Today, candidate for governor and former House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams unveiled her plan for military families and veterans.
Stacey Abrams’ Military and Veterans Platform has six pillars: Establish Protections for Georgia Veteran and Military Families, Improve Transitions from Service to School and Career, Protect Our Military Bases, Respect the Diversity of our Service Members, Support Veterans in Rural Communities, and End Veteran Homelessness. It is a continuation of the “A Promise Kept” initiative in support of service members and their families that Abrams spearheaded as House Democratic Leader.
“Veterans and Military Families make tremendous sacrifices for our state and our nation, and have shouldered important responsibilities to promote our security. It is our responsibility in turn to ensure that Georgia supports them and the communities surrounding our military bases,” said former House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams. “As governor, I will work to tackle the unique challenges service members, veterans, and their families face and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and career opportunities.”
The Abrams’ campaign’s Military and Veterans Platform will do the following:
1. Establish Protections for Georgia Veteran and Military Families. Abrams will establish protections and priorities for Georgia veterans and military families. Her administration will listen to veterans and service members and propose comprehensive legislation to address the key issues that impact veterans and military families like predatory lending, poverty, poor health, financial education, and economic mobility.
2. Improve Transitions from Service to School and Career. Many service members finish their service and need added resources to transition to civilian life; the “A Promise Kept” initiative was an important first step, but Abrams believes we must do more to support veteran hiring, higher education and postsecondary pathways, and mental health and substance abuse treatment access.
3. Protect Our Military Bases. Our military installations are crucial economic engines in communities throughout Georgia. Georgia fared well under the first four rounds of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC). However, in 2005 — the first BRAC under Republican leadership in Georgia — we gained soldiers but lost about one-third of our bases. As governor, Abrams will protect our military installations via investments in technology, infrastructure, economic security, and educational opportunity that support the quality of life of military families. These investments are critical to achieving outcomes that the Department of Defense will assess when determining future base closures.
4. Respect and Support the Diversity of Our Troops. Stacey Abrams knows our diversity is our strength in Georgia. Veterans and service members are a valuable part of that diversity. The Abrams administration will support the Women Veterans Office and create the Office of Military Inclusion to uplift women, veterans of color, and LGBTQ+ veterans.
5. Support Veterans in Rural Communities. About 190,000 veterans call rural Georgia home and face many of the challenges of their rural nonveteran neighbors—lack of Internet access, long travel times to health providers, and more limited employment opportunities. Abrams’ plans for economic development, infrastructure, health, and education address the challenges rural Georgians face.
6. End Veteran Homelessness. During her first term as governor, Stacey Abrams will end veteran homelessness in the state of Georgia. Georgia will examine what has worked in-state and nationwide to end homelessness for the veterans and will model a statewide funding program based on Atlanta’s Homeless Opportunities Bond.
You can see the full plan here.
As governor, Abrams will build on her work as the House Democratic Leader, where she led the Democratic Caucus to introduce the bipartisan “A Promise Kept” Initiative in support of veterans and military families. Under her leadership, several bipartisan measures were enacted into law aimed at removing barriers identified by the U.S. Department of Defense: expand access to Medicaid for military families, allow veterans and military spouses to receive temporary occupational licenses, and protect the employment of national guardsmen. As House Democratic Leader, she co-sponsored the following bills:
•Protecting Guardsmen’s Employment Act
•Bridging the Military Health Care Gap Act
•Military Spouses and Veterans Licensure Act
•Educating Children of Military Families Act
•Protecting Military Children Act
•Military Consumer Protection Act