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Stacey Abrams: The Deep South woman vying to make history

By Courtney SubramanianBBC News. Atlanta, Georgia Image CopyrightGetty Images Image TextsStacey Abrams aims to make history as the country's first…

 Stacey Abrams

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Stacey Abrams aims to make history as the country’s first black female governor

A controversy about the governor’s mansion in the US state Georgia has a woman who turns to become the first black American woman to run a state.

Buttons of people clustering outside the Hendershots cafe are waiting for a black SUV to drive 70 miles east of Atlanta.

The crowd appears in a line of followers folded around the exposed brick building, which puts on the college town of Athens, Georgia, on a October autumn day.

A mixture of parents, professors and elderly residents, adorned with campaign buttons and switchboards, interrupts groups of eager students who stand outside the trendy live music scene.

“Remember to vote!” they say.

It’s a scene reserved for national politicians or pop stars streaming through the city, but the swinging sounds of chats and intermittent chants are for Stacey Abrams, a 44-year-old lawyer and former state legislature, who is deadly in a controversial Race with Georgian State Secretary, Republican Brian Kemp.

The race is symbolic of two stories that reverberate all over the United States in the wake of the presidential election Donald Trump.

Kemp, a self-declared “politically incorrect conservative”, echoes the Trump Republicanism brand, focusing on tax cuts, protecting gun rights and “rounding off illegal illegal” in its truck &#821

1; noted in one of his early political ads.

The competing story is that of Abrams, a progressive women’s candidate of color who has appealed to minority voters, a group that she has focused a lot on her campaign.

The fact is that nearly 945,000 Georgian citizens who have already cast an early vote are about 30% black, a significantly higher rate than mid-2014.

Experts point out that North Carolina and South Carolina have not yet seen a similar increase among black voters, which can underline how much power Abram’s base can be.

And more Georgians are registered to vote than ever before – 6.9 million of the state’s 10.4 million inhabitants. [19659009] Jaylen Black, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Georgia, has been volunteering for the Abrams campaign for a year and three months.

“Her campaign means everything to me,” she says, donating a navy Abram T-shirt as she walks to the candidate’s next look at a bar on the street.

“I care about politics but I always felt that there was no party representing issues that were relevant to my society, like an African American,” continues Ms Black.

“And when Stacey drove, it was not just that she was a black woman but she felt just as true as a candidate. For the first time, I felt like I was talking to someone who lay on my level as we were just people . “

This authenticity seems to have been resonated with Abram’s most keen followers, many devotees referring to her as Stacey.

“I think this also begins to be a legacy for black women. She does not necessarily vote for her because she is a black woman, but because she is a black woman, she understands in another perspective,” said 25-year-old Yanill Sanchez , an African-American graduate student at the University of Georgia.

She says that she relieves college debt and increased access to financial support has made a chord with young voters.

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“She’s running a move for us,” adds Andrea Glaze, a 25-year-old black graduate student who stands outside Hendershots after Abram’s first appearance.

A short walk from The cafe, the woman they have all come to see again, goes to the scene.

“Have you lost?” she asks.

“No! We have found! “A student relationship cries when the crowd burst into the bowl during the festoon lights.

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Stacey Abrams Speaks to Followers, Joined by Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Presseley (R) and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts

Born in rural Mississippi poverty, Abrams arrived in Georgia at high school with her parents, who moved to Emory University’s Theological Schools to become ministers.

She graduated in magna cum laude from Spelman, a historic black women’s college in Atlanta, before receiving a legal degree from Yale and a degree in Public Policy from the University of Austin.

Kenja McCray, a history professor in Atlanta who also went to Spelman, reminds Ms. Abrams at the university.

“She was very motivated, very serious, very focused and always driving for something in SGA [Student Government Association]” she reminds.

Ms. McCray volunteered on a telephone bank for Abrams to show support as a kamrat Spelman alumni, and to show for his two daughters aged 18 and 20, how important it is to vote.

But the difficulty her daughters experienced in attempting to shed light on how high the efforts were in the medium term of the year, Ms. McCray says.

“I thought,” how many other children – other people – out there are going through it? “And I realized that we have a lot of work to do,” she says.

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Ms. McCray says she helps her daughters to vote helped her realize how high efforts were November 6th

Abram’s critics point out that she has attracted funding from third-party donors while regularly part of national headlines, as featured in the magazine Time Magazine.

But her rise from poverty to power is a more familiar theme than some of her opponents can think, LaDawn says “LBJ” Jones, a lawyer in South Fulton.

“What her candidacy tells me is that she can talk to the common man,” she says. “It follows a story that Kemp’s supporters would like to put out, which is” pulling yourself off your own bootstraps “.”

“Because of the background because of that story and what she has to do to get there – I hope it is encouraging for other African Americans and people in general – that there are no limits and nothing to prevent you from to attain your goals. “

A flash point in voters

The run of the governor’s mansion culminates in a long-standing saga between Abrams and Kemp over a systemic issue in the heart of the American election voting rights.

As a secretary, Kemp’s office appealed against the cancellation of 1.5m voter registration applications between 2012-16 – 750,000 more than it did in the previous period, according to a report from the New York University’s Brennan Center, a public policy tanker.

A recently published report from the American Public Media found that more than half a million voters were cleared last year and of the 107,000 were removed because of the so-called “use it or lose the policy” that cut people from voting on you chose not to vote in previous elections.

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According to recent polls, Kemp leads Abrams by 2% – within the error margin

Earlier this month, the Associated Press found that Kemp’s office had over 53,000 applications for voter registration, nearly 70% filed by African Americans, across the state’s so-called exact match team. Afro-Americans represent only 32% of the state’s population.

The policy that requires applications to accurately match the information in the Georgia Department of Driver Services or Social Security Administration file has delayed infringement requests as much as a missing hyphens in a name.

Kemp has denied something wrong and argued that he made it easier to vote and that it was incorrect to register residents of the New Georgia Project, a voting initiative that he investigated in 2014 was founded by Abrams.

His campaign spokesman has said that Kemp is “struggling to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that only legitimate citizens cast a vote”, but critics argue that it undermines eligible voters.

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The tensions are high with just one week left before the election night.

Mr Kemp has attacked Abrams to be “too extreme” for Georgia, pointing to her plan to expand the Medicaid Health Program for the poor to suffer from a hospital shortage in the countryside.

She wants “higher taxes, greater government and a single payer radical government takeover of care,” he said during a new debate.

Abrams also had to deal with an uncomfortable episode in which a New York Times report revealed that she burned the Georgian state flag on state-run steps in 1992 as a college freshman.

The design encompassed the confederate battle flag symbol, a disgusting nod to desegregation when adopted in 1956. She apologized for “peaceful protest” and pointed out that the flag has since changed and Kemp voted to remove the symbol 10 years later.

The Power of the (Black Female) Voice

The Persian State has not seen a Democratic Governor since 2003, when Sonny Perdue became the first Republican chosen since reconstruction in the late 19th century.

But the state has seen an influx of Latin Americans and African Americans, who tend to lean democratically in recent years.

Some suggest this change to a “major reverse migration” of North American people from the north to the south, a reference to the six million black Americans who left the countryside south in the early 20th century.

Abrams has focused on these voters – she has visited each of Georgia’s 159 counties, including some previously ignored by democratic candidates.

Jones, the lawyer, admits that she supported Abram’s opponent in the Democratic Priest Stacy Evans, a white woman.

“What we found out at the end is Stacey Abrams worked her tail away,” Mrs Jones says. “She touched the doors of people who had not got their doors knocked by a candidate this year.”

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Turnout among black female voters in this year’s democratic state’s primary has increased 32% from 2014

During the vote, the vote has been an important part of the Abrams campaign, but the black women in Georgia have been a consistent ballot box in recent years.

Madam McCray thinks that black female voters sometimes “fall through the cracks” when it comes to political representation.

“One of the pitfalls of being a faithful voter is that you can be taken for granted and it’s a story that is a concern for the Democratic Party,” she says.

“We face many more obstacles in terms of getting these leadership positions so it’s important to see a winner who represents us.”


Color women, currently only eight (2.6% ) nationwide elected executive offices, representing 10% of all nominees and 30% of women nominated for government-elected executive office this year, according to Kelly Dittmar of the Center for American Women in Politics.

Female state legislatures have won nominations in record talks this year, she adds. It is a trend analyst that looks at the national level as well.

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Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, are ready to become the first Muslim American women in Congress. Two more democratic black women, Jahana Hayes and Ayanna Pressley, are also the first color women in their congressional delegations.

The enthusiasm of change feels in a corner of Georgia, considered to be the most different county in the state, if not the whole of the United States southeast.

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And this year, interest has increased. Turnout among black female voters in this year’s democratic state jumped primarily 32% in 2014, according to information from the State Secretary.

Marlene Taylor-Crawford moved to Georgia almost 20 years ago and traded in the dense, pocked streets of New York City for the sweeping highways that hit Atlanta, which led to Gwinnett County.

“It was like tramping into a time value,” single mother to three, African American, reminiscent of the most white society after arriving in 1999. “I had to find myself to be around people like shared my interests. “

The former agricultural community, home to approximately 920,000 inhabitants and 16 municipalities, has been transformed into a majority of non-white counties.

The new makeup – about 28% of African American, 21% Latin and 12% of Asians – has not always been reflected in the government, “said Taylor-Crawford, president of the United Community’s United Ebony Society.

“If you went to a Gwinnett County Commission meeting and knew nothing about Gwinnett County, you would think this society is 99% white,” she says. 19659009] But the change is both in Gwin net County and elsewhere in Georgia.

In fact, the county chose its first African-American judge – a woman – in September and two cities voted recently for Gwinnett’s very first black mayor.

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Ms. Taylor-Crawford is convinced that voters are more engaged because of candidates such as Abrams. She sees new faces at municipal meetings, she says and receives more talks about United Ebony Society events.

“We are a strong voting block, we are voting consistently and we encourage others to vote so our voices are very strong,” she says to black female voters in Gwinnett.

Like Gwinnett, the United States is expected to be majority non-white in 2044 according to the US Census Bureau.

And what happens in Gwinnett County may be a hacker for whether Georgia will see the country’s first black governor.

“She represents strength, perseverance and faith. She shows Georgia that we are still rising, we can still achieve and we will achieve,” she says of Abrams.

Will Georgia make history?

Will Abrams enthusiasm change Georgia from red (democratic) to blue (Republican)?

President Trump, who has approved Kemp as governor, won Georgia easily against Hillary Clinton.

But Jones believes that Mr Trump has not “touched the needle” with African-American society despite the pride of the presidency

She says that Trump may have lowered the bar on civilization, but that black society is more energetic due to the names of the vote

“People are happy because they are angry with Trump, but they are happy that a candidate for the first time has put in the energy that will come and ask them to vote and explain why their vote is important.” [19659042] Image Copyright
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LaDawn Jones says that regardless of the election results, Stacey Abrams has opened doors for African American women in politics

Ms Abrams has been a tax attorney, a novelist and Atlanta’s deputy city attorney before becoming the first woman to lead a caucus in Georgia’s government legislature as House minority leader.

If she will again be etched in Georgia’s history, it is up to voters, but her candidacy marks a change of political winds for African American women.

“I work with people who run for selected offices and before Stacey Abrams. I had a whole session on how to wear, what to wear and what you should and should not do,” said Jones.

” I have changed it. It no longer means that you should correct your hair to please the people whose door you tap or have a face full of makeup because you are a woman.

“Stacey is authentic himself has opened the door to many people, but especially African American women who identify with her who can say,” I can run for offices and I’m not forbidden because I have dreadlocks. “”

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