tv Brookings Discussion with Stacey Abrams CSPAN February 17, 2019 11:34am-12:34pm EST
preorder today. at c-span.org/the presidents. or wherever books are sold. c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, presidential historian douglas brinkley discusses the history of presidential relations with congress. then, independent institute senior fellow ivan discusses president trump's use of executive power in the border wall debate and how presidents have used executive power in the past. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. abrams, former democratic candidate for governor in georgia, called president trump's emergency declaration a political stunt. she made the comments while
speaking at the brookings institution in washington about minority voting rights, voter suppression and a little power. discussion. >> good morning everyone. welcome to the black history month celebration at brookings, and this is a packed house. i love it. it's so packed in fact, i think we have people in our spill-over space so greetings to the people in the spill-over space as well. they don't get enough love usually around here. i'm going to assert humbly that you're not all here for the introductory speaker, and that's totally okay but that makes me motivated to keep the speech short. my name is ted gayer, and we're here for the marquis event and the brookings celebration of black history month. before we begin i'm looking through the crowd. i wanted to give a special welcome, we have a number of
artists from the richard wright school of media and arts. they created the videos we saw earlier. and if you haven't yet if you go straight down the hall after the event we have a fantastic cafeteria, and in the cafeteria we're featuring some of their art. so i would like them to stand up if they would. thank you. [applause] >> ted: thank >> i also want to thank the people here at brookings institution who made the event possible. including our representatives from the race prosperity and inclusion initiative, brookings works best when we work as a team, and so thanks to all of our team members who put this event together today. our special guest today is stacey abrahams, who is --
[applause] i that was even before i went through the bio here. and the bio is impressive. an author, a entrepreneur, a non-profit ceo, a political leader, in 2018 after serving 11 years in the georgia house of representatives, seven as minority leader, abrahams became the democratic nominee for the governor of georgia to the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the united states. [applause] over the course of her career, she has founded multiple organize organization devoted to social rights. she is a lifetime member of the counsel of fortune relation relations. the 2000 recipient of the john f. kennedy award. and if that was not enough she's
also written eight romantic suspense novels, and i'm feeling quite humble up here. and in march 2019, we could be featuring you outside. in march 2019 she'll be releasing her new book, lead from the outside, how to build your future and make real change. we're delighted you're here today. thank you very much. [applause] >> i would like to welcome jelani cobb, our moderate for today's discussion. he is the live-in professor of journalism at the columbia school of journalism and a contributor to the "new york magazine" where he writes about race, politics, history and culture. he was telling us a all about about the cowers he teaches and people in the green room were ready to sign up and audit it class.
his articles and essays have appeared in publications. he is the thoa of the book " substance of hope "so two very impressive bioes and i would ask that you all join me in welcoming welcoming stacey abrams and jelani cobb to the stage. [applause] jelani cobb how are you all? >> jelani: i'm very happy to be able to be here today, and particularly happy to be able to talk to somebody who i've known and admired for a long time. had the privilege of being one of her constituents at one point in the time i was living in
atlanta. and one of the most inarguably one of the most important voices in american politics right now, so thank you. >> stacey: thank you for having me. >> jelani: i'm particularly excited to be here especially when i realized you were announcing your campaign for president. [laughter] it's like -- >> stacey: my hoa is looking for a here leader, yes. >> jelani: but we have -- more than enough to talk about. and i guess we'll start with the kind of overarching question, which is about you know the thing that ties together the midterms and the 2016, will likely be a prominent theme in 2020, and that is the fight around voter suppression. and can you talk for a minute
about the architecture of voter suppression, and how it functions, and what we can -- i'll say what we can do about it, but how exactly to do the mechanics of this work? >> stacey: first i want to thank you for taking the time, and thank you to dr. gayer, and brookings for having me. my belief in the responsibility to fight voter suppression started when i was growing up. my parents were both civil rights activists in mississippi. my dad was arrested signing people up to vote when he was 16. my mom used to take us with her when she would pick us on up on election day she would take us with her to vote. we were raised to understand that voting is directly tied to the services and policies that yowpts to see. voter suppression acts as a
means of denying those policy's reality, and it is baked into the dna of america. it has been perfected in recent years in the last two decades in a way that lets us forget that it's real because it has so many pieces, because that's the architecture. voter suppression isn't saying you can't vote. voter suppression is a physical activity but it's also a psychic effect. telling people their votes won't count, telling people the system is rigged has the act of having people to stop trying to use it. to make sure it works is the apparatus. there is a registration access, making it difficult to get on the role. you cannot vote in the united states unless you are signed up to do so. so what we have found depending on the state there have been there have been the impediments to registration. they tell it's difficult to register you in texas.
