Stacey Abrams

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is a State Representative from Georgia. She is the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District. Stacey serves on the Appropriations, Ethics, Judiciary Non-Civil, Rules, and Ways & Means committees.

Abrams is the recipient of the inaugural Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award and a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her siblings include Dr. Andrea Abrams, Dr. Jeanine Abrams, and Federal Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner.


One of six children, Stacey grew up in Mississippi with working-class parents who taught them the value of public service and civic engagement at a young age. The family moved to Georgia in 1989, when her parents attended Emory University, where they both graduated with Masters of Divinity and became United Methodist ministers.

Stacey attended Spelman College, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Political Science, Economics and Sociology) and was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar. She received a Masters from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Stacey returned to Atlanta as a tax attorney at the Sutherland law firm, with a focus on tax-exempt organizations, healthcare and public finance. At the age of 29, Stacey was appointed as the Deputy City Attorney for the City of Atlanta, where she led the legal and policy analysis for several major economic development, transportation and transit projects and managed a multi-million dollar budget and a team of more than 20 attorneys and paralegals.

Fiercely independent and entrepreneurial, Stacey has also founded a number of businesses, including an infrastructure consulting firm, a technology company and a beverage company for infants and toddlers. Most recently, she co-founded and serves as Senior Vice President at NOW Corporation, a financial services firm that specializes in providing access to capital for small businesses.

First elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2006, Stacey quickly became known for her expertise and ability to explain complicated tax and legal questions, and she earned a reputation for working across party lines to pass legislation. In 2010, Stacey became House Minority Leader and has led the caucus to promote and pass legislation to increase educational opportunity, promote economic security, and improve the quality of life for all Georgians.

Johnnetta Cole protege

Abrams "exceptional"

Stacey Abrams with Johnnetta B. Cole


Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Spelman's first Black woman president from 1987 to 1997, told Essence she remembers Abrams as "exceptional."[1]


Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda, Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight, Actress Crystal Fox, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams will be among the speakers at a virtual town hall Oprah Winfrey will host live Monday, Jan. 4 2021cat 8 PM, ET. The event is part of OWN’s continued OWN YOUR VOTE nonpartisan get-out-the-vote initiative intended to encourage, inspire and support voters ahead of Georgia’s Special Election. The town hall is free and open to the public and presented in partnership with Open Society Foundations and Kapor Center.

Representatives from women’s organizations will also participate including: Dr. Glenda Glover (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated); Beverly E. Smith (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated); Melanie Campbell (Black Women’s Roundtable); Glynda Carr (Higher Heights Leadership Fund); Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole (NCNW); Dr. Kimberly Leonard (The Links, Incorporated); Rasheeda S. Liberty (Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated); Valerie Hollingsworth Baker (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated). A closing prayer will be offered by Rev. Toni Belin Ingram, Presiding Elder, AME Church.[2]

“Sisters for the Census”

March 26 2020 Fair Count, in partnership with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), launched the “Sisters for the Census” national campaign. The initiative focuses on getting black women and their families to participate in the 2020 Census.

Fair Count Founder Stacey Abrams, Fair Count Vice President Jeanine Abrams McLean and NCNW President Johnnetta B. Cole launched the initiative during a virtual roundtable discussion on Facebook Live.

“We know that Black women get things done,” Abrams said. “Sisters for the Census is for the women who make sure their families are taken care of and their communities are advocated for. Making sure that we get an accurate count of everyone in the house is a job for those of us who know what it means to be counted out.”

NCNW President Johnnetta B. Cole also shared sentiments about the importance of the partnership.

“You can count on the women of NCNW to make sure that each of us, and all in our families and communities are counted in the 2020 census. Securing needed resources and representations for our people depends on us getting this job done,” Cole said.

Organizers say today’s launch heightens a commitment to census participation across the country that will lead to long-term advantages for traditionally undercounted communities.

Fair Count and NCNW will assist with the recruitment of women across the country for census jobs, and they will work to form a rapid response taskforce that will be engaged during the Census Bureau’s Non-Response Follow-up Period to ensure that all Black women, children, and families are counted. Through their network of more than 30 affiliate organizations, NCNW reaches over 2 million Black women across the country. Organizers say the campaign aims to educate and engage the 17 million Black women who are estimated to live in the U.S.[3]

Coalitional Democracy Conference


April 21, 2020 at CUNY:

Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee and former Georgia House Democratic leader, joins in an important conversation about her visions for the future of democracy with Johnnetta Betsch Cole, former president of Spelman College. Abrams, author of the recent bestseller Lead from the Outside, launched the organization Fair Fight after the 2018 gubernatorial election to ensure that every voter in Georgia and across the country has a voice in the democratic process.

The discussion is the kickoff event of the Coalitional Democracy Conference, which will focus on ways to build coalitions – across lines of race, gender, class, and sexuality – in order to build a more equal society.

The event was eventually cancelled.

"Happy birthday"


Stacey Abrams October 19 2015 ·

Happy 79th Birthday to Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, my friend, mentor and icon! Dr. Cole is a Renaissance leader, whose scholarship and insights have transformed every place and every person she touches. Whether she is helming Spelman College or Bennett College - or guiding the Smithsonian's National Museum for African Art - Dr. Cole's dynamism is matched only by her intellectual firepower and fundamental respect for humanity. We are all made better by her presence.

Spelman founders day


Stacey Abrams April 2017.

It was a privilege to attend Spelman College during the historic tenure of Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, the college's first African American woman president. Dr. Cole surprised me this week by attending this year's Spelman Founders Day celebration, where I received an honorary doctorate -- her presence made the honor all the more memorable.

The Presidential candidates

Before Joe Biden got in the race, advisers to his campaign publicly floated the idea that he and Abrams might announce a joint ticket even before primary voting began. Abrams swatted down that report. (At the time, she was still considering her own run for president.) Biden isn’t the only one who has seemed interested: Bernie Sanders praised her abilities; Elizabeth Warren — who campaigned for Abrams in 2018 — said she’s open to naming a female VP; Pete Buttigieg met with Abrams privately and phone-banked for Fair Fight Action, stoking speculation he might tap her as a potential running mate.[4]


Stacey Abrams organizes through four stand-alone organizations, each run by a different trusted female deputy: Fair Fight, the political arm; Fair Fight Action; Fair Count; and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a think tank intended to, in Abrams’ words, “translate good policy into Southern.”

Abrams asked her sister Jeanine Abrams — who was working with epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, how she would go about trying to ensure every person in Georgia was counted. “Her job was to literally find people who did not want to be found,” Abrams recalls. “I said, ‘How would you do that?’ ”

Jeanine quit her job and joined Fair Count. From a small clapboard house in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood, she, Rebecca DeHart, and a team of 23 employees are figuring out how to reach every person in Georgia. Because 2020 is the first time the census will accept responses online, they’re giving away iPads and Chromebooks and installing internet routers in places like churches, barbershops, soup kitchens, day cares, and community centers.

“There’s really no other organization like Fair Count in the nation,” DeHart says. “It’s not surprising — it was born out of Stacey’s brain.” [5]

Support from Onward Together

Onward Together supported Stacey Abrams as a candidate for the 2018 midterm elections.[6]

Campaign manager

Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ former campaign manager and a co-founder of Fair Fight. “

Byrd connection

Jessica Byrd, a political strategist and lead organizer with the Movement for Black Lives, helped steer Stacey Abrams’ 2018 bid as deputy campaign manager. She said the campaign team warned in 2018 that their plan would succeed only if the voters they needed most — largely first-time, young and Black — were not disenfranchised.

But the party was unwilling to provide the voter protection resources the campaign was seeking. Byrd recalled Democrats characterizing Abrams’ campaign strategy as “just crazy.”

Byrd said that Biden’s success this year — which included a major effort by national Democrats to counter voter suppression, by arming voters with information about how to request provisional ballots, and filing litigation against Republicans — validated Abrams’ strategy. Abrams lacked that muscle in 2018.

“People largely kind of ignored that it would be the rigging of that election that would prevent her from losing,” Byrd explained, citing then Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s removal of more than 100,000 voters from rolls that drew widespread claims of voter suppression and contributed to Abrams’ razor-thin loss. “People imagined it was because she was a Black woman, because she was too progressive, because she didn't have enough money. No, that's not what it was.”[7]

Flag burner


Burning Georgia's "racist past" is how Lawrence Jeffries (right) described the flag-burning Sunday at the Capitol. From left are the Ina Solomon, Jeffery Harris and Stacey Abrams in June 1992. (W.A. Bridges Jr./The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Steve Phillips/PowerPAC connections

Black to the Future endorsement


In 2018 Stacey Abrams was endorsed by the Black to the Future Action Fund.

Democracy in Color

Founder of Democracy In Color Steve Phillips wrote about how important Georgia is for progressives[8] writing in part:

"Building political power in Georgia is critical to taking back our country over the next four years. In the Democracy in Color plan Return of the Majority, we show how Georgia is one of the Frontline States trending Democratic, and how we can win the Georgia governor’s office in 2018 and then capture its 16 electoral votes in the 2020 presidential race..."

Race Will Win the Race conference

PowerPAC+ June 25, 2014;

Today's the day! #WINin2014 Race Will Win the Race conference is finally here. Check out what's to come and join us on Twitter @PowerPAC_Plus using #WINin2014. — with Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker, Trey Martinez Fischer, Representative Marcia Fudge and Mark Takano in Washington, District of Columbia.[9]

Race torace.JPG

Plus speakers Aimee Allison, Deepak Bhargava, Susan Sandler, Steve Phillips, Ingrid Nava, Andy Wong, Subodh Chandra, Linda Darling-Hammond, Alida Garcia, Julie Martinez Ortega.

PowerPAC+ supported Elected Leaders

Trey Martinez Fischer, Aimee Allison, Stacey Abrams and Steve Phillips at PowerPAC+'s Race Will Win the Race National Conference, June 2014

The list of PowerPAC+ leaders is growing.

Here are the social justice champions we have helped elect.

PowerPac+ Board of Directors

PowerPAC+ Board of Directors, as of 2014 included Stacey Abrams - Atlanta, GA Georgia State Representative.[11]

"New American Majority"


Steve Phillips July 25, 2016.

Partner in crime and amazing Georgia leader Stacey Abrams speaking from podium and giving shout-out to "New American Majority" — in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Launch of Democracy in Color


Launch of Democracy in Color Loew's Hotel Philadelphia July 25 2016, at Democratic National Convention.

Steve Phillips July 28, 2016

Words can't convey the power of these women taking the stage and showing by word and symbol what the future looks like. — with Stacey Abrams, Nina Turner, Lucy Flores, Alida Garcia, Rida Hamida, Jane Kim and Aimee Allison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. election strategy

Dowvvvvvvvnload.jpg is committed to supporting the civic engagement of voters of color and the election of progressive leaders of color. Much of our strategy is outlined in the book “Brown Is The New White,” written by our founder Steve Phillips. Our work involves researching where votes of color can make a difference in races, how demographic trends can affect change in public policy and leadership, and how civic engagement methodologies can change how campaigns are run.

Our work has spanned the nationwide (support for Barack Obama and civic engagement in 18 states in the 2007-2008 cycle) to the small (unseating 18-year conservative incumbents in city races in San Bernardino, CA). Most recently we worked with grassroots activists in Georgia to encourage African American voters to turn out in the CD-6 race in Georgia and to build support for Stacey Abrams’ race for Governor there. As we move forward, we will deepen our work in California as well as launching a multi-state initiative to support gubernatorial candidates of color in GA (Stacey Abrams), MD (Benjamin Jealous), AZ (David Garcia), CA (John Chiang), and FL (Andrew Gillum).

Additionally, we are in the process of building a fundraising engine to drive donations by average citizens in low dollar amounts. We think that there is power in crowd-sourcing the support of our communities of color. The voice of the growing economic power of the communities of color must be heard and their power felt.[12]



Kamala Harris endorsement

Kamala Harris, May 14 2018;

I’m proud to support Stacey Abrams’s campaign for Governor of Georgia. Stacey is a fearless fighter running to become the first Black woman elected governor in American history, and she’s dedicated her entire career to advocating for the voiceless and vulnerable in Georgia. She’s never backed down from the tough fights, and she believes the potential of her state and our country is limitless if we all work together to uplift every family. Find out how you can help Stacey’s campaign here:

Jealous connection

Ben Jealous May 22, 2018;

25 years ago Stacey Abrams and I met at a training for student organizers. She told me then she would be the first black governor of Georgia.
I told her I believed her.
Tonight, millions upon millions more do too! And a coalition of people across our nation are building a progressive wave to make sure working families once again govern our priorities.
Congratulations Stacey!

Out of town support

Stacey Abrams' bid to become the first female African-American governor in America is the hottest ticket in Democrats' shadow 2020 presidential primary.

Just ahead of the primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Abrams, and California Sen. Kamala Harris visited Georgia to campaign for her. In January, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was in Atlanta for events supporting Abrams. Nina Turner, the president of Our Revolution, the organization that emerged from Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, spent the weekend in Georgia turning out the vote for Abrams.

The national figures' interest in the race and national support for Abrams is in part a result of her appeal to both the Democrats' progressive wing and its African-American base.

There's also Georgia's status as a key state in both the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. It votes on Super Tuesday, and black Democratic voters in the South are a crucial source of delegates. The formerly deep-red state has also emerged as competitive in general elections.

Hillary Clinton's strength with black voters in the South was at the core of her strategy to clinch the party's 2016 nomination, and Sanders was never able to make up the ground he'd lost there later in the nominating process. Abrams' emergence as a Democratic star, fueled by her calls for massive black voter registration efforts, became clear to a national audience in August 2017, when the progressive gathering Netroots Nation was held in Atlanta. Abrams was among the biggest stars at the event.

Abrams' list of endorsements on her campaign website first highlights a long list of Georgia Democrats and local organizations. Only at the very end of the list is a group of "Additional Supporters" comprised of national figures. "Of course, we are really thrilled about the national support and endorsements we have received from senators from members of Congress, but really what we want folks to know is we have a really strong base of local support as well," an Abrams aide said, arguing that Abrams has told supporters and aides that her campaign is "grounded here in Georgia but nationally known."

