irony of this specific event was literally palpable for folks like myself who know about the deeply checkered history of healthcare for African Americans in the U.S. 
I say again that on Monday, December 14, 2020, I experienced what for me was a surprising and remarkable sense of hope.  My heart and soul were lifted: 1) by the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, with African American women symbolizing in quite a sobering way the launching of a crucial protocol for re-building the health of the nation; 2) by the naming of our new President-Elect and Vice President-Elect of the United States of America—as a deliberately democratic nation; and 3) by the remarkable affirmation that I felt in exercising my civil rights on the very first day of early voting in the final election of this unbelievable 2020 season (the Georgia Senate runoff).  With all of that said, ALL of the experts keep telling us that, while the light is indeed evident at the end of this tunnel, we still have a long way to go before we stabilize ourselves.  The nightmare is not yet over.  They appeal to all of us to be patient. 

Well, I have never managed to be a patient person.  I keep trying, but I am just not that.  What I am, though, is persistent.  In this challenging situation, I believe that we can indeed use as much patience as we can muster, but what we really need is persistence.  We need to be ever-vigilant in doing every single thing that we can:  to preserve the democratic principles on which our nation was founded and has endured for almost 250 years; to exercise our rights of citizenship—for all, not just for some; and, most of all, to keep ourselves alive and well with our hearts and heads set on justice until every single person in our nation and around the globe can be vaccinated against this horrific disease and we can all get on with figuring out how to live together in peace and in prosperity. 

On Monday, December 14, 2020, I could see more clearly a faint glimmer of light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel that the year 2020 has been for us all.  Thank goodness for people who do their jobs, all sorts of jobs, honorably regardless of outrageous challenges.  Thank goodness for citizens who understand the necessity of civic engagement and vote—no matter what.  Thank goodness for scientists and other experts who relentlessly put their knowledge, experience, and creativity to good use on behalf of global humanity.  Thank goodness for people who understand that patience is a virtue and that persistence in doing what must be done is a necessity.  Thank goodness for the sparks, from wherever they might arise, that keep our nation’s commitments as a democratic nation alive and true to the quest for a more perfect union.  I end today with a list below of some links to information from credible sources that may help us, in this case, to hold on and to keep doing what we can do.
The very last point to be made is that the year 2020 is fast coming to an end:
Ever onward,

Jackie Royster
CEO, Communities Who Know, Inc. ™
Important Links
COVID-19 Related Website Links

Explanation of Available Vaccines

State of Georgia
General Information

Georgia Department of Health
The Georgia Covid Vaccine Plan

Small Business Association
General Information:  https://www.sba.gov/  
Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

FAQs about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia

Senate Runoff Related Website Links
Office of the Secretary of State

General Information

My Voter Page (to check voter status)

Early Voting

Fair Fight

BB&T now Truist is offering a free virtual workshop for small businesses to learn quickbooks accounting software. The workshop will be led by speaker is Michele M. Wright (pictured above), who is an ambitious, results-driven leader with a 20+ year track record in helping businesses succeed by preparing financial reports, budgets, forecasts and operational process improvements. She has built solid partnerships working with large and small companies and has helped global companies find their success through responsible money management. The workshop is the last in a series for small businesses designed to help business owners:
  • LEARN  topics relevant to business in areas of finance, operations, human capital and more.
  • NETWORK  with subject matter experts, community leaders, business owners in related industries and potential referral sources.
  • GROW  your business, contacts and opportunities.

The free virtual workshop will take place on
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.

Register Now
Pre-order your vegetables and herbs from Truly Living Well for healthy meals during the holidays and throughout the pandemic. All CSA’s and Produce Boxes will be pre-packaged in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

You can shop online for CSA subscriptions, weekly produce boxes, and local goods. Orders placed by 6:00pm on Wednesday will be ready for pickup on Friday or Saturday. Click here to order now!
If you have announcements that you would like to share, please note two important points:
  • The old email account for Westside Communities Alliance has been closed.  Please direct messages and send flyers and announcements to:  communitieswhoknow2020@gmail.com
  •  Currently, the CWK Newsletter will be posted monthly – in the first half of the month. Please submit your flyers and other relevant information to the email address above – as close to the beginning of the month as possible. Thank you!
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