Stacey Abrams Biography & Facts
Stacey Yvonne Abrams (; born December 9, 1973) is an American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author who served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, serving as minority leader from 2011 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Abrams founded Fair Fight Action, an organization to address voter suppression, in 2018. Her efforts have been widely credited with boosting voter turnout in Georgia, including in the 2020 presidential election, where Joe Biden narrowly won the state, and in Georgia's 2020–2021 U.S. Senate election and special election, which gave Democrats control over the Senate.
Abrams was the Democratic nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, becoming the first African-American female major-party gubernatorial nominee in the United States. She lost to Brian Kemp in an election marked by accusations that Kemp engaged in voter suppression as Georgia secretary of state. In February 2019, Abrams became the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.
Abrams has also found success as an author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction books, Our Time Is Now and Lead from the Outside, were New York Times best sellers. Outside of politics, Abrams has published eight fiction books, using the pen name Selena Montgomery until 2021. Her latest work of fiction, While Justice Sleeps, was released on May 11, 2021, under her real name.
Early life and education
The second of six siblings, Abrams was born to Robert and Carolyn Abrams in Madison, Wisconsin, and raised in Gulfport, Mississippi. The family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where her parents pursued graduate degrees at Emory University and later became Methodist ministers. She attended Avondale High School, graduating as valedictorian, and where she was selected for a Telluride Association Summer Program. While in high school, she was hired as a typist for a congressional campaign, and at age 17, she was hired as a speechwriter based on the edits she had made while typing.In 1995, Abrams earned a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies (political science, economics, and sociology) from Spelman College, magna cum laude. While in college, she worked in the youth services department in the office of Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson. She later interned at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As a freshman in 1992, Abrams took part in a protest on the steps of the Georgia Capitol, during which she joined in burning the state flag. At that time, Georgia's state flag incorporated the Confederate battle flag, which had been added to the state flag in 1956 as an anti-civil rights movement action. The flag was designed by Southern Democrat John Sammons Bell, an attorney and chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia who was an outspoken supporter of segregation.As a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Abrams studied public policy at the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she earned a Master of Public Affairs degree in 1998. In 1999, she earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Legal and business career
After graduating from law school, Abrams worked as a tax attorney at the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan law firm in Atlanta, with a focus on tax-exempt organizations, health care, and public finance. In 2010, while a member of the Georgia General Assembly, Abrams co-founded and served as the senior vice president of NOW Corp. (formerly NOWaccount Network Corporation), a financial services firm.Abrams is CEO of Sage Works, a legal consulting firm that has represented clients including the Atlanta Dream of the Women's National Basketball Association.
Nourish and Now
Abrams co-founded Nourish, Inc. in 2010. Originally conceived as a beverage company with a focus on infants and toddlers, it was later rebranded as Now and pivoted its business model to an invoicing solution for small businesses. Now raised a $9.5 million Series A in 2021.
In 2002, at age 29, Abrams was appointed a deputy city attorney for the City of Atlanta.
Georgia General Assembly
In 2006, Abrams ran for the 89th district for the Georgia House of Representatives, following JoAnn McClinton's announcement that she would not seek reelection. Abrams ran in the Democratic Party primary election against former state legislator George Maddox and political operative Dexter Porter. She outraised her two opponents and won the primary election with 51% of the vote, avoiding a runoff election.
Abrams represented House District 89, which includes portions of the City of Atlanta and unincorporated DeKalb County, covering the communities of Candler Park, Cedar Grove, Columbia, Druid Hills, Edgewood, Highland Park, Kelley Lake, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, South DeKalb, Toney Valley, and Tilson. She served on the Appropriations, Ethics, Judiciary Non-Civil, Rules, and Ways & Means committees.In November 2010, the Democratic caucus elected Abrams to succeed DuBose Porter as minority leader over Virgil Fludd. Abrams's first major action as minority leader was to cooperate with Republican governor Nathan Deal's administration to reform the HOPE Scholarship program. She co-sponsored the 2011 legislation that preserved the HOPE program by decreasing the scholarship amount paid to Georgia students and funded a 1% low-interest loan program for students.According to Time magazine, Abrams "can credibly boast of having single-handedly stopped the largest tax increase in Georgia history." In 2011 Abrams argued that a Republican proposal to cut income taxes while increasing a tax on cable service would lead to a net increase in taxes paid by most people. She performed an analysis of the bill that showed that 82% of Georgians would see net tax increases, and left a copy of the analysis on the desk of every House legislator. The bill subsequently failed.
Abrams also worked with Deal on criminal-justice reforms that reduced prison costs without increasing crime, and with Republicans on the state's biggest-ever public transportation funding package.On August 25, 2017, Abrams resigned from the General Assembly to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.
2018 gubernatorial campaign
Abrams ran for governor of Georgia in 2018. In the Democratic primary she ran against Stacey Evans, another member of the Georgia House of Representatives, in what some called "the battle of the Staceys". Abrams was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution. On May 22, she won the Democratic nomination, making her the first black woman in the U.S. to be a major party's nominee for governor.After winning the primary, Abrams secured a number of high-profile endorsements, including one from former president Barack Obama.Almost a week before election day, the Republican nominee, Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp, canceled a debate scheduled seven weeks earlier to attend a Trump rally. Kemp blamed Abrams for the cancellation, saying she was unwilling to reschedule it. A.... Discover the Stacey Abrams popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Stacey Abrams books.