“My job has been to stop stupid, or at the very least slow stupid down,” said Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia and current State House Minority Leader, at a campaign event held last week at a local restaurant in Athens, Georgia.
This past week, Abrams has attended events all over the Athens-Clarke County area to meet with residents, Democratic volunteers, and local Democratic Party officials to discuss the future of Georgia.
In Abrams’s eyes, the future of Georgia lies in the strength of its diversity and the opportunities it can offer for our next generation. These ideals have never been more important to fight for, she told the crowd last week.
Abrams made her stance clear to attendees: she believes that government should play a part in the lives of its people.
“When we were poor, with no running water or even electricity… my mom taught me that someone always had it worse and that it was our job to help those with less,” she said.
Abrams wants to apply this teaching and help Georgians by improving the state’s free pre-K program, which was first implemented 25 years ago. If elected, Abrams would do everything in her power to make sure that pre-K teachers have access to the proper training and compensation they need, but currently lack, under right-wing rule in Georgia.
Additionally, Abrams wants to establish free technical college education and to expand access to affordable higher education, particularly for those in rural areas of the state. For years, Abrams and various members of the Democratic Party in Georgia have pushed for these changes, but have been unable to do much due to the firm opposition of Republicans in control in the state’s capital.
Perhaps the most egregious error perpetuated by Georgia Republicans controlling the state government is their choice not to expand Medicaid. This is especially alarming in a state that desperately needs it, Abrams said.
“We need to access the $130 billion available to us and expand Medicaid immediately,” she added.
In addition to expanding Medicaid and improving the quality of education in the state, Abrams said she wants to expand mental health resources, improve public transportation, increase voter registration, and conduct serious criminal justice reform throughout the state.
While the Republican field of candidates is currently led by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, voters in the Republican primary are still mostly undecided. With former Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp polling in second, the Democratic Party is taking advantage of having Abrams as a candidate — a candidate who is ready to lead.
Abrams truly is the kind of Democrat that is sorely needed in the state and the country as a whole. Growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi, her family often moved between the working-class and working poor socioeconomic classes.
Abrams’s understanding of the incredibly difficult circumstances faced by those living in poverty, combined with her extensive experience and leadership in the State House, makes her the right candidate for a new Georgia in 2018.