by Carjamin Scott on March 25, 2019, at 10:05 p.m. CST
I had the pleasure of attending a lecture featuring politician, author, and attorney Stacey Abrams. Abrams is best known for a complicated loss to the Governor’s race in Georgia where incumbent, Brian Kemp was accused of manipulating the votes since he served as Secretary of State during the race with Abrams. The Secretary of State position gave him oversight of the election of which he was a candidate.
Abrams, began the lecture saying, “I am here because I am not the Governor of Georgia.” Unlike most candidates, Abrams was contracted to write a book about the campaign while campaigning. Her book, ‘Lead from the Outside’ is a memoir on how to get power, access to resources, and overcome failure.
Abrams said, “People like us, (outsiders) are afraid of opportunity because we don’t want to mess it up. When we mess up, we fear that there is no recovery because we are so limited in many spaces. Oftentimes we are unwillingly representing an entire culture and community which brings upon unwanted pressure.”
When Abrams told her family and friends that she wanted to run for the Governor seat she faced much criticism. “I can’t invest in you because I don’t believe in you enough,” some alluded. “You’re qualified Stacey, but do you realize that you are a woman and you are black?” others said to her.
Abrams still ran and although her loss was controversial, she said, “My moment of darkness wasn’t for me. My book, ‘Lead from the Outside’ is important because that’s where a lot of folks are.”
As mentioned during the lecture and reported by the New York Times, Abrams received 25% of votes from whites and 38% of votes from republicans. Additionally, she was able to triple Latino voter turnout and increase youth and black voter turnout. She got more votes than any other democrat seeking the Governor position. “On Election Day, we knew we had done something unprecedented. Then, as the final counts were tallied scenario Z happened. There was a concern about the election; so, I had the every vote should count speech.”
At that moment, before the final results were tallied, Abrams believed that it was her responsibility to rally voters, especially those who felt the system failed them and the republican voters who believed in her enough to vote against their own party.
Then, Brian Kemp was announced as governor. She admitted that she was angry and sometimes still is. “Revenge is cathartic, I had to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I had to work towards changing the infrastructure that allowed this to happen.” Abrams continued. “You fix problems, you don’t wallow in them.”
Now, Abrams is working to change the voting system and has launched Fair Fight Action. Her organization works to end the systematic repression of voter access and to bring awareness to the public on necessary election reform.
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Carjamin Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie.