By Alysha Conner | #ELECTION2018 | The Atlanta Voice
“I was just sitting at home in California minding my own business but I could not stop thinking about what’s going on down here…
With that thought as her backdrop, media mogul Oprah Winfrey arrived in Atlanta Thursday morning to endorse and canvass for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Along with door-to-door campaigning, Oprah made an appearance at two of Abrams’s campaign rallies. The first rally was held at Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson Theater in Marietta, while the second rally took place at the Porter Sanford Arts and Community Center in Decatur.“Nobody paid for me to come here. Nobody asked for me to come here. I paid for myself and I approve this message,” Oprah declared while kicking off the first rally.
As a registered Independent voter, Oprah supports voters having the right to vote based on their values and conscience.
It was just three days ago that Oprah called Abrams to offer her support with her campaign. Oprah explained that she volunteered to help, because she genuinely believes that Abrams’s values what is best for the people of Georgia.
“Stacy Abrams’s values are in alignment with the consciousness in which our democracy has been founded. The very foundation of our democracy is to think about other people, to live a life in service to others,” Oprah explained.
Stacey Abrams explains her position on Medicaid expansion at the Porter Sanford Arts and Community Center in Decatur Thursday, November 1, 2018. (Photo by: Itoro N. Umontuen)
Oprah highlighted important matters Abrams has focused on in her campaign, including: Medicaid expansion, keeping families together, common-sense gun control, environmental protection, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform.
“And when I stand in the polls, I do as Maya Angelou says, ‘I come as one but I stand as 10,000,’” Oprah told the crowd.Oprah enlightened Georgia voters of the power and value of their ballot. Her goal was to encourage voters to make history, by voting to make Abrams the country’s first female African-American governor.
“… I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed, who were oppressed for the right of equality at the polls,” Oprah explained. “And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain.”
Oprah also killed any rumors of a possible Presidental run in 2020.
“I don’t want to run, okay? I’m not trying to test any waters. Don’t want to go in those waters,” Winfrey said.
During a sit-down conversation at the rally, Oprah asked Abrams, “I am intrigued by your story and have so many other people been intrigued by your story. But, more that intrigued by this idea that you would actually dare to take this on. I have found in my own experience that when something major is happening, there’s something inside you that feels like it’s a calling. It’s more than just ‘oh I just want to have a career,’ and I want to know how that manifested inside you? That you knew for such a time as this, you were called to this moment?”
Abrams initially responded by recognizing her parents, who were in the audience, for teaching her the key values that has motivated her journey.
“We used to volunteer which made me a little irritated, because I’d say ‘we’re poor too, why are we volunteering?’ My mother would say, ‘No matter how little we had, there were more people with less. Your job is to serve that person.’ My dad was more distinct saying, ‘having nothing is not an excuse for doing nothing.’ It instilled in me two things. One, I believe poverty is immoral. I think it robs us of our humanity. I think it robs us of opportunity, and I think it’s solvable. The second piece is that I realized when I was in the legislature, that the person who sits on the governor’s office decides access to Education, healthcare, jobs, and more,” Abrams further answered.
With Election Day four days away, Abrams encouraged the audience to volunteer hard. She invoked supporters to canvass Atlanta and surrounding communities by knocking on doors and imploring people to vote if they have not done so.
Abrams also motivated the audience to simply educate others on why their vote matters.