On the day which marking the anniversary of Shirley Chisholm’s 1968 win to become the first Black woman elected to congress, we should not forget to acknowledge the work of lawyer, author, and political organizer Stacey Abrams in this important election.
In 2013 she helped found The New Georgia Project, which aims to register minority voters across the state. She later founded Fair Fight in 2018 which has helped to register more than 66,000 voters in Georgia in this election cycle, aiding to the current groundswell of momentum we see in the state as poll workers tick down to the last ballot count.
If the state swings to blue, it will be the first time Georgia has voted for a Democrat since 1992, where Bill Clinton secured the state. As of Thursday evening, Trump’s lead over Biden in Georgia has shrunk to 9,525 votes.
The momentum in Georgia could also help flip the power in Congress. A runoff race will take place in January between between GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock. A second runoff may take place in the state between GOP Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The influx of voters also helped secure wins for Rep. Lucy McBath and newly elected Nikema Williams, who will succeed the late John Lewis in congress.
On social media her supporters began a campaign advocating for Abrams to be given a cabinet position should Biden secure the presidency. Others want her to be the head of the Democratic National Convention.
Though she was born in Wisconsin and partly raised in Mississippi, her family moved to Georgia during her early schooling years. She graduated from Spelman College, then obtained her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her education at Yale Law School.
Abrams understood the power of the Black vote and remained indebted in the fight stemming long before she made national headlines in 2018 when she made history as the first Black woman gubernatorial nominee in the United States. While running to govern the state, she helped shed light on mass voter suppression and voter purge tactics led by her then opponent, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s former Secretary of State.
Kemp went on to win the race, and Abrams continued leading the charge by leaning into Fair Fight’s mission to re-engage and educate voters around civic engagement. A landmark suit filed by Fair Fight in Georgia helped challenge Georgia’s election policies which Kemp oversaw during his time as secretary of state.
Prior to her run for governor, Abrams led in the Georgia House of Representatives where she eventually became minority leader.
Abrams is born out of a tradition of women like Mary Bethune-Cookman, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer and so many other juggernauts who understood that the work required legislation, education, amplification, as well as on the ground efforts. Abrams has always led with an all hands on deck mentality, fueled by her love for the people, for Black people, and for her home state of Georgia.