Stacey Abrams could revolutionize politics if elected Georgia governor

Stacey Abrams could revolutionize politics if elected Georgia governor
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An aspect of leadership is telling your story in ways that present you as a real and present embodiment of the values and hopes of those you are tasked with leading. The power of shared narrative has been seen through the public lens of movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp.

Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, has offered her story, and it has propelled her into becoming the first African American woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor in the United States.

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Her compelling witness edges her closer to becoming the first black woman in the nation to serve as a governor. She became the first female African American valedictorian of her high school before earning her undergraduate degree from Spelman College, then a master's degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from Yale University.

Her platform draws from her own experiences and those of others struggling to attain better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities, as well as redress for economic inequality, broad access to quality health care and education, and criminal justice reform. She has advocated equal pay for women. She is proposing to provide state dollars to entrepreneurs to start local businesses, with a focus on rural and low income communities.

She advocates providing health care to the working poor by expanding Medicaid coverage, as well as securing the foundations of the Affordable Care Act in the state to benefit an additional half million people and create tens of thousands of jobs. It would also provide a stronger economic base in rural counties. Her keen compulsion for criminal justice reform comes from her family’s own experiences through her younger brother’s “bad decisions.”

While I do not agree with the entirety of her platform, she energizes, excites, and proposes solutions that are both realistic and achievable. She engenders a pragmatic hope that goes beyond what President Obama tried to accomplish nationally. Her ability to galvanize and focus on big picture goals for the greater good supersedes the current obsession over unitary litmus issues or party ideologies.

In Georgia, women of color make up 23 percent of the population, but only 8 percent of elected public officials, according to the Reflective Democracy Campaign. This means that the Democratic Party’s single most powerful voting bloc is that of black women. With 2018, shaping up to be the biggest wave for women in American politics since female candidates were elected in numbers to Congress in 1992, the rising influence of black women is impossible to ignore.

Political observers cite the influence of black women in U.S. Senate special election in Alabama last year, when blacks cast ballots in greater numbers than their share of the population to lift Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreDoug Jones says he will not support Supreme Court nominee before election Roy Moore sues Alabama over COVID-19 restrictions Vulnerable Senate Democrat urges unity: 'Not about what side of the aisle we're on' MORE. The race in Georgia is rather different because Abrams herself is an accomplished and proud black woman of notable political experience.

This month, the Trump administration delivered on another promise made to evangelical Christians during the 2016 campaign, which is recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For some evangelical Christians, the support for Israel comes from passages in the Bible they believe show that God intended Israel for the Jewish people.

For conservative and liberals, the story and platform of Abrams comes from passages in the Bible illustrating that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Abrams is running for all of Georgia. I am an abjectly repentant conservative. As such, I am proud to stand behind her with my dollars and my vote.

While her road to victory will not be won without a hard fight, as she faces the lieutenant governor of Georgia, she has something he does not, and that is #BlackGirlMagic. An African American woman leading a multiracial bloc of voters may very well revolutionize electoral politics. As the old spiritual goes there is “plenty good room,” so let all Georgians start choosing seats, side by side, as we discuss brighter futures for all.

Quardricos B. Driskell is an adjunct professor of legislative affairs at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and a former federal lobbyist. You can follow him on Twitter @Q_Driskell4.