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    News 6 discusses Black women in politics with actress Kerry Washington

    The midterm elections are coming up on Nov. 8 in Florida, and News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts got the scoop with actress Kerry Washington, who’s pushing eligible Floridians to turn out to vote.

    The 45-year-old actress has performed 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 toward a political cause.

    Washington joined with Florida Rising — a statewide organization that aims to promote “economic and racial justice across Florida” — to discuss how Floridians “have a chance to disrupt systems that have historically disenfranchised Black communities.”

    “We’ve seen incredible progress for Black women in this country, right? Particularly in political office…” Washington said. “But in a country where Black women are not in the Senate, in a country where we’ve never had a Black woman as an elected governor, there’s no doubt that we are 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 see themselves represented in our government.”

    More than 160 Black women are up for positions in Congress and governorships during the upcoming midterms, and Washington said it’s necessary to be able to elect them.

    “It’s really a historic time in Florida, (having) this many Black women on the ballot,” Washington said.

    In the meantime, Washington is urging voters to show up at the polls and make their voices heard.

    “For me, it’s important to vote in every election,” Washington said. “I think sometimes, the presidential elections get all the attention and the splash, but really, midterm election, that’s when we have an opportunity to elect our local or state’s officials, and those are the people who have the biggest impact on our day-to-day lives.”

    Florida Rising Executive Director Andrea Mercado added on, saying that a handful of votes could make all of 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 are really coming down to the wire and I think really show that every vote really does matter,” Mercado said.

    Washington told News 6 that she doesn’t participate in civic engagement due to her career as an entertainer, but she still wants to do her civic duty as an American citizen.

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

    “When I have that microphone, I never want it to be to tell other people how to feel about the issues that matter to them,” she said. “I just want people to know they can have an impact on the issues that matter to them.”

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