Stacey Abrams

Newsweek - - Politics - abrams lost a close race for Ge­or­gia gover­nor in 2018. She would have been the first black woman elected gover­nor any­where in the United States.

Ibe­lieve in ask­ing three ques­tions be­fore mov­ing for­ward: What do I want? Why do I want it? And how do I get it? My pri­mary goal is to erad­i­cate poverty; I be­lieve it is im­moral and a stain on our so­ci­ety. And so when I de­spair or get an­gry, I take the time to think about how I can best achieve that goal—and then I get to work.

As a writer and for­mer elected of­fi­cial, I be­lieve in the power of words. We must use words to up­lift and in­clude. We can use our words to fight back against op­pres­sion and hate. But we must also chan­nel our words into ac­tion. We must lobby our lead­ers, cast our bal­lots and ad­vo­cate for real change in 2019.

Dis­crim­i­na­tory leg­is­la­tion em­bold­ens those who seek to make us afraid, while giv­ing those com­mu­ni­ties it hurts a con­crete rea­son to fear. We must stay away from anti-im­mi­grant leg­is­la­tion, as well as so-called re­li­gious free­dom leg­is­la­tion that harms our LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ties. In­ac­tion dis­crim­i­nates too. In Ge­or­gia, our re­fusal to ex­pand Med­i­caid has caused un­due harm to our ru­ral Ge­or­gians, peo­ple of color and women.

Too of­ten, our fear is sowed from an idea that our di­ver­sity is a weapon or a weak­ness. We must in­stead re­al­ize that our di­ver­sity is our strength; it al­lows Amer­ica to be the rich and en­ter­pris­ing na­tion we are.

When speak­ing to some­one who is afraid, try to find com­mon ground on which you can build hope. As Demo­cratic leader of Ge­or­gia’s Gen­eral As­sem­bly, I worked with the Tea Party on en­vi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion—so I know you can find com­mon ground with any­one.

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