At its essence, the contest to become Georgia’s next governor rests on this question: What are Georgia values?
Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp offer different visions for the future of the state.
The Atlanta Jewish Times asked Abrams and Kemp to answer, as specifically as possible, “What are Georgia values?” Their responses are published here as they were received.
My values are Georgia’s values: faith, family, service and responsibility. My parents, both United Methodist ministers, taught my five siblings and I that it was our responsibility to give back to our community. If someone was less fortunate, it was up to us to serve that person and lift them up. These same values guide me as I run to become governor of Georgia.
We need to build a Georgia that gives everyone the freedom and opportunity to thrive, ensuring that no one is left out or left behind because of who they are, where they come from, or what they believe. Georgians need a governor who will protect their freedom of religion and freedom of speech; one who will invest in education and health care by expanding Medicaid and keeping public dollars in public schools; who will expand democracy and protect everyone’s right to be included. We must ensure that our schools, government buildings and public spaces are welcoming to everyone – places where everyone can succeed. Those are Georgia’s values, those are my values, and that is my commitment to Georgia.
I have long been an unwavering ally to the Jewish community. In 2011, I traveled to Israel through Project Interchange with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I’m a proud alumna of Project Understanding. As governor, I will listen to all Georgians of all backgrounds and take the time to understand the issues that impact them, their families and their communities.
Georgia Values: Our state is strong and prosperous because we have a common set of values that unite us.
While there are countless “Georgia values” that draw us together, faith, family and hard work are the three I cherish the most.
Faith: Georgia is a state that celebrates people of faith and values those who work to make the world around them a better, safer place. Throughout our state, churches and synagogues are not only the buildings where people of faith congregate. More importantly, these buildings serve as a safe haven for local children to play, places of hope for victims to receive care, and centers of change for populations that are struggling to survive.
Family: Family – not government – is what makes our state strong. Families throughout our state are charged with raising, protecting, teaching and inspiring our children. While government provides essential services, the real work goes on in the household.
Hard Work: I built my first business with a pick-up truck and a shovel. Over 30 years later, we have created hundreds of jobs for hardworking Georgians throughout our state. My story isn’t unique. In Georgia, anything is possible – if you work hard enough.
As governor, I will fight every day to protect our Georgia values and ensure that our best days are ahead.