The aide acknowledged that campaigns like Abrams could make winning Georgia in two years easier for Democrats. "The tilling of that soil is really important," the aide said, arguing that the state won't be flippable without competitive Democratic races.

The rush to back Abrams also represents Democrats' hope that 2020 will be the year they turn Georgia blue for the first time since then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton won the state in 1992.

Democrats from Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez on down remain bullish about their prospects in 2020 in a state Trump only won by 5 percentage points in 2016, making it closer than traditional swing states like Ohio and Iowa. Booker, who has focused much of his endorsement travel in 2018 on colleagues in the Senate, has stepped out and endorsed two candidates for governor so far, Abrams in Georgia and Benjamin Jealous in Maryland.

Both are African-American leaders in their respective states, and a senior aide to the New Jersey senator said one reason he has endorsed the two candidates is because he "feels especially passionately about getting more men and women of color into elected office and politics."

In an email to supporters, Booker said the Georgia gubernatorial race represents "a unique opportunity -- not only to turn the state blue, but to build progressive power in the South and bring new voices and voters into the political process nationwide."

Kamala Harris campaigned for Abrams in May, saying the race has "national impact."

Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for Harris, said the California Democrat backs Abrams because of the diversity she would bring to the upper echelon of the state's political scene. "Senator Harris, really throughout her career, has placed a premium on endorsing a more diverse set of elected officials and this year is no different," Adams said. Harris has also endorsed Aaron Ford, who would be Nevada's first African-American attorney general, and Joe Neguse, whose campaign in Colorado's 2nd District House race could make him the state's first African-American congressman.[13]

Sandler/Phillips support

Stacey Abrams is vying to become the first African American governor in Georgia and some influential donors are putting their money where their mouths are—to the tune of $2.5 million

Donors are stepping up to support the former House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for the 89th House District in hopes of seizing the Republican Party’s stronghold over the state.

San Francisco-based philanthropist, Susan Sandler is spending $1 million to help boost Abrams’ Democratic campaign, according to USA Today. Sandler has also recruited other big donors and has commitments for another $1 million.

The Democrats believe that the red Southern state could turn blue given what happened in Alabama. Seeing Doug Jones lay the groundwork for flipping states and turning deep-red Alabama blue and becoming the first Democrat elected to the Senate in the state in 25 years means anything is possible.

“The upset election of Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race in December gave a glimpse of a new electoral equation,” Sandler wrote in the memo. “If we elect Stacey, we will show that we know how to win in the South without compromising our principles and beliefs.”

And she knows what she’s talking about.

Sandler and her husband Steve Phillips helped fuel the large voter turnout in the Alabama Senate race. They plan to use the same strategies: a mix of door-to-door outreach, phone calls and advertising to turn the tide on the Georgia governor race.

African Americans make up about 30% of the electorate in Georgia. Sandler and Phillips want some 80,000 black voters to back Abrams in the primary. They plan to hire 250 to help them push the campaign.[14]

$10m more

From the San Francisco Chronicle;[15]

There’s a major Bay Area connection behind the success of Stacey Abrams, who won the Democratic primary for governor in Georgia this week and would be the first African American woman to lead a state in the nation’s history if she prevails in November.
Long before liberal pundits and MSNBC jumped on Abrams’ bandwagon, she was getting strategic help and money from a small crew of Bay Area political operatives and wealthy donors. She’s about to get $10 million more for the general election from that group, headed by San Franciscans Steve Phillips and his wife, Susan Sandler.
To them, Abrams represents what the Democratic Party should be doing to win back red states like Georgia as a way to take control of Congress and the presidency.
The plan: Forget chasing working-class white voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016. Instead, appeal to a coalition that includes people of color, young voters and progressive whites.
Or, as Abrams said on a 2017 episode of my “It’s All Political” podcast: Democrats need to spend less time convincing “Republicans to be Democrats instead of getting Democrats to be Democrats.”
“This is a seminal moment,” said Phillips, a former San Francisco school board member and author of “Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.” “That’s why we’re so heavily involved. We see winning 2020 in winning 2018. This is the down payment.”
Abrams’ strategy won’t change in the general election, Phillips said. The key is turning out the potential voters they know — not convincing the ones they don’t.

