Why The Work Of Stacey Abrams Is Important To The Southern Vote
By Cherranda Smith
November 5, 2020
The 2018 midterm election saw the rise in Democratic nominees across the country. In Georgia, Stacey Abrams emerged as the first Black woman backed by a majority party in a gubernatorial election.
Before running for governor, Stacey, a proud Spelman College alumna, was a state lawmaker for ten years. She ran a fierce race, gaining national attention for the authentic leadership and political prowess she showed during the campaign.
In the wake of her defeat, which many say was fueled by voter suppression tactics across the state, Abrams founded Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to alleviating barriers to the election process for voters in Georgia and around the nation.
Her work is paying off. Georgia is a battleground state in the 2020 election, with the presidential race margins growing thinner in the still uncalled election.
“A lot of the changes [in the Georgia voting process] we see in 2020 came about because of the litigation that we [Fair Fight Action] filed in 2018,” she said in an interview on Election Day (November 3).
Since 2018, Abrams said Fair Fight and other groups have been working “to expand access to polling locations...make certain that counties were given the poll books they needed, to ensure we had early voting locations expanded and we had drop boxes.”
Abrams and other political activists harnessed the changing demographic of the traditionally red state to get disenfranchised communities greater access to the election process.
She also is a co-founder of the Southern Economic Advancement Project, an organization that seeks to address the economic disparities in the region by “amplify[ing] the efforts of existing organizations.”
Her work overall remains relevant to the fight of establishing political and economic equity in the South. From the action taken to raise the voices of marginalized communities in major political races, to working with organizations to stimulate the South’s economy, Abrams has proven what’s possible in a region continuously emerging from the shadows of the nation's history.
Photo: Getty Images