Stacey Abrams grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, one of six children whose parents had three tenets: go to church, go to school, and take care of each other. Her father, a shipyard worker, and mother, a college librarian, faced financial hardships of their own, yet they taught their children the value of service to others. No matter how much they struggled to make ends meet, Stacey and her siblings were taught that someone always had less and that it was their job to serve that person. Her parents were also steadfast in seeking the best possible educational opportunities – both for their children and themselves. Education and service, both which remain central to Stacey’s identity today, were the impetus for the Abrams family’s move to Georgia.
Stacey’s parents became United Methodist ministers after pursuing graduate studies in Divinity at Emory University. Stacey and her younger siblings attended DeKalb County public schools. She is a graduate of Avondale High School with degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.
A Relentless Changemaker Regardless of Title
Stacey did not win her groundbreaking 2018 campaign for governor, but she did not quit. She got right back to work because she understood that she didn’t need the title of governor to make a difference in the lives of Georgians. In between her two campaigns for governor, Stacey:
- Helped small businesses get the financing they needed to stay afloat
- Paid off the medical debt of 68,000 Georgians
- Raised funds to provide $1,000 checks to 100,000 families in need
- Helped expand access to COVID-19 tests and vaccines, especially in rural Georgia
- Advocated Medicaid expansion for 500,000+ Georgians and creation of 60,000+ Georgia jobs
- Convinced film executives to continue local productions and keep jobs in Georgia
- Delivered food and supplies to under-resourced food banks
- Supported families and communities that lost loved ones to gun violence
- Organized business leaders to take action on voting rights and the right to choose
- Developed progressive policy solutions for Georgia and other Southern states
- Campaigned and fundraised for progressive causes and Democrats in Georgia and beyond
- Founded top national voting rights organization focused on legislation, litigation and advocacy
- Launched and funded a 20-state program to recruit and train voter protection teams
- Provided funding to two dozen grassroots organizations mobilizing voters of color in Georgia
- Played a prominent role in Georgia Democrats’ historic 2020 and 2021 runoff victories
- Increased participation of hard-to-count populations for the 2020 U.S. Census
- Installed 100+ wireless internet stations across Georgia in under-connected communities
- Advanced policies to improve economic security, healthcare access, and environmental justice
- Re-watched episodes from the entire Star Trek franchise and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Authored several new works of fiction and non-fiction
Working for Georgians Every Day
Through multiple leadership positions in the small business, nonprofit and government sectors, Stacey has opened the gates of opportunity to others across Georgia. Her organizations have lent a hand in rural Georgia by installing wireless internet stations in more than 100 public locations across the state, connecting Georgians to services, virtual school and potential employers. She and staff traveled to neglected communities to expand access to Covid vaccines and tests.
In the early days of the pandemic, as many families were without income and waiting on unemployment benefits or Covid stimulus checks, Stacey joined other leaders to raise funds for $1,000 cash transfers directly delivered to 100,000 families in need, including Georgians. And while Republicans continued to deny more than 500,000 Georgians access to Medicaid, she raised funds to pay off the medical debt of 68,000 Georgians.
As a legislator, Stacey understood that progress for Georgians in need required greater civic engagement, particularly from communities of color and marginalized groups. She launched statewide organizations to make sure that all Georgians – regardless of race, income or background – are able to register to vote, cast a ballot and have their ballot recorded properly and to be counted in the U.S. Census.
Stacey is a New York Times bestselling fiction and nonfiction author, and she leads a Georgia-based production company with several projects produced or in development. The company’s first film, All In: The Fight for Democracy, made the 2020 Oscar shortlist for best documentary. She serves as a mentor for young Georgia creatives and is a staunch advocate for the workers in Georgia’s vibrant film and television industry.
A Bipartisan Consensus Builder
Stacey defines success in public service by delivering results for people regardless of their geography, ideology or background. Unwavering in her support for working people, Stacey worked with anti-union corporations to stop discrimination against Georgia’s LGBTQ+ community. She’s unapologetically pro-choice, but was able to coordinate with anti-choice legislators to pass criminal justice reform.
As the top Democrat in the Georgia House of Representatives, she brokered compromises for progress on transportation and infrastructure. Her bipartisan efforts were instrumental in saving the HOPE Scholarship and universal pre-K as these programs faced potential elimination during the Great Recession. She passed legislation and increased budget allocations to improve the welfare of grandparents and other family members raising children who would otherwise be placed in foster care.
Former Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican, said of Stacey, “she demonstrated the kind of leadership that you hope people would do regardless of party labels.” She has received recognition from numerous nonpartisan organizations, including the Georgia Municipal Association, the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Georgia), the NAACP, the National Urban League and Planned Parenthood. And she won Grand Champion in the Legislative Livestock Roundup for showing a 4-H sponsored heifer named Bessie.
An Executive Ready to Lead
Stacey is a Yale-trained tax attorney, entrepreneur, writer and small business owner. She co-founded NOW Account, a financial services firm that helps Georgia small businesses access capital, grow their operations and create jobs. She is also the CEO of Sage Works Productions, a production company in Georgia with several projects under development, including with CBS Studios and NBC/Universal. In her various leadership roles, Stacey has hired and employed Georgians in every region of the state, including hundreds of young people beginning their careers.
Her executive experience includes founding and implementing strategic plans for New Georgia Project, focused on voter registration; Fair Fight Action and Fair Fight PAC, focused on protecting voting rights; and Fair Count, dedicated to meaningful participation in the Census and civic engagement. Each of these organizations is thriving today and making progress on behalf of the people of Georgia. She also founded and served as executive director of the Southern Economic Advancement Project, which develops and promotes policy solutions to challenges in Georgia and neighboring Southern states.
In 2010, Stacey became House Democratic Leader in the Georgia General Assembly, the first woman to lead either party in the state legislature and the first Black Georgian to lead in the House of Representatives. As Democratic Leader, she stopped legislation that would have created the largest tax increase in Georgia history, keeping more money in the pockets of our families. She is ready to lead Georgia into its next and greatest chapter.