To win in November, Phillips says Abrams must increase turnout among nonwhites by 230,000 — about the margin by which Georgia Democrats have lost statewide races to Republicans in recent years. There are 1.2 million eligible nonwhites who aren’t registered to vote in the state, Phillips said. His organization, PowerPAC Georgia, plans to spend $10 million in the general election to move them.
It won’t be easy. Georgia hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since 1998. While its demographics are changing — the state is poised to become majority-minority in 2025 — it is still a red state, where President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by five points in 2016.
To aid Abrams in the primary, Phillips raised $1.5 million from Bay Area donors including his wife, daughter of billionaire Golden West savings and loan founders Herb Sandler and Marion Sandler; Atherton’s Liz Simons (daughter of hedge fund billionaire James Simons); and Oakland attorney Quinn Delaney and her real estate developer husband, Wayne Jordan.
That money helped Abrams match her wealthier opponent’s TV ad spending. Much of it was used in areas outside Atlanta where Democrats have run especially poorly because they’ve been unable to turn out African American and other nonwhite voters in large numbers. PowerPAC’s strategy will be the same in November.
Four years ago, former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, Jason Carter, fell in the governor’s race in Georgia to GOP incumbent Nathan Deal by eight points “because he lost by 300,000 votes in the small towns,” said Andy Wong, PowerPAC’s chief political strategist and executive director, who has worked with Phillips on campaigns for 30 years. “Our goal is to cut that differential to 100,000 votes.”
“In many of those towns,” Phillips said, “people of color are so beaten down, they didn’t turn out. And there was no infrastructure there to connect with them.”

That’s the gap that Phillips and Wong are trying to bridge.
The pair have a history of being the political equivalent of early angel investors for African American candidates. In 2007, they supported then-presidential candidate Barack Obama by spending $10 million across 14 states. They were also early backers of Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris’ first statewide run in 2010 for California attorney general, and Democrat Cory Booker’s winning U.S. Senate run in New Jersey in 2013.

Collective PAC

Launched in August of 2016, the Collective PAC is backing several statewide races in 2018, including Stacey Abrams Governor of Georgia, Andrew Gillum Governor of Florida, Benjamin Jealous Governor of Maryland, Aaron Ford Attorney General of Nevada, Anita Earls North Carolina Supreme Court, Deidre DeJear Secretary of State Iowa, Kwame Raoul Illinois Attorney General, Mandela Barnes Wisconsin Lt. Governor, Rob Richardson, Ohio Treasurer .[16]

Race to watch

Steve Phillips wrote in Political Intelligence, May 17, 2013.[17]

There are two races PAC+ is looking closely at for larger strategic reasons. First is in New Jersey where Cory Booker is running for U.S. Senate, and we think Cory is well-positioned to serve as the next vehicle for the “Obama coalition” across the country now that Obama has run his last race...
The other intriguing race is in Georgia where the incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss is retiring, thereby creating an opening in a state that is 45% people of color and where Obama got nearly 46% of the vote without even contesting the state. Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, is looking carefully at the race and if she gets in, things could get very interesting.
Nunn could galvanize support from women across the country (two years before a potential Hillary run for President), helping her raise the resources to mount a competitive race. Most importantly from a strategic standpoint, a competitive Georgia statewide race could provide invaluable hands-on training to hundreds of activists and operatives who could then provide the infrastructure for contesting the Presidential race in 2016 and the Governor’s race in 2018. For example, PAC+ Board member Stacey Abrams recruited a team of 75 young organizers to work in last year’s races, and that network could be deployed, expanded, and further developed by working on Nunn’s campaign. This is a race to watch.

Flipping Georgia

From PowerPAC+ May 26, 2014;[18]

Stacey Abrams and Michelle Nunn both won their primaries for the state’s 89th House District and the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, respectively, last Tuesday night. Stacey’s primary was unopposed, but Michelle’s win last Tuesday symbolized a rising political shift in a state that is ready to turn blue. If elected, Michelle would be a pick-up for Democrats in the Senate and she would be the first female U.S. Senator from Georgia...
Contrary to popular belief, Georgia's tipping point is not in 2020 but in 2014. Stacey and Georgia Democrats have plans laid out to chip away the Georgia Republican supermajority starting with Michelle Nunn running for U.S. Senate. Michelle Nunn, the former CEO of Points of Light Foundation, the largest volunteer service organization in the country, is the Democrat’s best chance to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate. In addition, Michelle’s Senate race will be a chance for Democrats to harness the growing multiracial voter majority in Georgia to secure a win for Georgia Democrats.
Georgia Democrats want to basically turn their state into the next Virginia, where People of Color can elect Democrats into office. PowerPAC+ believes it can be done. As PowerPAC+ Senior Advisor, Kirk Clay tells our team in a recent Political Intelligence blog “Black Voters Can Save the Senate," Democrats need to replace “the decline of white progressive voters with a surge of voters of color.” Clay goes on to say that “[Georgia Democrats] can’t allow African American voter turnout to drop 3-5% [if they expect win in November].” If Democrats can turnout voters of color and pull in maybe 30 or 31 percent of whites, they can elect Nunn into office.

Democracy for America endorsement

Democracy for America has 68,405 members in the state of Michigan and more than one million members nationwide.

As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, Democracy for America intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide -- like Abdul El-Sayed -- in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.
El-Sayed is the sixth gubernatorial endorsement DFA has made in the 2018 election cycle. Other gubernatorial endorsements the national grassroots progressive group has made this cycle includes Stacey Abrams in Georgia, David Garcia in Arizona, Andrew Gillum in Florida, Ben Jealous in Maryland, and Paulette Jordan in Idaho.[19]

Freedom Road connections

New Virginia Majority


New Virginia Majority support


Tram Nguyen May 18, 2018

Get out the vote, Georgia! #makehistory #TeamAbrams.

New Georgia Project

The New Georgia Project has been on the ground for years registering and educating voters — especially people of color, women of color and white women — and talking to ordinary people about values and issues that matter in their lives, such as child care. Stacey Abrams founded the New Georgia Project with a massive voter registration campaign back in 2014. [20]

Leftist alliance for Stacey

The collaboration between the Working Families Party and New Georgia Project in Georgia, the leadership in sectors of Stacey Abrams’ campaign by people out of Movement for Black Lives' The Electoral Justice Project, the fact that the National Domestic Workers Alliance deployed the largest independent field operation in that state – all this energized young voters, re-energized veterans of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and strengthened the emerging Black-Latino alliance, laying the basis for future wins if Stacey Abrams doesn’t pull it out this time..[21]

On September 17, 2018, I people attended “The AAPI Business Leaders Reception with Stacey Abrams” to meet Abrams and hear her talk about her vision. The reception also featured Asian Democratic candidates in local races. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear these leaders and to see a strong gathering of Asian Americans of different ethnicities and ages—all in support of a Democratic platform.

Radical friends

Paris Hatcher November 4, 2018:


Our Governor, Our Byrd! Talk to your neighbors, drive folks to the polls, knock a door or two, give some dollars, thank volunteers- let’s get it done! All in for Stacey! — with Jessica Byrd.

Voting problems

November 8 2018, several Georgia voters detailed their polling place issues at a press conference organized by the Stacey Abrams campaign. Abrams is in a too-close-to-call race against Republican Brian Kemp to become governor of the peach state.

Kemp, who resigned as the Secretary of State yesterday and claimed “victory” in the governor’s race, has been accused of rampant voter suppression and deliberant, pointed neglect of certain polling stations with broken and out dated machines. He himself had trouble voting on election day because of an old machine.


Earlier today, several Georgia voters detailed their negative experiences at polling stations.

Their stories straight from the Abrams campaign:

  • Nedghie Adrien from DeKalb County and attends graduate school in Boston, so she requested an absentee ballot early. She never received her ballot, and when she called the local elections office to follow up, she was told that DeKalb did not mail out thousands of absentee ballots in time for votes to count. The post office never confirmed that the ballot was mailed, and as of today, 3 days after Election Day, the ballot still hasn’t shown up.
  • Cazembe Jackson lives in East Point and is registered to vote in Fulton County. He updated his address at least twice before Election Day. On Election Day, he went to his polling place, and they denied him a ballot, saying that he was registered at a different place, and he had to drive 30 minutes to his old address in order to vote. Two people in his household who changed their addresses in the exact same way were allowed to vote at the first location, but he was not.
  • Tate Delgado is from Gwinnett County and is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California. He applied for an absentee ballot, but his application was rejected due to a signature mismatch. However, he was only notified at his home address in Georgia, and by the time that mail was redirected to his correct address, he did not have time to address the mismatch issue. He was unable to cast his ballot, and flew back from California today specifically to make his voice heard.
  • Surabhi Beriwal is a new Georgia voter who moved here this past summer. She registered by paper and went to vote early in Fulton. The poll workers said they couldn’t find her in the system, and the poll manager also couldn’t find her—but the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page said she was registered. The poll manager said she could vote provisionally, or provide different photo ID. She ultimately was able to present a passport card and vote successfully.
  • Cassandra Hollis’ mother was not allowed to cast a regular ballot because the system claimed she had voted early, but she was bed-ridden when the system said she voted in-person and could not have voted. Instead, she was forced to cast a provisional ballot, which has not yet been confirmed to have counted.[22]

Asian connection

Left to right: Aisha Yaqoob, Sheikh Rahman, Stacey Abrams, Ben Ku, Bee Nguyen, Angelika Kausche, and Sam Park, Democratic candidates in Nov. 2018 election. Photo: Donna Wong

Abrams volunteer Donna Wong wrote that her friend , Lani Wong, a leading member of the Georgia Advancing Progress PAC, helped coordinate this fundraiser-outreach event along with Grace Choi, the first appointed Georgia Democrats-AAPI Coordinated Campaign Director. The event was Standing Room Only with 150 people at the Canton House dim-sum restaurant on Buford Highway.

In introduction of Stacey Abrams, Lani Wong said, “For Asians, we heard ‘go to school, work hard, and take care of each other.’ Like many of us, first generation Asians immigrants, Stacey’s family also struggled to make ends meet. Stacey and her five siblings grew up in Mississippi. Her parent’s unwavering commitment to education, to provide educational opportunities for their children and led the family to Georgia. Stacey and her siblings were educated right here in Dekalb County. Let’s welcome Stacey.”

