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Thank You, Stacey Abrams

 

The conclusions of the Georgia runoff races are historical. After two extremely tight races, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are on track to become the next two senators to represent the state of Georgia. These feats are remarkable, especially when considering that Warnock will be the first Black senator elected by the state of Georgia and Ossoff will be the first Jewish senator elected by the state of Georgia. As we reflect on the elections of Warnock and Ossoff, I think that it’s incredibly important to acknowledge the work of someone who is largely responsible for the immense voter turnout: Stacey Abrams.

Abrams is a force to be reckoned with. Her political activism is admirable and the amount of work that she’s completed should be the goal of anyone who wants to make a change for the better. Many believed that Abrams would begin a new political campaign after she narrowly lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election; however, Abrams didn’t take that path. Instead, she decided to delve even deeper into the realm of civic engagement as she began to form various grassroots groups and nonprofit organizations that were dedicated to voter outreach, voter registration, and voting rights.


TEST IMage (live form)
Manny Becerra / Unsplash

Abrams has been a part of numerous organizations. In 2014, she helped found the New Georgia Project, a “nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians.” Then, in 2018, Abrams helped develop the Fair Fight organization. This organization is dedicated to encouraging voter participation and to advocating for election reform in order to prevent voter suppression. Notably, Fair Fight has helped to register over 800,000 voters in the state of Georgia.

The hard work that Abrams dedicated herself to has surely paid off. The first example of this was evident during the 2020 presidential election. The increase in Georgian voter turnout in the 2020 election compared to the 2016 election was astounding, and Georgia went on to flip blue for the first time since 1992. It became clear that Abrams’ work throughout the state had contributed greatly to this massive turnout. Then, when it came time for the Georgia runoffs, Abrams sprung into action yet again. As she worked tirelessly to remain vocal about voter outreach, Abrams worked to ensure that voters viewed the runoffs as being just as important as the presidential election was. Once the results for the runoff came rolling in, it was clear that Abrams had again held a massive influence over the influx of voting that occurred. Over 4.5 million voters participated in the 2021 Georgia runoff, a notably larger turnout when compared to how many voted in the 2016 election. (It’s also important to recognize that Abrams is just one person from the massive groups of volunteers, workers, and groups who wholeheartedly dedicate themselves toward voter outreach; they deserve to be applauded and praised just as much!) 


polling station
Photo by Elliott Stallion from Unsplash

The fights against voter suppression and for more voter outreach continues relentlessly. However, Abrams has laid the groundwork for how to successfully enable voters to use their voices to the fullest extent. The work that Abrams completed has changed the country. Her accomplishments deserve to be recognized. I am grateful to Abrams for her relentless passion; she has become a significant source of inspiration to anyone who wants to make a positive impact upon society. With that being said: thank you, Stacey Abrams. Thank you for everything.

Courtney Wells

UC Riverside '22

Courtney is an undergrad at UC Riverside with a major in Sociology and a minor in Feminist Studies. She is passionate about social justice, intersectional feminism, and political activism. She is a lover of reading, iced tea, dad jokes, scary movies, cheese fries, and Taylor Swift. She can usually be found rewatching Pride and Prejudice (2005) with her cats.
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