Hi everyone! I’m new to the show here at BfD. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, in the context of the biggest news story of the year for us political dorks.
I’ve been a Georgian my whole life. I was born on the south side of Atlanta in a little (well, it was much littler back then) town called Conyers. Home of the Horse Park and most recently a bull run, Conyers was a middle class town. My mom and dad raised my little sister and I there on a middle class income, and with middle class values.
From an early age, my parents taught me the importance of two things: helping people who can’t quite help themselves, and voting. My parents always took us with them to vote, and encouraged my participation in politics and the formation of my strong political opinions- which they now love tossing out with their friends to watch me argue with them.
When I was seven, I wrote a letter to President Clinton asking him what the president did. My mom thought this was completely adorable and somewhere floating around our house are copies of this handwritten letter to President Clinton that will undoubtedly surface on a wedding table in the future.
I know now that the lovely letter I received back was both written by an intern and autopenned, but at seven, getting mail from the White House was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me. Seven year old Ansley thought that President Clinton really wanted me to know about his job, and invested the time it took to write me back so that I would stay engaged in the political process.
After that, I was hooked. I mean, you can’t turn your back on the party of the president that wrote you back, right?
I am a public school kid, a Peach Care recipient, and a HOPE scholar because the government was invested in my future. They knew when they created these programs that a middle class kids like me needed help in order to succeed. It wasn’t a handout, it was an insurance policy. Give these families a way to move up, and they will rise to the challenge. They knew that Georgia would be better when its citizens were successful.
Somehow along the way, Democrats stopped talking to the middle class about what they needed to succeed. We got pulled into talking about the hot button issues that were a cleverly crafted distraction. Republicans swooped in when our guard was down and did what they could to destroy all the things that helped me succeed.
That’s what was so refreshing in 2010, when Jason Carter first stepped onto the Senate floor under the Gold Dome. He got it. He saw that no one was speaking up loud enough for the majority of Georgians. He took the mic and hasn’t stopped being a champion for the people he knows Georgia must invest in.
He’s in this race to bring back middle class values to Georgia governance. I can’t wait to watch how this next year unfolds, and how he plans to speak to the real issues that middle class families care about: quality education for their kids and good jobs to put food on the table.
I hope that Democrats across the state follow his lead and begin speaking loudly to these issues. It’s the only way Governor Carter takes office in 2015.