Stacey began her presentation by talking about her opposition to the constitutional amendment that would strip away the rights to publish information in any language other than English. This bill would have made it unlawful for teachers and public health officials to print and share information with the public in other languages, and for attorney general to print information about civil rights in other languages. It would require all communications to be in English only. Note that ten percent of Georgia’s population was born in another country.

Even though Stacey Adams represented a district that has a small population of Asian Americans and Latinos, and is largely African American and majority white, she worked to overturn this bill in 2016.

”As a Georgian and as an American woman, I had to stand up and speak against that bill. Working with others, we were able to defeat that bill that would have stripped away rights from everyone in the state of Georgia.[23]

TOP connection


Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Stacey Abrams was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[24]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

DSA connections

Spoke to DSA


Campaigning for Griffin

Georgia House Democrat Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Decatur) campaigned with Floyd Griffin, the Democratic candidate for Georgia House District 145, representing all of Baldwin and part of Putnam counties September, 2016.

The visit is part of a “day of action” dubbed #OverjoyedForFloyd, in which dozens of volunteers, led by Abrams and Griffin, will make telephone and in-person calls to voters in the 145th district.

Both Griffin and Abrams hope these events will educate voters on this year’s issues, and persuade them that Griffin is better prepared to represent Middle Georgians.

“Politics isn’t a sport,” said Griffin’s field organizer, Khalid Kamau. “You can’t just root for the guy who plays for ‘your team’ no matter how inexperienced he is. Our livelihoods and hospitals are at stake. Experience matters.”[25]

Ferrell connection

October 2017, Marcus Ferrell, the deputy campaign manager for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, left the campaign after he was outed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution for being interviewed on By Any Means Necessary, a program on the Russian-backed network Sputnik News. Eugene Puryear, the host of By Any Means Necessary, told Anoa Changa. “Yes, at times other nations point to racism to expose US hypocrisy. At the end of the day though, the problem is racism and capitalism. People who have a problem with race being ‘divisive’ in the US should work to solve the root problems. Not try to smear movements.”[26]

Unofficial endorsement

From Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America September 2018 EQUALITY:

Backing stacey.JPG
Brian Kemp must not be governor. The Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America stand in solidarity with our fellow Georgians against the government that we have been promised under four more years of Republican leadership. We stand with the workers who work harder than any of the wealthy elite in our state. We stand with those who continue to suffer under white supremacy in the state.

We stand with those who braved unspeakable odds to immigrate here for a better life. We stand in solidarity with every- day Georgians who just want a decent home near the people they care about, a living-wage job with dignity and meaning, and the ability to create a better future for their children.
We stand with all of these working families who want Stacey Abrams to be the next governor of this state. For many reasons, we cannot endorse Abrams ourselves, but neither can we stand aside while our friends and allies fight for something they know will make their lives better. We voted to encourage our members, if they feel so moved, to stand up and fight in this election cycle.
Whether it be for a campaign, registering voters, or work against voter suppression, we will support our members in their efforts. After this election, we will be working tirelessly to hold whoever wins accountable to the people of Georgia. They are there to serve us, not multinational corporations or their friends in business.
We will also be developing and running our own candidates for office—candidates who will run with or without the blessing of the Democratic Party and will stand in opposition to the elite neoliberal capitalist establishment. We will also build working-class power through independent organizations that will always put the people over parties.
First go vote, then come fight![27]

WFP Facebook Invitation

Working Families Party Launch Party for Stacey Abrams 4-8-2018 Facebook Event Screenshot

From the event:

"On April 8, the Working Families Party is doubling down on our endorsement of Stacey by setting up shop down South! We already have staff on the ground (and you can meet them!) and are coming out strong in support of Stacey Abrams.

We want to recruit volunteer leaders across the state to build up a progressive stronghold in Georgia to win in November and beyond.

Join us at Manuel's Tavern for a launch party and meet-and-greet. Find out more about our plan to win in 2018:

Special guests will include:

The 2018 Georgia Governor’s race is already underway and there is a lot on the line. Georgia needs critical investments in housing, education, health care, and the environment. We need to create jobs that can move families up the economic ladder towards our dreams. The time is now to push back against policies that hurt us with a vision that will provide the kind of equitable and just state we all deserve.

The Working Families Party believes that Stacey Abrams holds that vision."

Working Families Party Support

Socialist Khalid Kamau stumps for Stacey Abrams in Georgia

On April 08 2018, the Working Families Party and Georgia "feminist" Aimee Castenell held an event[28] in support of Stacey Abrams. Speakers included Representative Renitta Shannon, Councilman Khalid Kamau and Senator Nan Orrock.

Georgia State University professor Alex Sayf Cummings, who describes himself as a "Libyan, trans, socialist" on Twitter posted a short video of the event.

