Stacey Abrams, minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, gave a rousing calls to action to a gathering of Oconee County Democrats this (Sunday) afternoon, telling them to get people of all races registered and to get people of all races out to vote starting next month.
“Georgia is already blue,” Abrams said at the outset.
During her 30-minute talk, Abrams mentioned neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton. She also didn’t mention Gary Johnson, the third major party candidate on the November ballot in Georgia.
Instead Abrams spoke about what she called Georgia’s “progressive” tradition and about the prospects of the Democratic Party taking the state back from the Republicans, starting in November.
About 40 people turned out in the rain to hear Abrams talk at the pavilion near the tennis courts in Veterans Park on Hog Mountain Road.
Billed as an Ice Cream Social, the event featured Abrams as the key attraction.
A tax attorney, Abrams represents House District 89, which includes parts of Atlanta, Decatur and DeKalb County.
In June The New York Times named Abrams as one of 14 young Democrats to watch in the United States.
The Times also quoted her in today’s (Sunday’s) paper in a story on the implications of Trump campaign tactics for the future of American politics.
Role Of Government
Abrams’ comments at the Oconee Democratic event today were wide ranging, covering her view of government, the state’s past, and her work to increase voter turnout.
“Government is nothing more than the people pooling their resources together to help people they will never see accomplish things they will never benefit from, simply because we know it is the right thing to do,” she said.
“Georgia has always been a progressive state,” she said. “We’ve always led with our hearts and our heads, not with ideological beliefs, and certainly not with the hatred we’ve seen in the recent years.”
“What makes Georgia different is how we work together,” she said.
Abrams said she has visited 138 of 159 counties in Georgia and has worked on what she called a nonpartisan effort to increase voter turnout.
Low Propensity Voters
Abrams said the vast majority of the people moving to Georgia between 2000 and 2010 were people of color.
While a majority of the state is still white, about a quarter of those people, according to Abrams, are “consistent progressive.”
Abrams said many voters, white and non-white, do not vote because nobody asks them to do so.
“It is our job to go find those people and say ‘I need your help’,” she said.
Only 200,000 Votes
Abrams said she gets “a bit of credit for being able to work with Republicans.”
“It’s because I don’t think Republicans are evil,” she said. “I just think they’re wrong. And that’s a very different thing.”
Abrams said only 200,000 votes are the “difference between whether Georgia is blue or Georgia is confused.”
“There is no reason we don’t win this election,” Abrams said. “There is no reason we don’t win every election. There are reasons why we must. There are reasons why we have to. But there is not a single good reasons why we can’t.”
The complete video of the event in Veterans Park is below.
Margaret Holt, chair of the Oconee County Democrats, opened the session.
Abrams began speaking at 13 minutes and 20 seconds into the recording.
The final day to register to vote for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 11, and early voting starts Oct. 17. The names of Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson will be on the ballot for U.S. president.