Like so many of you, I’m fed up with the two-party system and I’m here to do something about it. I believe in the power of the people to transform this country. That’s what led me to activism in my 20s, inspired me to organize the Coast of Georgia for the past seven years, and drove me to run for Congress in GA-01 against a multi-millionaire Republican incumbent. We knocked on more than 50,000 doors and won my primary in 2018. I want to bring what I’ve learned to the People’s Party.
I had my political awakening at just 12 years old, when Ronald Reagan became president and immediately cut Social Security benefits for my widowed mother and me; benefits we had depended on since my father’s death two years earlier. That made an indelible impact on me. I noticed the swift erosion of policies meant to protect people and the environment and saw the growth of corporate power that has become so pervasive it affects every aspect of our lives.
My eyes were opened to the world of activism when I became a canvasser in Philadelphia at the age of 18. I am a mother of four (three now grown) and I’ve been a stay-at-home mom on and off for nearly three decades. I have also been a corrections officer and the executive director of an anti-recidivism program for convicted felons. These experiences have given me a sense of empathy for all and a responsibility to create a better future.
In 2016, I organized Coastal Georgia around the delegate elections and served as a Bernie delegate as well as co-chair of the Georgia Bernie Sanders delegation. We Georgia delegates were energized both before and after the 2016 election and we all continued the political work we had started.
Right behind my pride for my children, is my pride for the races I ran and the difference we made here in GA-01, in the state of Georgia, and throughout the nation. With the support of groups and individuals such as Justice Democrats, Nina Turner, Our Revolution, Marianne Williamson, Blue America, labor unions, and so many committed progressives, we were able to gain over 42% of the vote in the 2018 midterm election against a wealthy incumbent in a highly Republican district. We did this by knocking on tens of thousands of doors, attending hundreds of events, and sticking to a truly progressive platform. We did better than any Democrat in nearly 30 years and I ran my campaign my way, with no compromise, through grassroots organizing and small-dollar donations without corporate money.
Unfortunately, my own party was the biggest obstacle to victory. Despite my longtime work within the Democratic Party, my success at organizing and mobilizing a district that had been neglected for decades, and the support I generated and brought with me, my own party chose to disregard me and to actively sabotage my campaign. Some Georgia Democrats never moved past my being a Bernie delegate and some did not agree with my unapologetic progressive policies. But the determining factor for success in our two-party system is corporate money. I couldn’t be bought or coerced, so I was always an outsider in the Democratic Party.
I’m here to ask grassroots members like you to believe in the future we’re creating, the future that moved me to join the People’s Party, and contribute the small and recurring donations that are crucial to our success. We don’t have any corporations or billionaires bankrolling our work. We have you. Now is the time to give the people of this nation the basic rights that they are calling out for: Medicare for all, peace and prosperity, and economic, racial, and environmental justice. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and humbled by everything that countless thousands of people have poured into this movement before me.
Together, I know we can do this.