In 2018, Stacey Abrams ran for governor of Georgia, the first African-American w
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In 2018, Stacey Abrams ran for governor of Georgia, the first African-American woman to receive a major party nomination for a governorship. She came within a few thousand votes of winning that election and succeeded in changing the electoral map of the state by mobilizing thousands of voters who thought they had no voice in the system. In 2020, her voters flipped the state for Joe Biden and on January 5th, 2021, her organization was widely credited with electing not one, but two, Democratic Senators from that state. She did this by connecting the real concerns of real people (just like you) to creating forces for change in her state. This is what I want to help you do as well; help you understand how a challenge in your life connects to the real work that government can and should do to support its citizens and show you how you can have real influence in your world.
Abrams wrote a book in 2018 called Minority Leader (Links to an external site.) in which she talks about how anyone can start to have their voice heard in politics. As part of the book, she compiled a set of exercises designed to help you think through your challenges and how you might go about starting to confront them.
On your own, please do the Ambition Exercise, Fighting Fear and Otherness, and SWOT Exercise (the first three):
http://minorityleaderbook.com/exercises.pdf (Links to an external site.)
I hope this exercise will help you reflect on what you want to change in the world so that we can start our conversation about how to make that possible.
To start this conversation in a reply to this post, please answer the following questions by Sunday night, January 24th.
1. Based on the Ambition Exercise, what is holding you back from achieving your goals?
2) How can we change the world to make it easier to achieve your goals?
3) Can you relate your Ambition to one of these four areas? Go to one of the group work areas and put your name and preferred design challenge into the discussion. The four areas to choose from are:
Law Design Group Part I Work Area
Making sure all voices are heard in Texas
Reform the court or law enforcement systems
Education Design Group Part I Work Area
Equalize K12 education funding
Higher education should be paid for by the state
Social Justice Design Group Part I Work Area
The state should work to make sure all Texans have access to healthcare
State taxes should redistribute wealth more effectively
The state should support social mobility better
Transportation and the Environment Design Challenge Part I Work Area
We should redesign our cities to reduce carbon emissions
We should reduce our dependency on the automobile
We will form groups with a relevant topic (you have to be able to tie it into Texas or Local Government). These topics were chosen because they are most easily relatable to Texas and local government. Some topics are more suited to an American government class (foreign policy, some types of environmental policy, media regulation, etc.) and so are difficult to do in this class, which is also why they’ve been excluded. This class will only form 2 groups and I will determine how to divide them. Please get this done by Sunday 1/24.