At a time when far-right politicians increasingly control our state, I’m proud to say that I’m a lifelong progressive. It’s in my blood. My father, Billy Stuckey, represented Georgia’s 8th Congressional district for 10 years and my grandfather, Williamson Sylvester Stuckey, served in the Georgia Legislature.
I vividly recall as a child, while attending a White House Christmas party with my father, tugging on President Nixon’s coat and telling him in no uncertain terms that, if I could vote, I would not vote for him.
I was about 8 years old and ready to go toe-to-toe with the leader of the free world.
Stephanie Stuckey, 8, goes toe-to-toe with Pres. Nixon.
I’m driven by what I know is right and what I know can move our state forward.
That’s a connection I’m sure I share with you.
We’ve seen a political shift since Nixon was in the White House. Conservatives have tacked farther to the right, and they’ve built a powerful political machine to support their ultra-conservative ideas. We’ve witnessed the result in our own state, with conservatives taking control of the governor’s office and then the Gold Dome. Republicans have had unchecked power for nearly eight years and already this much is clear: Their policies are not working.
What have they done?
The GOP has left Georgia in shambles. Georgia’s public K -12 schools have suffered more than $1 billion in budget cuts. The HOPE Scholarship is on the verge of bankruptcy. Our public transportation system hasn’t seen a dime’s worth of improvements in more than a decade. And 91 Georgia counties are in a constant state of poverty.
As a member of the General Assembly since 1999, I’ve seen progressive candidates lose elections and lose footing in state politics even as demographics change to our advantage.
We must do something different.
We must change how we engage on our issues in order to win at the ballot box. And that’s why I’m writing you today. Along with other progressive leaders, I urged the creation of an organization that would be able to confront the backward policies of the far-right.
We found that organization in Better Georgia. Now we must fund it.
While Better Georgia has done an excellent job at stretching a dollar, yielding high-impact campaigns on a shoestring budget, we must all pitch in if we want this important work to continue and grow.
I urge you to invest in Better Georgia today.
As progressives, we fight based on our ideals. But we must go beyond rhetoric. We must also fight with our money. Unlike our opponents, our efforts are not funded by big checks from big corporations.
Better Georgia’s model is a proven one, with the ability to act swiftly and efficiently to support progressive values, ballot issues and candidates.
I support Better Georgia and I’m asking you to do the same right now with an investment in our state’s future.
Our ancestors left us with the awesome responsibility of improving Georgia for future generations. Let’s take back control of our state to ensure a return to progressive policies that will benefit all Georgians.
I’m still prepared to go toe-to-toe with anyone to defend my values. I hope you are, too.
Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield