On November 6, millions of Georgia residents will cast their vote for a new governor, and Stacey Abrams is hoping to clinch the victory with the help of Georgians who are eager for change.
Earlier this year, Abrams made history by becoming the first black woman to win the gubernatorial nomination of a major political party, but according to a new poll by Landmark Communications, Abrams is still in a tight race with Republican Brian Kemp, with Kemp leading Abrams 48-46 among likely Georgia voters. But if there’s one thing about Abrams that rings true, she’s not going to let those numbers stop her from going full steam ahead.
“We are reaching out to every community – including those traditionally ignored by campaigns – to share my plans on health care, education, and the economy. There are enough voters to turn Georgia blue in November, but it takes a commitment to directly reach out to Georgians across the entire state, not just those who have voted in the past,” Abrams told ESSENCE.
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“For years, there have been Georgians who do not vote because we have failed to give them a reason to. Georgians deserve a leader and a state government that strives to work for them,” she continued.
But will Georgians actually head out to vote for Abrams? Although Abrams won the primary with 76.5 percent of the vote, the Republican influence on the state is still there, especially since Donald Trump won Georgia, and the state hasn’t had a Democratic governor in over 15 years.
“Georgians are ready for a progressive leader with bold plans to expand access to quality healthcare, improve our public schools, and create good-paying jobs in every corner of the state. I am the only candidate with detailed plans to create tangible, positive change for Georgia, and that’s exactly the sort of reason that voters are looking for to come to the polls,” Abrams said.
When asked what would be her first priority as governor, Abrams says she’s starting with Medicaid. Abrams says the expansion of Medicaid will not only provide coverage to a half million people, but it will also create 56,000 jobs. Abrams also wants to prioritize public education, “to prevent more siphoning of public money away from public schools”. But what’s most impressive about Abrams’ goals if she becomes governor is her plan to boost the economy by the way of small businesses.
“Under my leadership, Georgia’s economic mission will be to help grow small businesses in rural, urban, and suburban communities. To build a thriving and diverse economy, we will expand access to capital, support training programs at every level, encourage expansion into non-traditional industries, and promote policies to expand entrepreneurial opportunities,” Abrams said.
Abrams went on to say that her own experience has enabled her with the right tools to make her plan a success, and providing entrepreneurs, and people of color access to funding is key.
“I am uniquely qualified to lead on this issue; early in my career, I learned first‐hand how access to capital can spur a small business and how the lack of funding can kill an entrepreneur’s dream. This is especially true for women and people of color who have traditionally been left behind. When my own small business failed due to lack of capital, I founded NOWAccount to help solve that problem for other entrepreneurs,” she continued.
Although it’s impossible to call an election, even if Abrams doesn’t win, she’s definitely going to keep on thriving in the political world, especially when it comes to serving her community, and she credits her upbringing for that.
“My parents made service a way of life for all six of their children. If someone was less fortunate, it was our job to serve that person. Because of that upbringing, I am committed to serving my community in some capacity. I have founded civic organizations such as the New Georgia Project, a non-profit that registers eligible Georgians to vote and submitted more than 200,000 voter registration forms—predominantly from people of color—between 2014 and 2016. I also co-founded NOWaccount, a financial services firm that helped small businesses grow. I have always been—and always will be—committed to serving others and ensuring every family can succeed,” Abrams said.
On November 6, Abrams hopes that voter turnout with bode in her favor, and who knows, maybe she’ll make history once again.
“For years, there have been Georgians who do not vote because we have failed to give them a reason to. Georgians deserve a leader and a state government that strives to work for them,” she said.
To learn more about Abrams, visit her site.