The Inner Beauty Of Stacey Abrams. The Positive Side of Politics.
At 19 years of age, Stacey Abrams saw what many chose to ignore. The 19th amendment that empowered woman to vote was about 100 years old. The civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965 made voting easier. Yet, the state of Georgia voting patterns didn’t reflect the true population of Georgia.
She decided to do something about it. She is 47 years old now. On the wee hours of November 6th, 2020, she did it.
In the world of bravado, personal airtime and what’s in it for me- the noble vote counting clerks and volunteers at the numerous counting stations usually get the drift. They grease the wheels of democracy. Just like many of us in the offices across the world — we are the cogs in the wheel of our company’s fortune. Stacey Abrams is like us, an inspiration that hard work, the methodical non-glamorous kind, matters.
Gandhi brought freedom to India using non-violence. An innovative thought in the world of guns, barrels and steel. The heart of his thesis is his deep belief in this innate human psychology- best expressed in this clip from the 1982 movie — Gandhi.
What was wonderful about Gandhi was that he was not only a free thinker but also a doer. The combination at the heart of an innovator. Like him, Stacey Abrams stands tall among the free thinkers who are also hard workers — in her own way.
Not how you act, but how you react to a loss.
In 2018, Stacey Abrams, the Wisconsin born, Mississippi raised, Atlanta native lost the election for Georgia governor by less than 1.5%. It thrust the issue of widespread voter suppression in national limelight in a way that hadn’t been quite so clear in the past. In the first place, the ultimate Governor race winner ran while still serving as the Secretary of State, he was in charge of facilitating his own election. “His office came under fire for holding back voter registrations, massive voter roll purges, rejected absentee ballots, widespread polling place closures, and more, all affecting majority Black areas and voters. And on election day, counties expected to see largely minority voters experienced huge delays and broken voting machines.”
After the election, many predicted that Abrams would run for another office. Instead, she found founded Fair Fight, a PAC dedicated to promoting fair elections by fighting voter suppression. Since then, 800,000 new Georgian voters have been registered. No fanfare, no grandstanding, just boots on the ground.
“I have said this before, and I will say it again,” Civil Rights leader John Lewis said in June 2019. “The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.”
For the 2020 elections, voter turnout in Georgia hit record numbers. Democracy at its best.
Bringing it all together
My 12 year old daughter asked me yesterday, “what did you like about the U.S. elections?” I told her Stacey Abrams. She asked me who and why?
I was happy to share with her, Stacey’s story.
I grew up believing talent is great, hard work matters. In Stacey Abrams relentless efforts in voter registration, I see something wonderful to emulate in the world of politics — free thinking to make a change is great, rolling-up the sleeves and make it happen is critical. The hard work lies not in showing up in prime time TV. It lies in making democracy tick. That involves enfranchising citizens — one person at a time.
Hard work is a habit. It adds up. Success of Stacey Abrams’s efforts is a living proof today — making the bedrock of democracy tick. Believe in your right to vote and make it happen.
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