In remembrance of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, there is a national holiday to observe the vision and values that he stood for in the United States and across the world. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, Annual Lecture & Conversation series, Stacey Abrams was the speaker for this annual event at Morehouse College. Abrams challenged us all to do make more strides in defeating voter suppression. Essentially, people who are involved in politics believe running for office is the only answer; however, greater efforts need to be made in order for everyone’s vote to be counted, because “when we aren’t counted we do not count.”
Although Abrams spoke about the battle she faced in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election–where her rightful position was stolen–she also illuminated that the unconstitutionality of voter suppression has truly never stopped. Hence, policymakers have just become cleverer in their tactics to disenfranchise marginalized communities. As change agents devoted to civic engagement we have a responsibility to make sure those ballots make sense and that policies provide real hope and promise.
Abrams reiterated that her “campaign was not to get the job but to do the work.” That statement imposes a serious question we must ask ourselves as civil servants: can you [we] still do the work without the title? Politics is the instrument we use to get what we need and the work of policy is the work of justice–a task we must not take lightly. It is a privilege to serve and I know we will make an impact that will transcend generations!
What do you think? Can leaders without titles continue to make a difference in policy or do we need to have more elected officials in office doing the work?