that matters because the hardest to register communities are communities of color, low income communities, and they require third parties to come to them because they don't know how to do it on their own. in george we had the trifecta of it was hard to get on the roles because the secretary of state kept raiding the offices or attacking those who were doing third party registrations. he then used what's called exact match, which said if your name has any error when they're typing it into the system that would be a predicate in denying you to vote. and georgia 53,000 people were caught up in this bureaucratic nightmare. so say your name is del rio. and you spell it del-rio, on the driver's license they take off the space. your parents names you del riose with a space.
you put it on the way it's on your birth certificate, and your social security card. because the driver's license authority does not recognize the space you are not allowed to vote because it does not match the database. 53,000 people were denied, 90% of them people of color. the third part is if you were a naturalized citizen, there were some part of the assert assert r secretary of state office, to use the alien registration number. it is illegal to do that because you are now a citizen. in order to achieve the right to vote you were being denied access. so registration is the first, and then the use it or lose it clause. the ohio case seld by the sprowrpd your supreme court. use it or lose it were made to
say if you don't vote in a number of successive elections that can be as a reason to take you off the role. but the problem is it's not precise. it's hundreds of thousands of people who were removed from the roll who voted, they don't find out until they go to vote, and you're denied the right to vote. so that's the first piece, registration. second is valid access, valid access is in spates that have absentee ballots, you apply for a absentee ballot, it may or may not arrive. james due pree had to play his daughter from miami because her absentee ballot never showed up. germane dupree is not my dad. if you don't have someone wealthiest enough to fly you home to vote you will be denied because you didn't get your absentee ballot.
if you were in georgia you may have to pay a notary republic. access is an issue with early voting, moving polling places. georgia has 3,000 polling places precincted they shut down 314 of them. if you live in a county where there are only two, and now there's one and you don't have a car, and the one you used to go to is down the street, and the next one is 5-10 miles away you're not going to be able to vote. so ballot access becomes an issue, and the third is counting the ballots and i refer to that as the florida problem. >> jelani: i'm sure the people of florida are very happy to hear that. >> stacey: they've been the mos. once you submitted your ballot, did it count? did they actually process it? in georgia we had to go to court
four times in the ten-day period between election day and the day of my non-concession speech, and we got 3 and a half verdicts in our favor, and part of that was that certain counties were throwing out absentee ballots because the signature didn't match. my signature doesn't match from kroger to wells fargo. they were matching to the your driver's license ten years ago before you learned how to do the curly-s. they were throwing out absentee ballots because people put the date in the wrong place. it didn't say birthdate and date of submission t just said date, and certain counties were denying the right to vote. across the country that ballot counting becomes the issue. so registration, ballot access, and ballot counting that's how it works. >> >> jelani: so i guess the thing that's interesting is it is a
narrative we have about voting rights. and anybody who has seen eyes on the prize or taken african american history class we know that narrative. it's -- it's the marshal fighting against the white primary in texas. it is the 1965 selma march. it's all the pinnacle points in access to the ballot. how is this been able to persist 50-plus years after the voting rights act? how is this able to be the case? i mean the voting rights act the last time it was reauthorized was 98-0 in the senate, and yet these deeply anti-democratic racist practices are able to persist to the current day. how do we get into the situation? >> stacey: we've never not been in the situation.
what happened is they perfected the insidious approach to it. it used to be very brain. you denied them the right to vote. you denied women and african americans the right to vote. it wasn't until the 20th century that native americans were allowed to vote. so for most of american history, the denial was the jury. it was in the law you couldn't vote. the voting rights act forced it into de facto denial, and that was putting in place obstacles and barriers that on their face may seem fairly low-bars to jump over but when they're yoked together in a system they make it difficult to vote. and the challenge that happened for us was that the shelby decision in 2013. because yes, people of good conscience voted for the voting rights act but so did people that want to get reelected, and didn't want to be called racist. what happened in 2013 is the
guard rail that created -- that kept de facto voter suppression in check the guardrails were removed. georgia again is one of the states that post-shelby implemented most of the rules that are considered to be the most insidious when it comes to voter suppression. and i think the inflection point has been the demographic change in america. it's fine for everyone to vote as long as they vote the way you want them to. what happened is you have a new american majority that is largely comprised of people of color, millennials and gen-z, unmarried white women and progressives across the country of good conscience regardless of race who all align themselves on the side of certain issues, and the only way to stop those issues from graining privacy and voice is their suppression. and that inflection point has accelerated the urgency on the other side. because you can only control
public policy in a democracy by controlling who sets the policy. and voter suppression is the most effective way to block that policy because if you can never elect leaders who reflect your values, those values never gain tracks in the public domain. >> jelani: so it's interesting talked shelby, i was in north carolina, and i was following reverend william barber around, another person who had done a lot of work on this. and you know i get to this place and people are talking about voter suppression issues, and the state, and he's recalling a conversation he's had with a local elected official, and one of the truisms of american politics is the lower you go on the hierarchy the less elegant the lies are. and so this person said being a
confronted about voter suppression, and said it was told it was racist, and he said we don't suppress your votes because you're black. we suppress your votes because you vote for democrats. and so, no idea that we were wrong. i'm glad we cleared that up so we can go on about our business. there's another aspect of this which was striking in almost seems some plays you'd hear about in a country that does not have a very long history of democratic elections, and that is that one of the candidates in the election was in fact charged with overseeing the election in which he was running. >> stacey: i have no experience with that. [laughter] >> jelani: this is a personal question like if as you're going into this, like what is your
thinking about -- it's almost saying like the analogy people gave was like being in a boxing match where you're fighting someone who is the opponent and the referee. >> stacey: i would add one more, he was also the score keeper. >> jelani: the score keeper, right. >> stacey: and that's the challenge, that speaks to the insidiousness of their repression. it's constitutional he got to do that. the laws allow certain things, and that's one of the lessons in brown v board of education, when it comes to something being illegal, it's something being unethical and immoral, and we add a layer of comp tans that further sturd the pot. what he did was entirely legal and holy wrong. because the law permits it the remedies are limited unless you have people in power that say
the law should be changed. but you can't get the people into power because they can use the power to stop you from voting, and it's the viciouses cycle that is so concerning to me, and why voter suppression has to be considered the crisis of our day because the erosion of our democracy is not an authoritarian regime, it is using the laws as they exist to undermine the very law making we desire and deserve. >> jelani: it also seems to me and i want to talk about fair fight, in what you're doing in response to this. it also seems to me that being somebody that looks at these questions from the historical point of view, that it was these very tactics that led to the grassroots ground swell of activity in the first place, and so it seemed almost like if you place a pot on the stove, and the pot begins to boil, and then
you turn down the burner and it stops boiling, you can walk away and come back and say i wonder what will happen if i turn this boiler back up, not realizing it's going to have a similar effect. so in that regarding that's what i thought of when i saw the news about you being involved in organizing fair fight. so could you talk about what fair fight is doing, and what the strategy is in response to what's happening in georgia? >> stacey: so november 6th, a day that will live -- as you are. i had a decision to make like so many other candidates, our race was too close to call. but there were cries for me to concede or to say -- to call it. but i wouldn't because we were
getting phone calls and emails across the state of georgia about challenges people were facing. so in the litany i was cutting myself short but in the litany of counting ballots and ballots access georgia had according to a poll done by black pack had 40% longer lines for african american's than any state in the country. black people were standing in line for up to four hours. and that's assuming they got to vote. if you're a shift worker and every hour you stand in line is an hour worth of pay you're losing you are not often able to miss an entire day's pay to cast a vote. so a lot of people abandoned the people and went home, or went back to work. and that's not counting the students at the atlanta university center that were given provisional ballots. they would be cherry picking
based on who they thought should get a vote. this was happening in november. my decision to demand every vote count was driven less by a belief that i would be able to overcome the bad accents of the secretary of state and more because i understood in that moment my campaign was premised on being a voice for people who had not been seen and heard in the body politics. and my responsibility was to continue to be that voice, regardless of what it meant for me potential outcome. and over the next ten days, we were able to file lawsuits, and we were able to make incremental progress but at the same time the other side was destroying ballots, and by the time we got to november 16, the end of the ten-day period what happened was that we had been able to demonstrate that voter suppression was real.
we've received more than 50,000 phone calls. and we all know that if 50,000 people called imagine who didn't call. who didn't know they should call. in that moment the responsibility i had was to decide whether i was going to launch a legal battler for myself which would allow me to contest the election, and see if i could become governor anyway, or if i could call an end to that contest, but instead start what i believe to be the larger more important battle, which is to fight for a fair election, in georgia. , and i would not alone. my campaign was not the only campaign that faced this challenge. i was just the most public one. and you know as a writer, as a fiction writer it was the perfect ark-type. the villain was clear. you just need a trolling mustache. you're the secretary of state declaring yourself a victory of an election you oversaw, and you
surprisingly won. i was the first african american woman to have the opportunity, and i came this close. it's a great narrative if you like tragedies. [laughter] and for me the response to sorrow, the response to anger is action. i was raised -- [applause] to believe that you don't simply identify prbz you have to figure out how you intend to solve them. and that sometimes solving the problem doesn't mean you actually win. so the solution to this challenge does not mean i get to be governor. if we fix all the election laws in georgia nothing will undo the decision made on november 16, 2018. but fair fight action is my responsibility because it says that this should not happen to anyone else. that the election that's happening, there's going to be an election in march in ginet
county, which is the most diverse county in georgia to make sure they get access to public transit. it's 2019, and we're having a fight over whether people should get public transit. my responsibility to the fair fight is to lift up that responsibility and to talk about why that vote matters, and to make sure it's a fair fight. what we're doing is three things. one we filed a mammoth lawsuit, 64-page country that yoaks together all the pieces of voter suppression, and says that as a system in the state of georgia the right to vote has been substantially harmed, and that disenfranchisement violates the 14th and 15th amendments, and the georgia constitution, and it's wrong. the second is that we are pushing for better legislation because we know that litigation may not turnout the way we want it to. we're also fishing for better legislation. luckily there's an organization that's been created by members of the house and members of
senate called the georgia rights caucus and they'll be pushing for better laws from absentee ballots, and also from hacking old machines. he oversaw the most incompetent machines in the country, and refused -- and the third is advocacy. we have to continue to tie the votes to the issues. voting by itself is -- okay, final vote. but when people understand if you want access to healthcare, you have to vote. if you believe criminal justice reform is real and true you have to vote. if you want people to pick up your trash every week and not every two weeks you have to vote. part of "fair fight" responsibility is to connect the dots between the public policy outcomes that are impugned by or made real by. >> jelani: i want to go back to a conversation we had before you
announced your candidacy. we talked about your strategy. of bringing in more people expanding the electorate, and the previous last election, 2014, jason carter and nathan deal, i think it was 2.5 million people voted in this election, and in this election 3.9 million vote, so you got -- he got about 1.1 million voters, and you got about 1.9. so 800,000 voter expansion and so when we had this conversation, though, and you were talking about this, and so if you live in georgia for any point in time. for any -- within six months you
will hear about the 500,000 unregistered black voters. i lived in atlanta for 11 years, and i kept hearing about the 500,000 unregistered black voters. if we were talking you said this was -- you wanted to expand the electorate and bring people out. i was like stacey are we sure those people are there. you see those people are there and they are a viable electorate. and you said we're going to do things further than what the obama campaign did in georgia to make a difference. so one i want to concede being wrong in my skepticism, because you could hear my eyebrow raise over the phone. >> stacey: i heard your eyes roll. >> jelani: but the other part is more significantly what goes into mobilizing these electorates, not just in georgia but specifically your experience
in georgia and is that applicable to progressive and people of color running in the south, and elsewhere, and the coming elections? >> stacey: brookings is nonpartisan, so i don't have that problem. i am partisan, is this advice is not for anyone who is not a democrat. [laughter] number one you have to start early. when you and i had the conversation it was after i'd been in the leadership position in the house there seven years. and over that 7-year period i'd been leg the groundwork for this transformation in our electorate. number one you have to hire people to go into these communities who understand these communities, and -- it is true that anyone can ask. but people tended to listen to those who remind themselves, and competence matters. i've been building a teem of
young people, by and large i couldn't pay them much. training them to do this work. and also training them to be hired by campaigns. because often campaigns tend to relegate communities of color in particular to certain jobs and that's it. and so we have been working for seven years to build a cohort that was multi-racial multi-ethnic, reflected religious differences sexual orientation differences, we had a truly representative sample of georgia embedded in our campaign and that is critical. because when we launches in may of 2017 a year before the election, we were the only campaign going into communities. we had the first latino media round-table. the first asian pacific round table, the first lgbtq round table. we met with black papers, but we also talked about how do we invest in each of your mediums. how do we make sure that while
how do we get on abc, i make sure i'm in the -- we are pushing things into the communities and local level. so that was number two. number three was that we actually began conversations and community. we didn't create artificial groups. we asked people who said they were interested what do you want to do. and then we funded them, we resourced that. there were a lot of pundits who decried our campaign because we were spending up to 80% of our money every month. reaching out to voters alone. which they thought was insane. you mean she's talking to voters, she would be saving that money for media. i was like i want them to vote so i'm going to ask them to vote. but that investment was different and these are communities that never seen it. by the time we got to the general we were the first campaign in georgia history to run spanish language television
ads. [applause] >> jelani: seriously? wow. that's astonishing. >> stacey: but real. we ran the first bilingual canvas. we had chinese korean, vietnamese. we made sure all communities were hearing from us we don't believe in turn out models meaning you go to the people you think are going to vote for them only. and that's why we were also the only campaign that was on country music radio and urban radio at the exact same time. but what we did differently was we spent a commensurate amount based on the size of the population. when it happened in previous elections it was an oversampled spending on communities that were narrowly likely to vote. and there was a deep underspend communities that shared your
values but were taken for graptd. i took nothing for granted. and in the end we ran a campaign that was we raised more money than any campaign in georgia history. i received more votes than any democrat in georgia history. we tripled asian pacific youth, and turnout by 139 percent. in 20141.1 democrats voted. in 2018, 1.2 african american voted. and -- [applause] -- and, all of that the communities of color, doing all of that work, was supposed to distance me from the white vote. i received a higher percentage of the white vote than any candidate on any side of the aisle in more than 20 years. [applause]
>> jelani: that's interesting. people decry that kind of outreach which is basically democracy as identity politics. for people disparage as identity politics, and alicia gardener was a -- of black lives matter. she said we're identifying people who feel they're being left out. it's amazing you can pull that off. i want to make sure we have questions from the audience, not just yet -- i'm going to ask one or two more questions and then i'll tell you all the formulate your questions. when you go to you you'll have your questions in hand. so, if you're saying for georgia three or four bullet point things you do to make this a
more democratic state what do you change. >> stacey: there shouldn't be different democracy based on your county. registration rules need to be uniform and they should not disadvantage communities that are trying to register. and three, we need new machines and they need to be hand-marked paper ballots that are verifiable, and acceptable. we had too many counties and precincts where you had 3-4,000 people showing up and they had two machines one that was missing a power cord. making sure foaks have access to the ballots and making sure every vote gets count. >> jelani: that's a very georgia specific question i want to ask you a bigger national -- a bigger national question was that you commented on this recently, and the looming loomig possibility that the president will declare a state of emergency, as a means of getting
funds to build his border wall. and you had a very succinct explanation of how people should respond to that. >> stacey: don't. [laughter] here's the reality he is either going to do it or he is not. the rationale for doing so is that he is trying to gain political crot having failed miserably in the actual political process. and that political -- is gained by us giving him air time and space, and for there to be american histrionics over once again his foughting of our basic norms. we have a system that will deal with that. there will be lawsuits filed and it is absolutely a true thing that nancy pelosi should decry the lawlessness of this behavior. but what we cannot do is turn it into a 24/7 circus that we gnash
our teeth, and he is proving he does not understand how america wuks. so we have to deny him the audience. [applause] >> jelani: the last question. -- >> jelani: in interviewing one of the things we were taught was don't say anything, ask a question and then just be quiet. >> stacey: in law we were taught say what you need to and stop talking. [laughter] >> jelani: i think this is what you call a stalemate. okay, so, questions let me get my preface. a question is a request for information. [laughter] it is typically identified by the inflection at the end of the sentence. [laughter] and written form this is
represented by a question mark. so, please raise your question in the form of a question. and also we can kind of do ensure that as. people as possible get to ask a question can we be as succinct as we can be in your phrasing, and i'll take three questions at a time, and then we will deal with those, and then we'll go for another round. so we can kind of do speed rounds. so let's start with the young man in the green. >> guest: hello. do you think the voter age should be changed to 16? because we have a voice also. we are smart also. >> jelani: great, so we're going to get two more questions.
>> guest: would you consider running a national democratic committee -- >> stacey: i'll repeat the questions. >> guest: would you consider running the democratic national committee with the ideas that you have for getting everybody to vote? >> stacey: one more question and then i'll -- >> guest: i go to georgia college and university in villageival and helped campaign for you. so it's great to be here. my question is hr1, it's a bill in the house right now, it's the "for the people's act" on campaign and voter laws and everything with that what are your thoughts on hr1? >> jelani: so the three questions are should the voting
age be lowered to 16? do you have any interest in running the dnc, and what is your thoughts on hr1. >> stacey: so on the age of 16 i can that that is a worthy question. i would start with local elections namely the school board because i think that's the most direct connection between young people and the necessity of hearing their voices. i believe that municipal elections because of the granularity of what they do. if we are going to experiment with age, and access, i think starting with municipal elections makes sense because it's a contained universe and closer to the people. i am not opposed to the conversation but i think we need to understand better. and because we kept you out of the conversation so long, i think starting with the school board electionicize the place to start. no i do not want to run the d & c, i work closely with a team,
and i think what they are doing is important, and what i'm pleased about is the conversation for voter suppression is happening across the country at every level of government. marcia fudge is going to be in georgia she was in brownsville texas last week, doing hearings. we are doing the work but we need the conversation to continue because the myth of voter fraud has taken on the air of truth. we have to make sure the truth of voter suppression takes on the air of urgency. hr1 is a smart approach i think. the challenge with hr1 is it conflates so many ideas into one bill. but as an opening i think it was a necessary one. what my hope is going to be is that we see substantial change in the composition of the senate. ii'm not saying anything about y role in that other than i'm going to make sure georgia elects a senator that reflects our value. i think hr1 was an excellent
conversation starter and that the pieces embedded there in are parts of our national narrative. >> jelani: the next round of three questions, the young lady in the red in the back. and the young lady in the black next to her, and on this side, the lady with the glasses on her nose. >> guest: so i know we were speculating but he did declare a national emergency to build the wall so what are your thoughts? >> guest: hello. i went to school in a university in atlanta georgia, and i wanted to ask for lack of a better word, did losing the election discourage you in any way, and if so, how? >> guest: i write for the afro, and our community wants to know, what is is it going to take to elect a democrat in 2020?
>> jelani: so our questions are, that apparently the state of emergency has just been declared. and i'm sorry, that question blotted out your question. your question -- were you discouraged, and was stacey discouraged. and how do we win in 2020. >> stacey: so yes, there has been a national emergency declared and i do believe that immediately the moment he determines how he intends to fund his emergency it's the prerogative of the president to declare a emergency and i don't think we need to aggregate that. it's a question whether he can unilaterally move funds in order to finance his declaration that is the issuech and that is where i believe we need immediate judicial intervention, and i believe that speaker pelosi and leader schumer need to take actions within congress to
dispute it through the resolution powers that they have. there is no emergency. it is a falsehood and it is entirely a political stunt, and hopefully he will find the stunt has the same effect that the last one did. which is the imumeinate the lack of empathy he has for americans, and the lack of understanding and respect for our body of politics. [applause] but nobody to write about -- acknowledge it happened and move on. >> jelani: i literally here me editor in my head saying you should write about this. >> stacey: if we write about it needs to be framed in terms of telling people what to do. my issue is if it becomes a 24/7 recitation, and the beating of our breasts saying he's done this serious thing. it is either will or will not be. more than likely my point is --
there is no necessity to give this more air time than today. because it will either be the thwarted by our laws. discouraged no, i like in my current state to bruce banner, and the avengers movie, when captain america. >> jelani: you're like racking up nerd points here. >> stacey: there is a scene in the avengers movie where captain america or someone asks bruce banner how he becomes the hulk, and at the end when they're fighting the invaders, captain america urgently says i need you to turn -- i need you to get angry and turn into the hulk, and he turns around with a half-smile and says i'm always angry. what was done in 2018, i am
livid about it. i am sad. i believe there are good things that we could be doing in the state of georgia that will not happen because someone did not do his job or manipulated the power in his job to get a job. i can't prove that i would have won but i promise you, i probably would be right. and in lieu throv, i'm more angry about thousands of people who showed up for the first time and were told their votes were invalid. i'm angry about those who might decide not to vote ever again because this was so grotesque. and that makes me mad. but as i said earlier. i try to turn my anger into actions, so fair fight actions exist. we're going to do work on the census. it's motived me to do more, and by the end of march i'll decide which legal office i want to run
for, but i am not discouraged, i am encouraged that i have more work to do, and that's my job. and part of that is we win in 2020. we have to remember democrats did not lose to trump. we failed to show up. there were legitimate reasons for that failure. voter suppression, we did not do the hard work and i'm using the royal "we." the aprags of winning the election was flawed. they did not hear themselves in the narrative, and were not encouraged to turnout and vote. and we lost through attarficial system called the electoral college. but now wisconsin is run by a democratic governor, michigan, pennsylvania, we know how to turnout democrats in those communities, and if we add georgia and arizona to the mix, as competitive states which i
believe we have proven we are, we have a buffer, and so my responsibility in 2020 is to make sure georgia delivers 16 electoral votes to make certain a democrat winds. because i think if we run smart campaigns that value every voter and treats all voters with respect that are grounded in our values and not a pretense that we hold the other sides values you cannot pretend to be someone who has a different ideological base, and that's what's happened in years past. i don't think that's what secretary clinton did but this pretender to the thrown approach cannot work. we have to have aauthentic candidates who tell the truth. people may not agree with you, but they trusted that i was telling you the truth, and that's why i showed up, and that's how we win in 2020. [applause] >> jelani: to your point about the -- about people who have been taken for granted.
it's shocking for you to be the first block woman nominee for governor in a democratic party who's most reliable voting base is black women. [applause] that's a question. you want to talk about that happening. o but -- how does that happen in our black women voters being a category that's been taken for granted in a larger group that's been taken for grand. >> stacey: you take for granted the most reliable thing. you assume your car is going to start when you go outside. and when you check your systems and find your tire pressure is low but your engine is dead. you're going to fix the engine. black women have been the tires of the car for a long time. we're generally libel and when we cut out it's not with the
drama of everyone else because we have never done it. we don't stop we do it all the time. because we understand more acutely, almost in every community the consequence of inaction. but the reality is we also require the care and feeding and the investment and the acknowledgment of our reliability. but running for office is hard, expensive, and complicated, and mean. i had more friends break my heart in this campaign than the worst thing said about me by the republican national committee. and it was people who have known me for years who have said we think you're the best qualified candidate but you're a black woman. they were whispering it to me like it was a diagnosis. but i say that to say it's insufficient to thank black women. you have to invest, support, and you have to vote for them.
[applause] that's how it works. >> jelani: okay, speed round we have these last three questions in here and if you talk like an auctioneer week make this happen. we have one person who has booster effects from here. one in the green, and then a young person -- >> stacey: the woman in gray has had her hand up since i walked in the room. >> stacey: we need to be diverse so there's a gentleman standing on this side -- [laughter] >> jelani: we are all in favor of inclusion here. >> guest: hello. i'm the national committee woman
for the dc young democrats, and i would first like to thank you for all of your work and all you accomplished and the example you've set for us. but also i'd like to know how can we be supportive of "fair fight" from dc. how can we bring young people down, what's next? >> guest: hi, i'm a journalist with who what why.org we did a lot in georgia about the voter suppression there. you answered a question about shouldn't this be a bigger priority for democrats, all democrats, we don't really hear that much about voter suppression in the larger democratic party discussion. >> guest: i'm the founder of -- against women and my question is about disinformation. how much do you think -- >> jelani: say the name of the group once again.
>> guest: stop online violence against women. we focus on social media campaigns that discourage people to get out the vote. how much do you think that was part of what's happening on the ground in georgia for you? >> so as you decide among the 72 people that are running for president i'm not asking you to endorse anybody i'm asking you what criteria your going to weigh most heavily. >> the number one is we need you to sign up at fairfight action.com, we will share information going on. and it's linked to the next question. the important issue is we have to raise awareness of voter suppression as an issue. we are using georgia's ground zero because it's the perfect encapsulation of what's happening but it is not the only place. dc, you guys would like to be a state i think.
[laughter] it matters who gets elected around the country. that means where you have to have fair elections around the country. so sign up at fairfight action.com, and we'll tell you all the small and large things you can do. we have to talk more about abou. the reason i was on seth meyers last night was i believe we have to make this a larger conversation. we've been taught to think it's pitying ourselves to say that suppression is the issue. and if you read all of the responses to my state of the union response most of them decry this is true, and there's some new study saying voter id laws don't hurt you therefore voter suppression isn't real. it has no merit, but the larger issue is they know it's real and they're afraid we'll keep talking about it. our response has to be the exact opposite what we do about the national emergency, we need to talk about this all the time. we have to talk about this every
day. voter suppression doesn't happen on election day alone, we have to talk about it every day. disinformation -- i will say this. they lied about me on television. it was less about going online to do it. but i do think to do it. i think this information campaigns suppress a lot of votes in communities. more about giving bad information about how elections work. that is why i talk about voter suppression not only an apparatus of rules, also a psychic effect. that is the piece we have to be aggressive about, making sure people are not despondent about voter suppression, they are angry. we need people to be angry about voter suppression and acting. you need to be authentic. i may not agree with everything
you say but do not pretend on thursday that he did not say something on tuesday. have a clear vision for where you want the country to be and be willing to say it out loud. i talked about issues in my campaign no one had heard about and not everyone agreed with me. but they knew where i stood. you want someone to follow you they have to trust that they know where you are leading them. anyone who says they don't see color, that they don't understand gender matters, anyone who decries identity does not deserve the identity of president. [applause] >> i believe that is the perfect not deserve the identity of summation. can we thank stacey abrams again? [applause]
monica norton. >> i thought the film was visually beautiful. the thing that really sticks with post deputy you, just how d lovely the film is. his writing really does deal with love whether it is universal love, loving oneself, ,ove between people and society i think that is the overarching aim. a lot of people probably see him , because he was so passionate in fighting for the rights of african-americans that sometimes i think people mistake that for anger. butink he was not angry forceful in his to enunciate should of racism. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q and a. host: we want to welcome david harsanyi, senior editor with "the