News 6 speaks to actress Kerry Washington about Black women in politics

The midterm election is coming up in Florida on November 8, and News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts got the news from actress Kerry Washington, who is urging eligible Floridanans to vote.

The 45-year-old actress has appeared in a number of films and television shows over the past few decades, including Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and Django Unchained.

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But now she’s working on a political cause.

Washington joined Florida Rising — a statewide organization aimed at promoting “economic and racial justice across Florida” — to discuss how Floridians “have an opportunity to disrupt systems that have historically disenfranchised black communities.”

“We’ve seen incredible advances for black women in this country, right? Especially in political office…” Washington said. “But in a country where black women don’t sit in the Senate, in a country where we’ve never had a black woman as elected governor, there’s no doubt that we’re still working toward equal representation.”

Washington said she believes it’s important to have more black women in office, stating that “all Americans deserve to be represented in our government.”

More than 160 black women are running for positions in congress and governor during the upcoming midterm elections, and Washington said it needed to be able to vote for them.

“It’s really a historic time in Florida to have so many black women on the ballot,” Washington said.

Meanwhile, Washington is urging voters to show up and make their voices heard.

“It’s important for me to vote in every election,” Washington said. “I think sometimes the presidential election gets all the attention and buzz, but really, the midterm elections give us an opportunity to elect our local or state officials, and they’re the people who have the biggest impact on our day — today lives.”

Florida Rising executive director Andrea Mercado added that a handful of votes could make all the difference in an election cycle.

“You have candidates who lost by 37 votes. So when you look at these local races — county commission, state legislature, school board — some of them really get to the point, and I think they really show that every vote really counts. ‘ said Mercado.

Washington told News 6 that she does not engage in civic engagement because of her career as an entertainer, but still wants to fulfill her civic duty as a US citizen.

While she said she supports causes like housing reforms, green energy initiatives and abortion protections, she told News 6 that she doesn’t want to use her platform to tell people how to vote.

“Once I have this mic, I never want it to tell other people what to think about the issues that are important to them,” she said. “I just want people to know that they can have an impact on the issues that matter to them.”

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