Opinion / The Nation and the World

Stacey Abram’s impact

With the Georgia Senate runoffs today, the U.S senate has the very real potential to flip towards a Democratic majority. This would allow President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris to pass progressive laws far more easily. What was once considered a deeply Republican red state is now bursting with eager Democratic voters, and this is no accident or stroke of luck.

The 2020 presidential election was unique in many ways, but perhaps the most defining moment was when Georgia turned blue in favor of Joe Biden. Georgia ended up giving Biden 16 electoral votes. This came as a shock  to many, and was a paramount part of Biden’s victory. However, this was not by chance.

There was incredible work in voter registration done these last few years by several Black women in Georgia. Stacey Abrams, a lawyer and activist who ran for governor in 2018, was a leader in the fight against voter suppression. In my opinion, she is one of the many people Biden and American Democrats have to thank for Georgia growing increasingly blue.

After losing the Georgia gubernatorial election in 2018, Abrams took what she saw happen during her own bid for governor and made a new wave of change instead of dwelling on her loss. Abrams called the voter suppression during her own race “deliberate and intentional” and decided to act. 

Abrams founded the Fair Fight Action, which is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting fair elections in Georgia. Fair Fight works to register and legally protect voters and is also a Political Action Committee that helps elect progressive politicians.

Over the past two years it is estimated that Abrams’s two organizations, one being Fair Fight Action, registered around 800,000 new voters. Many of these voters were both young and people of color. Without Abram’s help, the incredibly refreshing voter turnout we saw in both Georgia and the United States as a whole would not be nearly as high. 

We all have a lot of work to do in terms of upholding the democratic principles of this country. Every vote should be counted, and every adult should have the right to voice their opinion. Abrams saw a silenced group of people and worked to let them speak, for she knew there was potential for something as big as Biden winning Georgia to happen. 

Perhaps the main takeaway when we look at Stacey Abram’s impact lies in the fact that there are likely thousands of other suppressed voters that need to be heard. If 800,000 new voters were registered, there have to be even more. The idea of democracy is that everyone should have a voice. However, this country was not founded on the principle that every human being deserves a vote, and to this day that can be seen through voter suppression and systemic racism. Despite this, it is people like Stacey Abrams that give me hope. Abrams fights for an inclusive democracy, not one that leaves people behind. And in today’s Georgia runoffs, history could be made in Georgia once again.

I believe that in modern America, true progress is not sustainable without support being gained through democracy. In this ever changing political climate, it is imperative that as many people vote as possible. As we soar towards a hopefully brighter and more inclusive future, let us not forget Stacey Abram’s and many other incredible women’s work. 

Image source: Fairfight.com.

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