From the Tweet:[29]

“I am a socialist.” Black Lives Matter activist and the first self-identified socialist to get elected in Georgia, khalid kamau, speaking for Gov candidate @StaceyAbrams at Manuel’s Tavern.


According to the Facebook invitation, the following were interested / attended the event:[30]



Corkill connection

Working Families/DSA connection

A progressive advocacy group is planning to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, putting substantial resources behind the former state House minority leader ahead of the party’s May 22 primary.

The Working Families Party said it is aiming to spend in the “high six-figures” to canvass some 200,000 voters in the southern part of metro Atlanta in the months ahead. The group is focusing on African American voters who tend to back Democratic candidates but typically sit out midterm elections, hewing to the strategy Abrams has argued is key to Democrats winning Georgia’s governorship for the first time since 2002.

They plan to do this by focusing on a jobs and economics-heavy message, as well as issues such as health care and racial equality, according to Eric Robertson, the former union activist whom the Working Families Party has brought on as its southern political director.

“One of the reasons you see the drop-off between midterm elections and the presidential years is that the issues are not as clear between the candidates,” he said. “People don’t feel that same sense of urgency. We want to change that by having massive-scale contact with those voters to really communicate to them the issues that we think and we know are a priority.”

The Working Families Party, which formally endorsed Abrams last year, has hired Robertson and digital strategist Aimee Castenell to helm the effort.[31]

Eric Robertson connection


DSA North Star Online Conference Sunday September 16, 2018:

Part 1. Introduction and National Perspectives 40 minutes Introduction. What is North Star about? What do we wish to accomplish? How do we do it? We’ll begin this meet up by hearing from DSA members active in governing, electoral politics, and organizing. How have DSA members successfully organized around electoral politics?


Orrock endorsement


Anti-Trump protest

According to Barbara Joye, January 30, 2017 started with a demonstration of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) that threatens a major water source and sacred sites. A crowd of about 500, including Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America members Dani Atlanta, Barbara Joye, Daniel Hanley and Reid Jenkins, marched from a rally at Piedmont Park to another at the North Ave. MARTA station. Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring reminded us that the Sabal Trail pipeline under construction through our state will take gas from fracking in Alabama to Florida so utilities can compete with solar energy.

Later, several thousand Atlantans massed and chanted for two hours in front of the south terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, protesting Trump's executive order excluding all refugees and banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Many MADSA members took part, dispersed among the crowd.

Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson, State Sens. Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock, State Rep. Stacey Abrams, and Mayor Kasim Reed joined us - though Reed's statement that Atlanta is a "welcoming city" sparked cries from the crowd for a sanctuary city, as advocated by speaker Azadeh Shahshahani, spokesperson for GA-J20, the coalition which presented that demand to Reed's office on Jan. 20 (MADSA is a coalition member).[32]



  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. Onward Together website: PAC (accessed on June 12 2019)
  7. [6]
  8. Taking America Back Starts with Georgia’s April Special Election, accessed April 10 2017
  9. [7]
  10. PowerPAC+Elected and Appointed Leadership, accessed Dec. 1 ,2014
  11. PowerPAC+ Board of Directors, accessed Dec. 1, 2014.
  12. [8]
  13. [9]
  14. [The Grio Why donors are spending millions to support Stacey Abrams’ campaign to become first Black female governor By Kia Morgan-Smith - March 7, 2018]
  15. [ Bay Area activists helped Stacey Abrams win Georgia’s Democratic primary Photo of Joe Garofoli Joe Garofoli May 23, 2018 Updated: May 23, 2018 5:48 p.m.]
  16. [10]
  17. [ Political Intelligence Control of the U.S. Senate Posted by Steve Phillips on May 17, 2013]
  18. PowerPAC+Georgia Rules! Stacey Abrams & Michelle Nunn Win Primaries Posted by PowerPAC+ Team on May 26, 2014
  19. [, DFA Democracy for America endorses Abdul El-Sayed for Governor of Michigan April 26, 2018 - 9:15 am]
  20. [11]
  21. [ Organizing Upgrade, Politics is About Power: Assessing the 2018 Midterms By Max Elbaum These notes were the basis for a presentation to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild on November 8, 2018]
  22. [ voters detail poll problems at press conference as Stacey Abrams pushes for provisional ballots to be counted By TheGrio -November 9, 2018]
  23. [12]
  24. Progressive States Network: State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform (accessed on Dec. 23, 2010)
  25. [13]
  26. [14]
  27. [file:///C:/Users/Trevor/Downloads/EqFINAL9_13_18.pdf]
  28. Working Families for Stacey Abrams Launch Party accessed July 30 2018
  29. Alex Sayf Cummings' tweet accessed July 30 2018
  30. Alex Sayf Cummings' tweet accessed July 30 2018
  31. [15]
  32. MADSA Jan. 29: Solidarity With Standing Rock, Refugees, Muslims posted by BARBARA JOYE | 21.80sc January 30, 2017