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In November 2018, Stacey Abrams lost her bid for Georgia governor despite winning more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. The defeat didn’t faze her.
At 2 a.m. following election night, Abrams came to the podium with the composure and eloquence of a natural orator. Her message was clear: The election had been a dysfunctional example of voter suppression. Her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, had attempted to prevent tens of thousands of voters from casting their ballots. She would not concede.
“Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that,” Abrams said. “In Georgia, civil rights has always been an act of will and a battle for our souls.”
In the two years since that election, Abrams has launched grassroots organizations and mobilized activism in spite of the challenges she faced, and hasn’t given up on her bid for governor. This year, she was able to energize voters in support of another long-held dream: turning Georgia blue in the presidential election. And Abrams’ powerful organizing bears parallels to another political ascent: In 1992, voter turnout in Chicago changed the landscape of Illinois politics, driven by the efforts of one Barack Obama.
She lost, but she didn’t stop
Two years after the governor race, Abrams’s voter protection initiative, Fair Fight, registered 800,000 new voters in Georgia for the 2020 presidential elections. Many of the new voters were young people and people of color, who are often most vulnerable to voter suppression. Thanks largely to her leadership, Georgia turned blue for the presidential election for the first time since 1992.
Along the way, Abrams formed multiple organizations designed to empower voters and create social change. In 2019, she launched Fair Count, a nonprofit designed to ensure that the 2020 census provided accurate information, as well as the Southern Economic Advancement Project, which aims to build equity and economic empowerment in the South.
The politician and activist has also written two books on activism and leadership and intends to run again for governor in 2022, allies of Abrams told the Daily Beast. Abrams was reportedly in consideration for president-elect Joe Biden’s vice president pick, and told FiveThirtyEight that she has plans to run for president in the next 20 years.
Abrams is a model for civic leadership, yet her approach contrasts drastically from the traits most of us are primed to associate with conventional leadership. She’s a self-proclaimed introvert, she’s vulnerable, and she speaks openly about her personal challenges alongside her triumphs.
Abrams is resilient
Abrams says she is working in a political system that disadvantages women of color.
“There are a lot of people organizing themselves to make sure I land at the wrong destination,” Abrams said at a 2018 fundraiser in Atlanta. “There are folks who don’t think it’s time for a black woman to be governor of any state, let alone a state in the Deep South. But there’s …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics